Juneau All-Stars stay unbeaten in regional

GCLL Juniors baseball team wins 4-1, but Juneau Seniors softball squad falls 6-3

Posted: Monday, August 09, 2004

Juneau's Gastineau Channel Little League Junior Division (age 13-14) All-Stars stayed undefeated in the Western Regional Little League Baseball Tournament in Forest Grove, Ore., as the All-Stars knocked off Selah (Wash.) 4-1 Sunday in round-robin pool play.

But the GCLL Senior Division (age 15-16) All-Stars suffered their second straight loss in the Western Regional Little League Softball Tournament in Chico, Calif., falling 6-3 to Arcadia American (Calif.) on Sunday.

The baseball team improved to 3-0 on the tournament and clinched a spot in Tuesday's semifinals regardless of today's result against undefeated Northern California (Roseville-Woodcreek).

"Wow. Tremendous," Juneau manager Norm Staton said of his team's victory, which came on a three-hitter thrown by Joe Kohan, who struck out seven and walked three (two in the seventh when Washington scored its run). Kohan, 14, had a fastest pitch of 87 mph in the game, and his final pitch was 84 mph. He only threw 83 pitches for the game.

Juneau loaded the bases with no outs in the first inning, but Washington was able to get out of the jam when Sam Clark's liner was snagged by the pitcher and the next two hitters also went down.

The game stayed a scoreless pitchers' duel until the third, when Juneau scratched across a run. Shawn Ibesate, who walked earlier in the inning and stole a base, scored when Kohan singled. Kohan was intentionally walked the other times he went to the plate, including once to load the bases.

It stayed 1-0 until the sixth inning, when the bottom third of Juneau's lineup - Geoff Craig, Zach Heppner and Ryan Staton - each hit singles to load the bases. Nick Andrews bunted in a run and, one out later, Buzz Ward doubled home two more to make it 4-0. Ward was 3-for-3 on the game.

"The pitcher on the other team was good, and our bottom of the lineup just got some seeing-eye singles," Norm Staton said.

In the seventh inning, Kohan struggled a little bit with his control, sandwiching two walks around a single, and Staton said he thought it was because of a hole that developed on the pitcher's mound. After a little landscaping, Kohan regained his form and closed out the game with a bases-loaded strikeout.

Juneau takes on Northern California at 1 p.m. ADT today and the game will be broadcast on KJNO radio, 630-AM. Since Juneau's assured a spot in the semifinals, Staton said he's not sure if he wants to use Ward (his No. 2 pitcher) in today's round-robin game or save him for the semifinals.

"We've still got some fresh arms, and two (Ward and Ibesate) are really fresh," Staton said. "We may see what Northern California decides to do."

In the softball tournament, Juneau committed five errors in the first three innings and six for the game as the All-Stars fell to 1-2 in round-robin play.

"It was a continuation of yesterday (a 12-2 loss to tournament host Chico Westside on Saturday)," Juneau manager Dennis Powers said. "We made some hard plays out of some easy outs."

Juneau fell behind 1-0 in the bottom of the first inning. The All-Stars took a 2-1 lead in the top of the second as Sara Manning reached on a throwing error that scored Katie Laliberte and then stole home. But Arcadia tied the game at 2-2 in the bottom of the second and took a 3-2 lead in the third, with only the run in the third being earned off Juneau starter Andrea Doerflinger.

The score stayed 3-2 for the next two innings, when Arcadia took a 6-2 lead off reliever Alicia Maryott. Again, an error played into the scoring.

Juneau rallied for a run in the top of the seventh as Madison Massey hit a sacrifice fly to right to score Veronica Leitz. But Arcadia was able to close out the game.

Doerflinger and Laliberte both had two hits and a double each, while Maryott had a single and two sacrifices for Juneau.

Juneau plays undefeated Red Mountain of Mesa, Ariz. (2-0) at 7 p.m. ADT today in a game broadcast on KJNO to close out the round-robin portion of its schedule (Juneau has a bye Tuesday while the other four teams in the tourney play). Juneau needs to win today's game to even have a slim chance of making Wednesday's championship.

"There can be a five-way tie at 2-2, it's an outside chance," Powers said. "Unfortunately, there are two teams that would have tie-breakers over us. We have a real slim or outside chance, so we're not even thinking about it. We have to win tomorrow just to give the girls some satisfaction."

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