Home field works for BILL All-Stars

First baseman Grace Campbell embraces third baseman Delcy Stoddard after Stoddard scored the run to tie the girls’ Little League Juniors All-Star district game in the sixth inning Sunday at Strawberry Field. From left to right: Clara Dunn, Emily Irish, MacKenzie Teddy, Grace Campbell, Delcy Stoddard and Caitlyn McCormick. Bainbridge lost to Sequim 7-5. - Meagan O
First baseman Grace Campbell embraces third baseman Delcy Stoddard after Stoddard scored the run to tie the girls’ Little League Juniors All-Star district game in the sixth inning Sunday at Strawberry Field. From left to right: Clara Dunn, Emily Irish, MacKenzie Teddy, Grace Campbell, Delcy Stoddard and Caitlyn McCormick. Bainbridge lost to Sequim 7-5.
— image credit: Meagan O'Shea photo

Majors, 9- and 10-year-olds take down their foes in a big way Sunday

After the first round of the Little League District 2 softball tournament, it appears the home field advantage of playing at Strawberry Park is working for the Major All-Stars and the 9- and 10-year-old All-Stars.

The Junior All-Stars hope to benefit from the same next Sunday, losing a back and forth affair 7-5 to the Sequim All-Stars on Sunday.

Junior head coach Brian Moore was impressed by how his team handled themselves.

“I was so proud of them,” he said. “We’ve got four 12-year-olds out there (and they’re) playing against 14-year-olds and they battled. They absolutely battled out there and I couldn’t be prouder.”

Bainbridge scored first when Clara Dunn – one of the aforementioned 12-year-olds who moved up to the Junior team – walked and eventually scored on a passed ball.

Sequim had a chance to score in their half of the inning, but Kenzi Rhodefin was thrown out at home as she tried to score on a passed ball.

In the second inning, Libby Grubb worked her way to third on an error, but Delcy Stoddard made a great running catch of a pop bunt, Emily Irish struck out Sarah Donahue and Grubb was called out for leaving third too early.

Lauren Felder scored for Bainbridge in the third inning when Caitlyn McCormick reached base on an error.

But Sequim scored two in the third on an error and several passed balls. They added another run in the fourth on another passed ball.

Bainbridge tied the score in the fifth when Grace Campbell walked, advanced to third on an error and a passed ball, then scored when Sequim failed to catch her in a rundown.

But Sequim went ahead in their half of the fifth as Leah Hopson reached on an error, then scored as she stole second, then took third and home when the throw went into centerfield.

They had a chance to score another run when Kyli Mildenberger doubled, but was thrown out at third by Felder.

Stoddard tied the score up in the sixth as she singled, then reached third on a sacrifice bunt by MacKenzie Teddy.

She scored when Taylor Pitts struck out, but the catcher let the ball get past her, forcing her to throw to first.

Rhodefin then walked Felder and Dunn to load the bases, but Campbell lined one right back to her to end the threat.

In the seventh, Sequim took advantage of two walks, a bunt, a wild pitch and a passed ball to score three runs.

Bainbridge got a run back in the seventh as McCormick reached on an error, then scored on a groundout by Larkin Sheldon, but that’s all they could do.

Despite the mistakes, Moore said he told his team afterwards that they did a great job.

“You’re gonna make a mistake here and there, but you gotta bounce back and get ’em next time,” he said. “It’s a quality opponent. When you’re playing a quality opponent like that and you battle (as they did), I couldn’t be happier.”

Bainbridge and Sequim meet next Sunday at 3 p.m. for Game 2 of the series. If Bainbridge wins, they’ll force a deciding Game 3 at 6 p.m.

Moore gave them Monday and Tuesday off, but said they’ll be back at practice today to prepare for Sunday’s contest.

“That’s one of the things I told them that it will be the last game of the tournament and everybody’s going to be hanging out to see it,” he said. “We’re looking forward to it and it will be a good way to finish the tournament.”

It’s been a good tournament for the two other teams, as the 9- and 10-year-old All-Stars defeated Sequim 12-0 on Saturday and blew out North Kitsap American/National 23-5 in four innings on Sunday.

Katie Raben, the daughter of head coach Deidre Raben, threw a one-hitter on Saturday, striking out 12 and giving up no walks.

On Sunday, Bainbridge scored once in the first and second innings, then scored nine in the third and 12 in the fourth to put the game away, as they nearly batted around three times in the fourth.

Haley Story had an inside-the-park home run.

Deidre Raben said it takes a few innings for their bats to get going, but once they do, they’re dangerous.

“When they do hit, they (have the capability) to score nine to 20 runs an inning,” she said.

Still, she feels the team won’t get too overconfident, especially since they lost to Sequim in the championship game last year.

“The kids really don’t want to over-expect anything,” she said. “They don’t want to take the other team for granted, so they’re really keeping things in check.”

North Kitsap American/National and Sequim will play on Saturday at 3 p.m. to determine who faces Bainbridge on Sunday at 3 p.m.

If the winner of that game defeats Bainbridge, they’ll play on Monday at 6 p.m.

The Major All-Stars took an easy path to the championship series next Sunday as they defeated the East Jefferson/South Jefferson/Port Townsend All-Stars 11-1, then soundly defeated Sequim 34-1.

Hailey Willmann threw a complete game on Saturday, while Cali Moore collected two hits as the team played small ball with many bunts.

On Sunday, every player on the team got on base multiple times, with Taylor Greenfield, Troy’s daughter, going 4 for 4 with four RBI.

Tristin Berge and Brianna Ledoux combined for the win.

Despite the big wins, Troy said the team isn’t caught up in the pressure of the playoff atmosphere.

“Taylor kept making the comment that it doesn’t feel that different from the regular season because you’re playing at home,” he said. “I think the girls are more comfortable.”

East Jefferson/South Jefferson/Port Townsend defeated the Key Peninsula All-Stars on Saturday, earning the right to face Sequim at 3 p.m. next Saturday.

The winner of that game faces Bainbridge at noon on Sunday. If Bainbridge is defeated in that game, they play again on Monday at 6 p.m.

While the softball All-Stars enjoy playing at home, the baseball All-Stars are in Olalla and Port Orchard playing for the right to move onto their respective state tournaments.

The Bainbridge Major National All-Stars won their first two games, shutting out both of their opponents.

In a 13-0 victory over Key Peninsula, Nick Denney and Lars Nelson combined for the whitewash as the Nationals had 12 hits, eight of which were for extra bases.

Eric Raustein drive in four runs and homered, while Ryan Schreck had three doubles and three RBIs.

Against South Kitsap Eastern, Steven Wellbrock pitched a five-hitter and struck out eight.

South Kitsap pitcher Chris Bamonte almost outdueled him with a perfect game through four innings, but Adam Pool reached on a bunt single, then eventually scored on a Ryan Schreck infield single.

The Nationals could play against the Bainbridge Major American All-Stars in the semifinals next Saturday, as they defeated Port Townsend 5-3 Saturday.

Chris Bell went 4 2/3 innings for the win, striking out 10 and allowing only three hits.

The Americans scored in the second on an RBI double by Sam Kallas and an RBI single by Rico Failla.

Henry McCombs drove in two runs with a base hit in the third.

The Americans played Gig Harbor National on Monday.

The Bainbridge 10- and 11-year-old American All-Stars lost to Gig Harbor American 19-4 on Saturday, but rebounded to defeat North Kitsap National 14-4 in four innings on Sunday.

Gus Macaluso-Green had three doubles, drove in three runs and scored four times as the Americans scored nine times in the fourth.

They played another loser-out game Monday against South Kitsap Southern.

The Bainbridge 10- and 11-year-old National All-Stars won their two games over the weekend, defeating South Kitsap Western 5-3 on Friday and South Kitsap Southern 5-1 on Saturday.

The Bainbridge 9- and 10-year-old American All-Stars lost a tough game to Gig Harbor National 7-5 on Saturday, but recovered to blow out South Kitsap Western 10-0 in four innings.

The Americans got a strong performance from left-hander Trent Schulte on Sunday as they scored seven runs in the first inning.

They play Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. against a team to be determined.

The Bainbridge 9- and 10-year-old National All-Stars defeated East Jefferson/South Jefferson 3-0 on Saturday.

They played North Kitsap American on Monday.

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