Storm weathers the competition

With a 14-2 win over the Commotion, the Storm players took home their second Majors softball championship in two years.

The team was at the top of the standings at the end of the Bainbridge Island Little League softball season with a record of 7-4. 

The Ice, Diamonds and Commotion were all tied with 5 wins, 7 losses.

The Diamonds beat the Ice in the first round of the playoffs, but eventually lost to the Storm in the bottom of the sixth inning of the semi-finals, which advanced the Storm to the championship game at Strawberry Hill Park.  

The Commotion, the most improved team in the league this year, beat the Blaze 3-2 in an exciting pitchers duel for the second spot in the final game.  

The championship game, played on June 11, pitted the defending champion Storm against the Commotion.

The first two innings were deadlocked, due to the impeccable pitching of Lindsay Willmann for the Storm and Mariko Wolf for the Commotion.  

Grace Campbell hit the first of her two RBI singles in the first, and Isabelle Hoonan drove in a run with a single in the second.  

In the third inning, the Storm loaded the bases, setting up Hoonan to deliver a hard-hit, bases- clearing double. When the dust on the basepaths had cleared, Hoonan finished with 2 hits and 4 RBIs.

With the offense supplying the runs, pitcher Willmann cruised the rest of the game with tremendous catching help from Jaclyn Biggers and Emily Pisano.  

The Commotion scored two runs in the third with an RBI single from Hallie Swan -- scoring Chelsie Kakela -- and a steal of home by Swan. The scoring for the Storm in the fourth inning was highlighted by a two RBI double by Ryan Biggers, giving her a total of three RBIs for the game.

Willmann finished the game with seven strikeouts and only two walks in four innings.

Mixing it up

“This season was by far the most competitive we’ve had for Little League Majors softball in several years,” Storm manager Scott Boynton said.

In an effort to achieve a more competitive balance in league play, teams were redrafted prior to the season. With more than 180 girls competing, an even distribution of talent was the key to a more enjoyable experience for the athletes, according to Bainbridge Island Little League softball VP Tony Gaspich.

“The level of play has improved tremendously, and this group of 11- and 12-year-olds has a great shot at advancing out of the district tournament,” Boynton added. 

“It has been my pleasure to be involved with this great group of kids.”

The 11-12 year-old all-star team is composed of Haylee Baker, Andrea Christopherson, Kaitlin Gaspich, Ally Guy, Ariel Hujar, Chelsie Kakela, Jessica Molskness, Madeline Sheldon, Cara Thompson, Victoria Wellbrock, Lindsey Willmann and Brittany Wisner. The team is coached by Ken Guy and managed by Tony Gaspich.

Nine- and 10-year-old all stars for 2003 are Tristen Berge, Jaclyn Biggers, Sara Dacquisto, Clara Dunn, Abby Hartman, Caitlin McCormick, Claire Nitsche, Taylor Pitts, Larkin Sheldon, Alex Shimmin, Hailey Willmann, and Elizabeth Zech. The team is managed by Kendra Field, and the coaches are Deanna Bennett and Bruce Nitsche.

The Little League district softball tournament will be played at Snyder Park in Poulsbo on July 5.

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