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Softball All-Stars advance in tourney play
Manager Troy Greenfield's team won"t let weather get in the way.
"The other night it was raining hard and we (coaches Brian Moore and Gary Pitts) were thinking of cancelling practice, but the girls went crazy," Greenfield said. "They wouldn"t hear of it."
The Bainbridge Major All-Stars will apply their focus in the championship game of the District 2 tournament today at Art Mikelsen Field in Port Orchard. Bainbridge plays the winner of the Sequim/East Jefferson contest at 4 p.m.
Their strength was apparent last weekend, as they defeated Sequim on Friday, then shut out East Jefferson the next day, scoring 10 runs in four innings before the "mercy rule" was invoked.
If the team wins this weekend, it qualifies for the Little League Majors state tournament, July 16-25 in Port Orchard.
If they lose, they play the same team on Sunday at 4 p.m. in a loser-goes-home game.
"The girls that come out of the regular season are extremely dedicated," Greenfield said. "They can"t wait to come out and play."
Bainbridge Majors All-Stars 6, Sequim 1: Bainbridge faced a strong team from Sequim in their first game. However, behind the power hitting of Larkin Sheldon and Taylor "TJ" Pitts, as well as the strong pitching of Hailey Willmann, the girls won 6-1.
Sheldon was a home run away from hitting for the cycle. In the first, she crushed a ball to the fence for a triple, and drove another deep to the outfield for a double in the second. In her last at-bat, she ripped a single between third and short. Willmann pitched a complete six-inning game, striking out nine and allowing only five hits and no earned runs.
Bainbridge Majors All-Stars 10, East Jefferson 0: The team had to come back on Sunday and face East Jefferson, which had previously knocked off Key Peninsula. Bainbridge posted five runs in the first inning behind the one-two punch of Clara Dunn and Hailey Willmann at the top of the order.
One run was all Bainbridge needed, as Greenfield was in a groove in the pitching circle, throwing a one-hit shutout. The game was shortened to four innings under the mercy rule.
Greenfield faced only 14 batters, two over the minimum, while striking out nine and not surrendering a walk.
Bainbridge National 11U All-Stars 5, South Kitsap Western 11U All-Stars 0: Steven Wellbrock struck out 10 batters and allowed only two hits, no walks and no runs over five innings.
Eric Raustein and Robby Ackerley had two hits and an RBI apiece, including a double and a triple for Raustein.
Andrew Hunt closed down the victory in the sixth, allowing only one batter to reach base. The Bainbridge defense was errorless and the team's base running manufactured two runs. Next up for Bainbridge was a winners" bracket semifinal berth versus South Kitsap Southern, played last night after the press deadline.
Bainbridge National 12U All-Stars 1, South Kitsap Western 12U All-Stars 0: It was the Connor Loudon Show as the Bainbridge National 12U All-Star team beat South Kitsap West 1-0 for their second straight District tournament win. Loudon threw a three-hit shutout with 11 Ks and Bainbridge scored in the final inning to win the game.
Loudon pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in thefourth by striking out the last two batters to end the inning. He wasn"t finished there, leading off the sixth with a line drive single. Alex Raquer replaced him as a pinch runner and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by JJ Wilford. Nick Denney moved Wilford to third, where Blake Harper drove him in with the game's only score.
Loudon still wasn"t finished. He made two outstanding defensive plays in the bottom of the sixth to retire the first two batters.
The game ended when Kevin Bowman robbed the SKW cleanup hitter of an extra-base hit with a sliding catch of a line drive.
Harper led the Nationals" attack with two hits, while Denney played an outstanding defensive game at second base. The victory moves the Nationals into the semifinals of the tournament's winners" bracket, which was played yeasterday in Sequim.
South Kitsap Western 10U All-Stars 5, Bainbridge National 10U All-Stars 4 (7 innings): Brett Green pitched superbly in a starting role over three innings. Baxter Allen had two hits while Zander Silverman and Green delivered extra base hits, which gave the Nationals an early 3-1 lead.
South Kitsap bounced back, tying the game at three apiece in the fifth, threatening more when Nick Bierly caught a shallow fly in centerfield and threw out a South Kitsap runner trying to score at third. Ricky Ackerley applied the crucial tag to complete the double play.
Tied at three, Bainbridge jumped out to the first lead in extra innings, thanks to a lead-off single by Allen.
While Bainbridge threatened again in the seventh, the Nationals were only able to get one across, leaving runners at second and third.
In the bottom of the seventh, South Kitsap rallied with two outs to disappoint the Bainbridge 10s in a well-played heartbreaker.