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Diamonds win Bainbridge little league softball title
In a back and forth game, it’s the little things that can cost you.
That was the case for the Ice, as a dropped fly ball led to the Diamonds scoring the winning runs in its last at-bat to defeat the Ice 8-6 in a tightly contested Bainbridge Island Little League Majors softball championship Wednesday night at Strawberry Field.
It’s the third title for the Diamonds in the last four years.
Diamonds manager Eric Lipka said he was expecting the game would be close and intense.
“They always play us tight,” he said of the Ice. “They always play us tough. They make us scratch and claw for everything we can get. Fortunately they always bring out the best in us.”
Diamond batter Hannah Lipka scored the first run of the game when she came around to score on an error.
The Ice took the lead in the second as Natalya Niehaus singled and took second on an error, then eventually scored on a groundout by Maggie Murphy. Corey Wilson then drove in Deahna King with a single.
The Diamonds retook the lead in the third as Olivia Marler and Bailey Starbuck each reached on walks, then Marler scored on a bases loaded walk.
Starbuck scored on a groundout by Kate Mathews.
In the fourth the Diamonds increased its lead as Julie Feikes and Rosalie Pisano scored on a throwing error.
But the Ice defense made a nice play as the third baseman and the catcher caught Snare in a rundown to get out of the inning without any further damage.
They continued their hot run in their half of the frame as Kyra Easley reached on an error, then Caitlin Maguire and Niehaus got on board with a walk.
King followed with a double into the gap to score two runs.
Feikes retired the next two batters on a popout and a groundout, but Niehaus scored to tie the game.
Corey Wilson then drove in King with a bloop single to put the Ice back on top, but the Diamonds wouldn’t go away quietly.
In the sixth inning, Erin Norton singled, then Hannah Lipka doubled to centerfield to put runners on second and third.
Maguire retired the next two batters on popouts (with first baseman Wilson making a tough over the shoulder catch) but Feikes’ fly ball was dropped by the right fielder, scoring Norton and Hannah Lipka.
Pisano followed with a single, then Alyssa Estes hit a popup that was dropped as Maguire and the third baseman collided, allowing Feikes to score.
Estes did the rest, getting a groundout on a comebacker to her and striking out two batters in the sixth to seal the deal.
The intermediate softball championship between the Blaze and the Commotion was highly contested as well.
The Commotion raced out to a 6-3 lead while their pitcher Natalie Allen struck out six.
In the top of the third the Commotion put another five spot on the board when Isabelle Taylor crushed a ball to make the score 11-3.
The Commotion increased their lead to 15-7 and got some defensive help when Elizabeth Fawley threw a bullet from left field to first to get a runner who had left on a pop fly and couldn’t get back before the reliable Taylor applied the tag.
Blaze players Chrina Munn, Kate Merifield, and Julia Wiggins caused a scare by scoring three in the bottom of the fifth to cut the lead down to five.
Natalie Tang, Natalie Allen, Alyssa James and Caroline Devlin scored to take what appeared to be a dominant lead at 19-10, but tension ran high in the sixth inning.
Starter Natalie Allen returned in the bottom of the sixth as the closer, but walked the first three to load the bases for the Blaze.
The fourth batter, Chrina Munn, hit a hard grounder to shortstop Carly Lant, which she threw to first baseman Caroline Devlin for the first out, but two runners scored on the play to make the score 19-12.
Allen refocused her efforts and struck out the next two batters to end the game.
On the baseball side, the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry took another turn Wednesday evening in the BILL AA baseball championship game.
The game’s beginning innings were marked by outstanding pitching from aces Jake Prodzinski for the Red Sox and Kory Cyr for the Yankees while outstanding defensive play from both teams helped each pitcher with their cause.
The Red Sox’ Andy Kruse made great catches from right field and second base while Yankees player Jackson Robertson made impressive stops from first base.
The great pitching continued when the Red Sox’ Aidan Sullivan and the Yankees’ Jackson Vogt took the mound in the fourth inning.
Early inning big hits were delivered by Sullivan, Prodzinski, and Nicholas Fleming for the Red Sox while Vogt, Robertson, Ben McDonald, and Jack Bleakmore led the Yankees offense.
With the Red Sox down to their final out and the Yankees holding on to a 5-3 lead, Morgan Marks and Jarrett Arakaki delivered timely hits to tie the game.
A clutch put-out by Carson McCarrel, the Red Sox second baseman, sent the game into extra innings.
The Red Sox exploded with six runs in the top of the seventh inning highlighted by a inside the park home run by Jason Snare.
The Yankees responded with a rally of their own in the bottom of the seventh with two quick runs.
However, their hopes ran out when Morgan Marks made a great catch in centerfield for the final out as the Red Sox prevailed with an 11-7 win, impressing all who watched the game and saw nine-year-old boys playing the game of baseball with skill, passion, and heart.
In the AAA championship game played by the Yankees and the Dodgers, Dodgers pitcher Cameron Makami and Yankees hurler Cole Smith dueled in the first two innings but the Yankees took a 9-6 lead.
There were some big hits in the game, as the Dodgers’ Max Thomas hit a triple and two doubles, one of which would have been a homerun but was limited to a ground-rule double as it dove under the fence.
Devon Reynolds of the Yankees was 4 for 4 with two triples while Makami was 3 for 4.
Dodger batters Parker Isenman and Nate Opalski both doubled while Johnny King and Cole Smith doubled as well.
Yankees pitcher JohnMichael Najarian pitched four innings, giving up only six hits and three runs to help the Yankees win the championship by a score of 23-9.
The Majors’ playoff game between the Red Sox and the Athletics saw both teams combine for five home runs.
Pierre LeDorze socked two roundtrippers for the A’s while Red Sox batters Isaac Glaznrock, Ben Kussie, and Jake Hawken were also part of the home run club.
The A’s took an early lead, but the Red Sox battled back in the third and eventually won the game 10-6.
The Majors championship was played last night between the Red Sox and the Yankees.
If the Yankees won, the two teams play again at noon at Rotary Field.
–Laurie Isenman, Ron Allen, Jen Prodzinski and Marty McCarrel contributed to this article.