Written by Andrew Kelly, senior in broadcast news at Washington State University
District 8 Juniors Softball all-star team from the Northshore, North Bothell and Woodinville little leagues won the state tournament by defeating District 6 from La Center Little League by a score of 7-5 in nine innings. The game was close throughout. The teams were tied at two until Northshore scored three times in the top of the seventh inning to take a 5-2 lead. In the bottom of the seventh La Center rallied for three runs tying the game at five and forcing extra innings. In the top of the eighth inning the Northshore hitters were retired in order. In the bottom of the eighth Northshore relief pitcher Ema Bittle got two quick outs before loading the bases. With the bases full and facing a full count, Bittle induced a pop up to the third baseman, Makela Cummings to end the inning. In the ninth, the Northshore bats came alive and pushed across two more runs. Again Northshore had a lead, only three outs away from a championship.
This time they did not let the opportunity pass. Bittle breezed through the bottom half of the La Center batting order, striking out a batter, only allowing a walk and an infield single.
Janell Martin started the game for Northshore and threw seven innings while allowing five runs, three earned.
The win sends the Northshore girls to the Little League West Region Tournament, August 3-10 in Marana, Ariz. Their progress can be followed on the Little League West Region website.
Caleb Hamilton threw a five-inning shutout over Liberty in the opening game of the tourney, striking out eight. Photo by Don Mann.
Things did not go as expected for Woodinville’s "AA" American Legion team.
The 17-and-under summer squad, 27-6 coming into the district tournament with an explosive offense filled with young, aggressive hitters and base stealers, lost two games in a row on a wacky, weird Wednesday at Bannerwood Park in Bellevue to put the bats and balls away for the season.
Woodinville scorched the Liberty Cannons in the Tuesday opener 10-zip in five innings behind a strong pitching performance by Caleb Hamilton and 13 hits — line drive after line drive.
But Wednesday was a different day. Facing Lakeside Gray, which had beaten Woodinville three of four during the season, the Falcons fell 4-3 in eight innings.
Falcon starter Jake Segesser went 5.2 innings strong, and was relieved by Max Carter who pitched through the seventh to forge a 3-3 tie.
Woodinville, visitors on the scoreboard as the No. 2 seed versus the No. 1, would not score in the top half of the eighth. In the bottom half, two out and none aboard with the No. 9 hitter at the plate, Lakeside produced a single, a base on balls and another single for the gamer.
In the double-elimination tourney the Falcons turned right around to face Liberty again — whom they had beaten in five straight contests.
The Falcons put three runs on the board in their first at-bat, but the Cannons responded with three of their own to tie it up.
Carter relieved makeshift starter Matthew Spencer — normally the second baseman — after 2.2 innings and things did not go well from there:
Liberty scored four runs in the fifth to make it 7-3, Carter was relieved in the sixth and three more runs were tacked on.
Woodinville’s offense threatened but could not overcome the extended lead.
Tommy Wick scores on a base hit by Matthew Spencer. Photo by Don Mann.
Coach Alan Dillman said the kids were obviously disappointed.
"They were bummed," he said. "You beat a team five times in a row and then you get beat in the game you need the most. For the kids and coaches it was a tough deal, but baseball is a humbling game."
Despite the loss, Dillman spoke about a nice group of young talented kids and said it was a positive summer experience.
"We didn’t make it to state but it was a really good year and a whole lotta kids got better."
Woodinville catcher Harrison Van Til rushes to the backstop after a wild pitch. The runner would score, but the Falcons would win 13-7.Photo by Don Mann
Matt Laitala and Tommy Wick each went 4-for-4 with 3 runs scored and 3 RBI as the Woodinville AA Legion team came from behind to smack down the Kirkland Merchants 13-7 in the regular season finale at WHS late last Tuesday.
The district tournament begins Monday at Bannerwood Park in Bellevue.
Riley Merlino started on the bump for the Falcons and things did not go well: five runs on two hits, three walks and a hit batter, as the Merchants took a 5-0 lead with one out when Jake Segesser was summoned to put out the fire, which he did.
Woodinville responded offensively, like they do, in the bottom frame: a two-out triple by Caleb Hamilton was followed by a single by Laitala, a double by Wick, a walk to Max Carter and a single by Eric Anthony to make it 5-3 in a hurry and the game was on.
The Falcons tacked on three runs in the second inning to go up 6-5, when the defensive play of the night turned the tide in the fourth.
After a bloop single and a sacrifice bunt the Merchants had the tying run on second base with one out. A seeing-eye single beyond the reach of second-baseman Matthew Spencer was picked up by Carter in right and his throw home was a perfect one-hopper to catcher Harrison Van Til, beating the runner by five feet to cut Kirkland’s heart out.
Woodinville then put four on the board to make it a 10-5 game.
Segesser went 4.1 innings in relief to notch the win nailed down by Carter and Hamilton in relief of the relievers.
Woodinville finished its regular season with a 27-6 record, notable for its offensive prowess, averaging 8 runs a game.
Laitala’s four hits bumped his batting average to a legitimate .500 (45-for 90), while Carter (44 RBI) and Nate Wilham (40 runs scored) are hitting .375.
Wick’s four hits improved his tally to .361.
Pitching remains the question versus good-hitting ball clubs, in terms of how far this club can go in the district tournament, and pitching is not this summer’s team strong suit.
Pitcher Chloe Lingen and the infielders confer with catcher Mikaelie Sullivan
The Woodinville 9-10 Fastpitch All Stars swept the District 8 Tournament and headed to the state tournament last weekend in Poulsbo.
The girls fought hard to stay in the hunt for the title of state champions. They went undefeated in the first two games.
In Game 3, Woodinville fell to the Snoqualmie Valley Little League, but the team was determined as they headed back to Poulsbo to play against Gig Harbor Little League, the team they defeated in Game 1.
The City of Kirkland Parks and Community Services Department will open registration on July 25 for the popular fall pee wee soccer league that begins on September 10. The league is for ages three through six. The program consists of two divisions: three and four years (Course #33855) and five and six years of age (Course #33886). The kids will play in six weekly scheduled games that are one-hour in duration with the first 20 minutes devoted to practice. Register early to secure your spot as space is limited and this is a very popular program. Residents of Kirkland can sign their kids up for just $60; non-residents can join for $72. To register, call (425) 587-3336 or visit www.kirklandparks.net on or after July 25.
The league is committed to promoting good sportsmanship and giving participants the opportunity to meet new friends. Each team will be assigned a volunteer coach for the season that will introduce them to the fundamentals of soccer in a relaxed, fun and family-friendly environment. Little athletes will receive a league t-shirt and a participant medal at the end of the season.
Volunteer coaches are needed for both divisions! If you are interested, please contact us directly at (425) 587-3331.
Joe Sheeran (Ellensburg), Anita Behrbaum( Auburn) and Team Young BoyZ (Duvall) were the big winners in the 6th annual Snoqualmie Valley Cup competition.
Individual winners received $250, a really cool old school silver chalice trophy, free entry into all four races for 2012 and the respect of an appreciative crowd following this year’s Carnation Run for the Pies 5K. Team Young BoyZ of Duvall will have their names immortalized on a large traveling cup trophy. Mark your calendars now and come challenge them next spring!
Snoqualmie Valley Cup 2011 Champions:
1. Joe Sheeran, Ellensburg
2. Logan Orndorf, Duvall
3. William Waters, Bothell
1. Anita Behrbaum, Auburn
2. Wendy Weber, Orting
3.Vinette Tichi, Woodinville
1. Young BoyZ – Team Captain Dante Bournique
2. Eastside Runners – Team Captain Lance Logan
3. Mt. Si Running Club – Team Captain Chris Nelson
The series included:
• Snoqualmie Cinco de Mayo Half Marathon and 8K (May 7) www.runsnoqualmie.com
• Duvall Days Fun Runs 5K & 10K (June 5) www.onlineraceresults.com
• Fall City Days Fun Run 5K & 10K (June 18) www.runsnoqualmie.com
• Carnation Run for the Pies 5K (July 4) www.buduracing.com/raceresults.php