Sweep of Northwest Little League sends local 11 and 12 year olds to state tournament in Kirkland this week
By JOHN McCALLUM
West Plains Little League 11-12 year old all-stars swept their competition from the Northwest Little League (Lakeside) to capture the District 13 softball title and a berth in this week's Washington state Little League softball state tournament in Kirkland. It's West Plains' third straight district title and state berth and it's fifth overall.
West Plains had little trouble against the team from Lakeside. The girls from Cheney, Airway Heights and Medical Lake scored eight runs in the second and eight more in the third to take a 20-0 lead en route to the 20-3, four-inning win in game one. In game two West Plains rallied from a 3-2 deficit with five runs in the fourth and sealed their trip to state with seven more in the sixth for a 14-4, five-inning win.
Laura Memea got the win in game one, giving up three runs on no hits, but walking 10 and striking out seven over four innings. Catcher Rachael Barsness was 3 for 4 at the plate, all singles, with Makayla Tamietti 2 for 2, both singles in the eighth, and Hannah Petek also 2 for 2.
Alyssa Fisk, Alex Steinmetz, Taylor Pavao, Taylor John, Memea, Glori Cheevers and Hailey Hostetter all had hits and everyone in the line up scored at least one run, with Cheevers, Hostetter and Memea crossing the plate three times each.
In game two West Plains got singles from Hostetter, Barsness and Fisk, along with a walk to Pavao and Cheevers and Memea each reaching on a fielders' choice to plate five runs, all coming with two outs, to regain a 7-3 lead. Barsness was 4 for 4 at the plate, with Cheevers going 2 for 3 while Hostetter, Fisk, Petek and Pavao each added hits.
Pavao got the win, giving up four runs on three hits with seven walks and eight strikeouts in five innings.
“We have been playing well-rounded ‘team' softball,” West Plains coach Byron Pavao said via email from Kirkland. “When the bats aren't working we cover by staying sharp on defense. When we need some offense to cover some defensive errors we somehow generate those needed hits. The girls have worked really hard this year and they have seen the rewards.”
The West Plains team began state play Saturday, July 7, blanking a District 6 (Lewis River) squad 10-0 to advance in the winners bracket. Memea got the win, throwing a four-inning no hitter while walking just two and striking out seven. Petek was 2 for 2 to lead West Plains' nine hit attack.
West Plains played Tuesday, July 10, against District 2. The Gig Harbor squad advanced with a 15-2 win on Saturday over District 10 (Kent/Auburn), and a 20-0 win Sunday over District 7 (South Highline National).
“We play a pretty tough team…that beat the last team they played 20-0, so we will need a strong showing on offense and defense to hang with them,” Pavao said.
John McCallum can be reached at email@example.com.