The Juneau Major Softball All-Stars couldn’t recover from a third-inning 8-0 deficit and fell 9-5 to Oregon’s Pendleton Little League in the West Region Softball Tournament on Wednesday afternoon.
The team played outstanding, said Juneau coach Nicole Adair, especially considering the air temperature was north of 100 degrees at the start of the game. The team finishes the San Bernardino, California, tournament with two wins and two losses.
“This was probably one of the better games that we’ve played while we’ve been down here,” Juneau manager Nicole Adair said by cellphone. “They’ve struggled a little bit with getting their bats to come alive and we talked a lot about hitting and we worked a lot on hitting and their bats seemed to come alive in this game.”
“They’ve had a high heat advisory this week and so trying to get it all to come together and then having it be as hot as it is — I’m really impressed with how well they’ve played considering these circumstances.”
Madaline Schumacher pitched a complete game for Oregon, allowing five runs on five hits. Jack Lovejoy pitched the two innings and Kiah Yadao pitched three for Alaska. The duo struck out four and only allowed three walks.
Tristan Oliva went 2-for-4 with a single and double to lead Juneau. She came up with a big two-run double in the fourth inning that scored Ruby Davis and Gracie Stickler. The hit made it 8-3 and animated the Juneau team, who cut the deficit to 8-4 in the next inning.
Oregon took a 5-0 lead in the second inning thanks to a three-run double by Bailey Moore and RBIs by Melanie Boatman and Avery Krigbaum. Oregon then pushed across three runs in the third inning and one in the fifth.
The Pendleton team advances to the semifinals on Thursday against Washington.
After losing on Saturday 15-1 in the opening round to Kirkland, Washington, Juneau went on to defeat Boise, Idaho, 17-2, and Billings, Montana, 2-1, over the next three days.
“I’m incredibly proud of them for how far they’ve come, how hard they’ve worked and how many challenges they’ve overcome,” Adair said.
• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Empire Sports on Twitter at @akempiresports.