The Alaska Little League Junior Softball State Tournament came down to one game.
Gastineau Channel Little League, the District 2 champions, and Nunaka City Little League, the District 1 champions, were tied 2-2 in the best-of-five-game series, and it all came down to Friday night’s game at Nunaka Valley Park in Anchorage.
Juneau was ready for the moment, leading for parts of five innings before ultimately losing 12-10.
Nunaka took the lead for good in the fifth on Olyvia Mamae’s two-out triple, one of five hits in the frame that helped put the Anchorage club ahead 12-8. Juneau mustered three hits over the last two innings, but could get no closer than 12-10.
Anna Dale and Saelyr Hunt led Juneau with three hits apiece while combining for five runs. Mariah Schauwecker scored twice and Kiah Yadao, Tristan Oliva and Peyton Carson each scored once.
Schauwecker got the start in the circle for Juneau, allowing three runs on six hits in just under three innings. Nunaka pitcher Malamaisaua Matautia went all seven innings, allowing nine earned runs on 13 hits while striking out five.
Juneau was outscored 9-4 over the final four innings after building a 6-3 advantage. Unlike the previous two games in which Juneau built double-digit leads, GCLL never led by more than six runs in Friday’s contest.
Nunaka City advances to the Junior Softball West Regional Tournament in San Bernardino, California, from July 20-26. The Junior Softball World Series is in Portland, Oregon, from Aug. 7-14.
• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Empire Sports on Twitter at @akempiresports.