The Battle Ground Little League Junior softball team made an appearance at the state tournament last weekend.
The team lost against Kirkland on July 10 with a score of 2-20, and once more on July 11 against North Kitsap, 5-17. The losses eliminated the team from the championships, but Battle Ground still holds the district title.
“We faced a couple of tough teams from the Seattle area,” team manager Stephanie Anderson wrote in an email.
Prior to the state tournament, the Battle Ground and Kalama teams fought for the district championship title on June 27. Battle Ground won two games in a row to take home the championship for the first time in league history.
Anderson kept checking the weather before the district games and made sure to send out messages to team members in preparation for the heatwave. The dugout was equipped with misters, coolers of water and cool neck wraps.
“The girls didn’t complain at all. They just wanted to get out there and play, even though it felt like a sauna,” Anderson said.
As the team made the final out in the second game in the district tournament, one parent looked at the temperature that read 108 degrees, she said.
“It was unlike anything any of us had experienced,” she said. “The parents were fantastic.”
During the regular season, eight of the team members averaged .600 or higher for batting. Another player, Isabella Kruse, pitched 12 strikeouts during a single game, Anderson said.
Battle Ground catcher Destiny Lish hit a home run and three triples during the district tournament across the two games.
In division six, there were four teams this year including Battle Ground, Salmon Creek, Kalama and Highlands. Battle Ground also played against district four, which included teams from Camas, Evergreen and Bridge of the Gods.
The team, comprising 13 and 14-year-olds, started their season in March and played 14 games, Anderson said. Battle Ground went undefeated for division six, but lost to Camas from division four.
This is Anderson’s first season as team manager, although she helped coach many of the same players for several years.
“For a lot of the girls, this is probably their last year of little league,” Anderson said. “They’re aging out and heading into high school.”
Eight teams from around the state played in a double-elimination tournament at the Columbia Little League (David Douglas Park) on July 10-11. The championships will be held on July 15.
Little League administration decided the 13 and 14-year-old division won’t compete in a regional tournament or a world series because of COVID-19 restrictions. Although the 11 and 12-year-old softball division, usually shown on ESPN, plans to play both tournaments.
“The camaraderie between the girls, and how they cheer each other on, stands out to me this season,” Anderson said.
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