The 8u “Coach Pitch” Softball All-Stars from Jackson Parish lost in the finals to come in second at the Little League State Tournament held July 9th-12th in Broussard, LA. The defeat was the second to the tournament champions after the locals won three straight elimination games by one sided scores to earn a berth in the title game.
To sum it up, the “little engine that could” simply ran out of gas. It was their sixth game in four days, including three in a 28 hour period and two days of playing two games each day. That is a tall task for athletes of any age, but especially for a group of eight year old young girls who for many, were experiencing the adrenalin rush of playing in a state tournament environment for the first time.
While their second loss to Lake Charles “Red” in the finals was disappointing, the “dimunitve dozen” can hold their heads high when remembering the 7-3 overall record over the three weeks of All Star play. It began with a District 5 championship winning effort in Sterlington where they won three of four games against squads from the largest two cities in north Louisiana.
This was followed up by splitting their first two games at state and then rolling through the elimination bracket to give them a shot at the state title. Quite a remarkable feat, but especially impressive, considering that the Jackson Parish squad hailed from the smallest population market among all the teams that had qualified.
Jackson Parish 12 Shreveport 6: Seven straight hits with two outs led to five runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to break open a tie game and lift the locals to victory over the team they beat for the District 5 championship. Shreveport had just scored four run in the top of the frame to even the score at six and it looked like momentum had shifted to their side after the first two JP batters got out. Hope quickly rose when Ryan Kate Wyatt stroked a single and Raleigh Guilliams added a double. Kate Keiffer brought the local fans to their feet with a single that scored both runners. After Ella Simonelli’s base hit, Hannah Peoples broke it open with a triple to center to score two more and then scored the fifth run of the inning on Amelia Stagg’s single.
Jackson Parish rapped out 21 hits over five innings led by Keiffer, Simonelli and Staggs who all got three hits in three at bats. Raliegh Guilliams, Charleigh Newton and Hannah Aldy added a pair of hits each. The game also featured sparkling defense by both teams with neither making an error and Jackson Parish completing a double play.
2B – Hannah Aldy, Raleigh Guilliams
3B – Hannah Peoples
HR – Kate Keiffer
RBI – Keiffer 4, Peoples 2, Simonelli 2, Guilliams, Newton, Staggs, Kinleigh “Leroy” Leach
Jackson Parish 16 Lake Charles “Blue”3: Eight runs in the top of the fourth inning double the score that Jackson Parish had tallied over the first three innings to earn the right to play for the title. All twelve batters got a hit led by Hannah Aldy who stroked two doubles, scored three runs and drove in five. Sky Watkins got three hits as did Amelia Staggs who after two games was a perfect 6/6 from the plate. Kinleigh “Leroy” Leach roped a pair of two baggers to drive in three runs and Kate Keiffer slapped her second home run in a many games. Ella Simonelli, Hannah Peoples, Ryan Kate Wyatt, Molly Henderson and Raleigh Guilliams all got two hits as Jackson Parish exploded for a team tourney best 25 hits.
|Lake Charles “Blue”||1||2||0||0||3||10||0|
2B – Aldy 2, Leach 2, Guilliams, Staggs
3B – Henderson, Watkins
HR – Keiffer
RBI – Aldy 5, Faith Burns 3, Leach 3, Keiffer 3, Guilliams, Henderson
Lake Charles “Red”18 Jackson Parish 0: It was kind of like being in quicksand. The harder they tried to get out of the 9-0 hole they were in after two innings of play, the deeper they sank. The result was their second lopsided loss to the state champs. It was a stark reversal of offensive fortunes as the locals managed to get only five singles and failed to score for the first time in All-Star play.
|Lake Charles “Red”||2||7||0||9||18||23||0|
Individual Stats from State Tourney
(minus stats from first contest against Lake Charles “Red”)
|Kinleigh “Leroy” Leach||.654||17/26||4||1||3||10||18|
|Ryan Kate Wyatt||.438||7/16||1||0||0||2||4|