Sports

Juniors get to play in, host state

At the beginning of the year North Whidbey Little League softball coach Dave Jackson knew if there was any year to make the state tournament this would be it.

With Oak Harbor set to host the Little League Junior State All-Star Softball tournament July 23-31 there was no better time for a local Little League softball team to advance to state.

“From the beginning of the season that was our goal,” Jackson said. “Saying you’re going to make the state tournament is pretty bold, but we knew this was the right group of girls to do it.”

The top NWLL 13-14 year-old girls achieved that goal Wednesday night, defeating South Whidbey Little League, 16-14 in an extra-inning thriller in Anacortes.

Down by one, 12-11, and with two outs in the seventh and final inning, North Whidbey refused to lay down.

Charlotte Armer got things started with a bloop single. Lauren Miller then followed with a clutch RBI triple to tie the game, 12-12.

North Whidbey held SWLL scoreless in the bottom of the seventh, sending the game to extra innings.

In the top of the eighth NWLL rallied for four runs behind key bloop hits, bunts and hustle plays.

“That was just typical play from the girls,” Jackson said.

Jackson also credited the solid pitching of Kim Mowbray and Kayla Ratliff in the victory.

The NWLL taeam finished the District 11 tournament with a perfect 4-0 record.

They will begin the double-elimination state tournament at 10 a.m., July 23 against West Seattle-Highline at Volunteer Park, next the John Vanderzicht Memorial Pool.

A win and they will play the following day, a loss and they will play Monday, July 25.

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