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Stilly Elite Dream Team rolls on toward state championship
VANCOUVER With a deep pitching staff and a murderers row lineup the Stilly Elite fastpitch 12-year-olds are marching through the state tournament.
Veronica Ladines was the latest to strut her stuff on the mound for Stilly, pitching a complete game against District 10 champion Bonney Lake Sumner to lead Stilly to a 6-2 victory.
Veronica had great command all game, said coach Jim Barrio. She overpowered their kids with her fastball.
Ladines managed six strikeouts in her six innings of work. The two runs conceded to Lake Sumner were both unearned and both came in the fifth inning, after the game appeared to be comfortably in hand for Stilly.
On the offensive side, the Dream Team got important contributions from Kristin Backstrom, Hannah Baird, Anna Whitehouse and Arianna Barrio. Barrio scored the games first run in the first inning after drawing a lead off walk and working her way around the basepaths.
In the fourth inning, Backstrom slapped a single to get the inning started for Stilly. Hannah Baird followed up with a single of her own. Baird wisely stole second base to eliminate a force out. Backstrom then scored on a passed ball charged to the Lake Sumner catcher as Baird raced down to third base. Arianna Barrio drew another walk and instead of stopping at first, continued running toward second base on the play. Barrio drew a throw from the Sumner catcher, surprised to see such a bold steal attempt. As Barrio reached second base safely ahead of the throw, Baird jetted home to score the teams third run. An RBI single from the bat of the next batter, Anna Whitehouse, gave Stilly a solid 4-0 edge heading toward the latter stages of the game.
In the fifth inning two more insurance runs crossed home plate for Stilly. Kristin Backstom was at it again, leading off with a walk. Hannah Baird then got plunked by a pitch to put two runners on base. Arianna Barrio singled to load the bases and Stilly was in business again. And again Anna Whitehouse delivered with an RBI single to put Stilly ahead 5-0. Lynsey Amundson then walked to force in Stillys sixth and final run.
Overall we opened well, said Barrio. Lynsey Amundson did a stellar job catching. She threw out three runners at second base. Allison Hammon and Alexis Blakey each made critical catches in the outfield. Both players caught deep fly balls to end innings for Lake Sumner. Our fielders made all the routine plays that we needed to make.
Despite the victory, Barrio was not completely satisfied with the performance.
We had the bases loaded in the first, second, fourth, fifth, and sixth inning. We could not get the knockout hit that we needed to really put them away.
The team will face Battle Ground, the District 6 champions, on Tuesday, July 17. If they win, they will play again Thursday, July 19.
Based on our bracket, I feel that we can go undefeated in this tournament, said Barrio. I keep my hopes up that we are going to continue winning. After the game, the vice-president of District 4 complimented our team and pitcher. He suggested we start booking our rooms at the Regional tournament.
Stilly Elite 1 0 0 3 2 0 6
Lake Sumner 0 0 0 0 2 0 2