KETCHIKAN (KDN) — Offense certainly wasn’t lacking in the opening day of the Little League Junior Division state softball tournament, as round-robin play swung into action on Wednesday at Dudley Field.
A total of 38 runs were scored in the opening game — a 22-15 final in favor of Nunaka Valley over Ketchikan.
Ketchikan’s game against Sitka Little League squad was still going on at press time.
Ketchikan played a doubleheader in the first day of the round-robin, with Nunaka Valley — the District 1 champion from Anchorage — and Sitka, to open the U-14 state tournament.
Ketchikan certainly had its opportunities in the opening game against Nunaka Valley. Despite falling 22-15, Ketchikan stranded the bases loaded in five of the seven innings.
Nunaka Valley jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the top of the first inning.
But Ketchikan’s Vienna Pahang and Merane Plummer hit back-to-back two-out singles, which were followed by back-to-back walks to Kaitlyn Romano and Mylee Gray, to put Ketchikan on the board. Ketchikan trailed 4-1 after one inning.
From there, however, Nunaka Valley continued to cross the dish, plating two in the second inning, four more in the fourth inning, and three in the fifth.
Nunaka Valley scored six more in the sixth inning, and Caitlin Williams plated three more in the seventh, with a bases-clearing triple to the left-center field gap. All total, that was 22 runs for Nunaka Valley.
Ketchikan’s Willow Vierra-Sonnenschein scored four runs, as she reached base in four of her five plate appearances.
Pahang, Corrin Johnson, Rylea Armstrong and Janessa Caguiat each scored twice.
Plummer, Romano and Shyla Abajian also crossed the dish in the game.
The Junior Division softball tournament round-robin will continue on Thursday, with a pair of games for Nunaka Valley.
Nunaka Valley’s doubleheader will start at 4 p.m., with a matchup against Sitka.
First pitch for Ketchikan’s game against Nunaka Valley is slated for 7 p.m.
Sitka is scheduled to play a doubleheader on Friday, finishing up the round-robin portion of the tournament’s schedule.
Sitka and Nunaka Valley will play at 4 p.m. Friday, and Ketchikan and Sitka will matchup at 7 p.m. Friday.
The tournament’s double elimination bracket will start on Saturday, with the top seeded team receiving a first-round bye.
All-Star team rosters
Ketchikan: Vienna Pahang, Azriah McGarrigan, Mereane Plummer, Rylea Armstrong, Mylee Gray, Ella Shull, Kari Klinger, Kaitlyn Romano, Shyla Abajian, Willow Vierra-Sonnenschein, Kellyn Briggs, Corrin Johnson, Janessa Caguiat.
Sitka: Jade Kubik, Adriana Denkinger, Kayaani Weathers, Kaiya Balovich, Kaelynn Balovich, Nai’a Nelson, Olivia Skan, Madison Campbell, Ally Mayville, Leia Daly, Emery Young, Chalice Brenton, Audrey Brevick
Nunaka Valley: Radeyah Fowler-Fisher, Alina Quinto, Isabella Jones, Penina Tali, Sela Rodriguez, Caitlin Williams, Olivia Chichenoff, Tasiaeafe Matautia, Aaliyah Villafuerte, Mami Sanford, Sophie Brenal Cuevas.
*All names courtesy of Ketchikan Little League.