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Finishing with a smile

Tualatin City Little League ends World Series play with setback in seventh-place game


by: DAN BROOD - CAUGHT STEALING -- Tualatin City shortstop Camille Hall (left) reaches for the ball before tagging out Philippines' Jaimalyn Arnbong in last week's seventh-place game at the Little League Softball World Series. The Tualatin City team went 2-3 at the series. PORTLAND — They tried.

Wow, did they every try.

From the first pitch, until the final out, the players on the Tualatin City Little League Majors (ages 11-12) all-star softball team seemed to give it everything they had.

But, try as it might, the Tualatin City squad just couldn’t get its offense rolling.

However, that didn’t seem to matter, as the girls, and coaches, for TC finished Little League Softball World Series play with smiles on their faces.

The Tualatin City team, which also included players from Newberg Little League and represented Oregon District 4, completed World Series competition with a 6-0 loss to Iloilo Little League, from Iloilo Province, Philippines, in the seventh place game played Aug. 14 at Alpenrose Stadium.

“This was a great experience,” Tualatin City pitcher Lily Marshall said after the game. “Finishing eighth in the world is really good.”

“Being able to play here was amazing,” TC outfielder CheyAnn Lang said. “Knowing that we made it this far was great.”

“We battled all the way,” Tualatin City outfielder Kendra Zuckerman said. “We felt like we were still in the game. We were in it to win it and we played our hardest.”

Tualatin City finished World Series play with a final record of 2-3. The team went 2-2 in pool play at the series, putting TC in a three-way tie, along with the Central representative from Elyria, Ohio, and Latin America representative ASOFEM Little League, from Maunabo, Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico, which lost to Tualatin City in pool play, earned the No. 2 spot from the pool, and a berth in the World Series semifinals, by virtue of having the best runs-to-innings-of-defense ratio.

“Most of the other teams had two losses,” Zuckerman said. “We showed we’re just as good as the other teams.”

“It was great,” Tualatin City manager Joey Hall said of the World Series experience. “The girls put in a lot of work and they really picked it up. We came in with the intention of not looking back and saying ‘we should of played harder.’ I think we accomplished that.”

In last week’s seventh-place game, things looked to not be going by: DAN BROOD - 'SMACK -- Tualatin City's Noelle Sawyer gets her bat on the ball during last week's game at the Little League Softball World Series. Tualatin City’s way — even before the contest started.

The flower design, on Tualatin City’s side of the field, behind home plate, wasn’t spray painted light blue — the Oregon District 4 designated color for the World Series. It was still adorned in purple — for the Arizona team that played in the semifinals the night before.

“They didn’t spray paint our flower,” Tualatin City catcher Ella Hillier said. “That was frustrating. We deserve that.”

In last week’s World Series seventh-place game, Tualatin City found itself facing an early deficit, as the Philippines squad scored an unearned run in the top of the first inning.

TC tried to answer back in the bottom of the frame. With one out in the inning, Hillier was awarded first base on catcher’s interference. She then stole second base and then advanced to third on a passed ball. But Philippines pitcher Royeve Palma recorded back-to-back strikeouts to get out of the jam.

The Philippines was able to tack on another run in the top of the second inning to push its lead to 2-0.

Tualatin City, again, tried to battle back in the bottom of the inning. Noelle Sawyer singled to center field to lead off the frame. But, again, Palma was able to work her way out of the threat.

Tualatin City, getting strong pitching from Elizabeth Hillier and strong defense, shut down a Philippines threat in the third inning.

First, TC shortstop Camille Hall snagged a hard-hit liner off the bat of Kathy Nueva. The Philippines then got an infield single by Jaimalyn Arnbong, but she was thrown out by Ella Hillier as she tried to steal second base. Philippines’ Rosemae Paraiso then had a bunt single, but she, too, was thrown out trying to steal by Hillier — with Hall making the tag on both stolen-base attempts.

The Philippines team was able to add to its lead in the fourth inning when Mae Langga drew a bases-loaded walk to make the score 3-0.

The Asia-Pacific representative added three more runs in the top of the fifth inning. The big hit of the frame was a two-run single by Palma. Rozel Sunico added an RBI single in the frame, helping the Philippines squad push the lead to 6-0.

by: DAN BROOD - HAPPY HUG -- Tualatin City's Elizabeth Hillier (right) smiles as she hugs teammate Lily Marshall following the seventh-place game at the Little League Softball World Series.Sawyer and Marshall both hit the ball hard for Tualatin City in the final innings, but TC wasn’t able to get a runner on base, leaving the Philippines squad with a 6-0 victory.

“We just needed to get one more hit,” Joey Hall said. “We just needed a base runner. We made some good plays on defense. (First baseman) Lindsay (Stadick) made a good diving play and Camille made some good plays.”

“We could have done better,” Lang said. “I felt like we could have put a little more into it.”

Sawyer had Tualatin City’s only hit of the game. Ella Hillier was the only other TC player to get on base.

Elizabeth Hillier pitched the first four-plus innings for Tualatin City. She gave up four runs (three earned) on five hits while striking out two. Marshall threw the final two frames. She allowed two runs (one earned) on five hits.

Palma pitched the entire game for the Philippines, striking out 11 batters and walking none. The Asia-Pacific team also was solid on defense.

“They made some excellent plays,” Marshall said.

Despite the loss in the its final game of the World Series, the Tualatin City squad left feeling good about its performance.

“I’ll always remember the way these kids played,” Joey Hall said. “We didn’t out-hit or out-pitch anyone, but we still outplayed some of the better teams in the world.”

Members of the Tualatin City Little League World Series softball team include Savannah Braun, Maddie DeVerna, Kendra Gooding, Camille Hall, Elizabeth Hillier, Ella Hillier, CheyAnn Lang, Lilly Marshall, Noelle Sawyer, Lindsay Stadick, Samantha Teran and Kendra Zuckerman.

Joey Hall was the team’s manager with coaches Cyndy Hillier and Kevin Potter.



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