By ADAM LAPIERRE
News staff writer
July 12, 2006
Hood River’s Little League All Stars spent much of last week in Redmond, playing in the annual tournament to determine which teams are at the top of District 5.
In attendance at the five-day playoffs were teams from Columbia, Crook County, Deschutes, Hermiston, Jefferson County, Redmond, Sisters, La Pine, The Dalles, Willow Creek and Hood River. All five Hood River teams played their best against the best players other communities had to offer.
And, for the 9-10 girls’ team, the competition was good but not good enough.
The team, managed by Jennifer Bailey and coached by Clinton Curtis, went undefeated in four games to take the tournament win and advance to the All-Star State Championships this weekend in Beaverton.
Hood River’s other four teams faced stiffer competition. The 11-12 girls finished with two wins and two losses for a second place finish overall. Also playing to a 2-2 record was the 11-12 boys team, which finished fifth in their division. The 9-10 gold boys’ team went 0-3 and the 9-10 blue boys were 0-2, with their third game called due to bad weather.
The new championship team started the tournament with a sound 18-5 victory over Redmond. From the mound, Natalia Ames, Hallie Curtis and Courney Erikson chipped in for the win, while at bat Ames went two for three and Annie Veatch and Hannah Williams hit well.
The following day the girls faced Crook County. The 11-8 win came with the help of Ames who logged six strikeouts on the mound and went three for three at bat. Veatch, Curtis and Williams each had two hits.
In the semi-finals the girls faced Jefferson County. Erikson and Curtis pitched for the girls, who finished with a 12-4 victory to advance to the tournament finals. Veatch had two hits and her second triple, Williams hit two for three and Curtis and Andrea Iobst picked up hits in the game.
Only the top team in the division advances to state, so the girls played in the finals for two reasons: to win the tournament and to continue their season for another week. The game was a close one. After working to a 1-1 tie in the first two innings, Hood River rallied to score five runs in the third. Hermiston did not give up, however, and they had a rally of their own in the sixth inning to bring the score to within two. Ames picked up her 10th strikeout in the final inning to end the game with the runners on second and third base and the winning run at bat.
The girls have this week to practice for state, which starts Sunday at the Alpenrose Dairy Field in Beaverton. Their game schedule is:
5 p.m. July 16
12:30 p.m. July 17
2:30 p.m. July 18
July 19 and 20 to be determined by results of pool play.