|Drew Meyer pitches during Verde Valley’s win against Williams. Drew came in as the closer and recorded the save for the all-stars. VVN/Travis Guy|
|Lauren Anderson connects on during the Verde Valley softball majors all-star team’s second game against Bagdad. After standing strong the first few innings, Verde Valley lost the championship game. VVN/Travis Guy|
As the District 10 Little League enters its' final days of the all-star tournament, two brackets have finished and one is entering its final day to crown a champion.
Both softball brackets ended, with the Bagdad softball majors team trouncing the Verde Valley team in back-to-back games, and the Verde Valley 9-10 team beating the Prescott Valley All-Star team.
On June 25, the Verde Valley All-Stars went into its' first game against Bagdad riding a come from behind battle against Prescott Valley. If Verde Valley won the first game, they would have won the tournament, if they lost, they would play one more game after that. Unfortunately for the girls, they were not able to muster much against Bagdad in the first game, losing 30-1 in four innings.
While most teams would not be able to recover from a loss like that, and for the first part of the game, Verde Valley locked down the defense for the first few innings. In the bottom of the fourth, Verde Valley was down 9-1, but an overthrown pitch allowed 2-runs to come in. After Bagdad ended the fourth, they began to take advantage of Verde Valley mistakes and their ability to not rally. Bagdad scored 12-runs in the fifth, increasing its lead to 21-3. Verde Valley managed three more runs, but Bagdad closed the game and ended it in five, 21-6.
In the one remaining active bracket, the 9-10 baseball teams, Verde Valley squared off against Williams, with the winner advancing to the next round and facing Chino Valley.
It took Verde Valley three innings, but the all-stars got the bats swinging, scoring 3-runs and bringing Verde Valley to within one, 5-4. In the fourth, Zach Figy stole home to tie the score, and then something odd happened. While Verde Valley was up to bat with bases loaded, the batter went to bunt. The infield ran in, and the first baseman collided with the runner on first.
After the collision, then umpire awarded Verde Valley with a base, bringing in one run, and Williams' coach did not agree. After an argument with the umpire, the coach was tossed form the game. This fired up Williams, who went up to bat fired up, down after Verde Valley's 5-run inning. Despite wanting to come out and make a statement, Verde Valley held Williams.
Williams found its offense in the next inning, placing hits between the shortstop and third baseman, and brought in a few more runs. By the time Verde Valley recorded the third out, Williams had taken the lead.
Verde Valley opened the sixth with back-to-back hits, prompting Williams to switch pitchers. Unfortunately, this did not work out as they had hoped, with the new pitcher loading the bases and then walking a run in to tie the score. Verde Valley began exploiting Williams' shaky pitching, Verde Valley brought in 7-runs before Williams recorded its' first out. The all-stars notched three more before Williams ended their at bat. When Williams stepped up to the plate, they were shut down by Verde Valley and ultimately lost the game 20-11.
As of this writing, the boys are scheduled to play one more game, against Chino Valley. If they won, they will be playing Prescott in the championships at 5:30 p.m. on June 28.