The Flagstaff Softball Little League Majors All-Stars had their state tournament run come to an end on Friday night in Cottonwood, falling in extra innings to Cactus Foothills.
Flagstaff took a 5-3 lead into the top of the eighth courtesy of a two-run hit, but Cactus Foothills loaded the bases and just edged by for a 6-5 victory. Cactus Foothills scored both its runs with one out to spare after Flagstaff forced a runner out at home plate for the second out.
A Cactus Foothills line drive went off the tip of a leaping Flagstaff infielder's glove and two runs scored for the tie on the hit, and the team walked off on a base hit that came with the batter facing two strikes in the count.
The Flagstaff squad really got the path to the second-place finish started when it took on Casa Grande Saturday and came up with an 11-2 win for the second game in a row. Flagstaff jumped out to an early lead in the first inning when Koda Lakin hit a solo inside-the-park home run.
The offense continued with Jadyn Josytewa, Kaitlyn Tso, Sam Rodriguez, Aryanna Dominguez and Keeley Callander all scoring in the opening frame for a 6-0 lead. Flagstaff kept the pressure on by scoring two more in the third, with Dominguez and Taylor James both crossing the plate. The fifth inning saw both Callander and James scoring for the second time in the game.
The final run came as Rodriguez got on base and Presely Bruner became the pinch runner. Casa Grande put two runs on the scoreboard in the third but that was all that they could get as Tso controlled the circle for a a complete game, striking out 12 batters in six innings.
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Lakin was 3 for 4 at the plate and Josytewa, Rodriguez, Callander and Dominguez all had a 2-for-4 day at the plate backed up by hits from Tso and James.
On Monday, Flagstaff took on a strong team in Arcadia. Both brought their top games but Tso brought her best as she threw another complete game, allowing no runs while striking out six for the win, 3-0. Both teams were battling strong, but in the third with two outs James came up big with a solo inside-the-park homer to put Flagstaff on the board. Josytewa scored in the fourth after a leadoff hit and Dominguez scored the final run for the Flagstaff in the fifth.
Wednesday’s game saw Flagstaff take its first defeat of the All-Star season in a 7-1 loss to Cactus Foothills.
The second inning started out the way Flagstaff wanted but with two down, Flagstaff missed an opportunity to record the third out on a foul ball and then issued two walks and misplayed two grounders. One big hit from Cactus Foothills gave Foothills a 6-0 lead early.
Thursday’s game was for the chance to advance to the championship game for the major girls and they came through with a big win over Casa Grande for the second time, winning 3-1. Kianna Butler started in the circle and delivered 2 1/3 innings of solid pitching, giving up one run while providing Tso a couple innings of rest.
Tso then took the circle and finished the game and held Casa Grande in check for the rest of the ballgame.