The West Flagstaff Little League 9- to 11-year-old All-Stars kept their bats hot Saturday for a win over Show Low and a trip to the Division One title round for a rematch against rival Continental Little League.
Jake Hanley and Will Carpenter were solid on both sides of the plate, as the two combined to pitch three innings in the 16-1 run-rule victory in the losers bracket. Together they struck out eight total batters and drove in four total runs at two apiece a day after the team cruised by Round Valley, 15-1.
Luke Holt, Fitz Guinan and Chase Brown each recorded two RBIs as well for WFLL, which was knocked into the losers bracket by CLL on Monday and will have to defeat their crosstown rivals twice for the championship.
Hanley was 2 for 2 and had a double, while Guinan went 3 for 3 with a double, Brown finished 3 for 3 and Willie Akens ended his night 3 for 3 with an RBI. DJ Faust scored a run and Jace Adams added an RBI in the rout.
WFLL and CLL will meet up Monday in Show Low at 6 p.m. If WFLL wins Monday, Tuesday's sudden-death ballgame for the title is also set for 6 p.m. in Show Low.
The Flagstaff Softball Little League All-Star team in the junior age group is on track to put themselves in position to win a third consecutive state championship in Avondale.
Flagstaff started its run for another state crown by dominating every side of the game in a solid team performance that ended with a 14-0 win in five innings over Blythe.
Gianna Baca got the shutout win with her defense making zero errors. Hits came from up and down the lineup.
The second game saw the two undefeated teams in bracket B going head to head in a rematch of last years majors state championship game. Flagstaff played San Xavier Saturday in a game of two opponents very familiar with each other.
Baca kept San Xavier off-balance and Flagstaff went up 2-0 in the first inning. The second inning, San Xavier got a runner on second but Flagstaff’s defense kept her from scoring.
In the third inning, San Xavier came out swinging, putting up three runs and taking the lead. Flagstaff came right back and answered with three runs of their own to regain the lead, 6-3. Flagstaff tacked on three more runs in the fifth and never looked back. Flagstaff went up 10-3 in the sixth for more comfort. San Xavier put two up in the seventh but that’s all they could muster in a comeback attempt.
Standouts at the plate for Flagstaff were Bella Giurlanda with three RBIs and Marissa Rodriguez, who came off the bench to put two key RBIs in the third to regain the lead. Rodriguez ended with three RBIs in two at bats. Maddie McDermed went 2 for 3 on the day.
Flagstaff will play Monday.
The Flagstaff Softball Little League All-Stars started their state run of the majors age group with an 11-2 win over Bisbee Friday in Cottonwood.
Flagstaff started hot, scoring three runs in the first inning, with Taylor James, Kaitlyn Tso and Angelica Evans all coming home on hits from Tso and Sam Rodriguez. Flagstaff tacked on one more run in the second inning, with Keeley Callender scoring on a sacrifice RBI from Jadyn Josytewa.
Flagstaff put another run on the board in the third thanks to Angelica Evans scoring for a second time in the game on a passed ball. Bisbee answered with two runs of their own in the bottom half of the frame.
Flagstaff had a statement response as it broke through in the final inning by sending 10 batters to the plate for at-bats. The scoring was started by a walk from GG Bruner and was followed by Koda Lakin, Josytewa, Tso, Evans and Rodriguez all scoring to put the game away. The pitching circle was owned by Kianna Butler, who started and threw three strong innings, and Tso, who closed. The Flagstaff pitching combination totaled 12 strikeouts.
Flagstaff's results from Saturday night's game were available by press time.
The CLL All-Stars season came to a close after going 0-2 to start the area tournament, losing to West Flagstaff Little League and Payson.
Jackson Clouse scored two runs and drew four walks in the opener against WFLL, and he went 2 for 3 with a double against Payson, the 18-4 winner of Wednesday's game. Thor Kirkham had a tripled in the first game while going 2 for 4 and scored a run.
Wes Shafor pitched relief for CLL in the first game and recorded four strikeouts, and in the second game, his teammate Micah Worley had a 2-for-day day and two runs scored.