Snow Canyon all-stars hit their way to regional softball championship, earn Junior World Series berth

Snow Canyon players and coaches pose for team photo with championship banner and trophy following the team's 12-2 win over Eastlake, Wash., in the Junior League western regional championship, Tucson, Ariz., July 19, 2018 | Photo courtesy of Snow Canyon Little League, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — The Snow Canyon Little League all-star softball team won the Junior League’s Western Regional championship Thursday night, defeating Eastlake 12-2 in Tucson, Arizona.

Emma Miller hits a single during Snow Canyon’s 12-2 win over Eastlake, Wash., in the Junior League western regional championship, Tucson, Ariz., July 19, 2018 | Photo courtesy of SJ Miller, St. George News

It was the second straight time the Utah state champions had defeated the Eastlake team from Sammamish, Washington, in the tournament. Snow Canyon had come from behind in the seventh inning Tuesday night to defeat Eastlake 4-2 and advance to the final. Junior League softball teams are made up of players aged 13-14.

Read more: Dramatic win puts Snow Canyon on verge of Junior League World Series

In Thursday’s regional final, no last-minute heroics were needed, as the Utah girls overcame a bit of slow start to build a lead that grew as the game went on. Snow Canyon amassed a total of 15 hits during the contest.

“We hadn’t hit as well as I’d hoped going into tonight’s game, but we are a good hitting team and I knew it was just a matter of time before we’d have a breakout game,” Snow Canyon head coach Jeremy Mooring said, adding, “I’m glad it came in the championship game.”

Snow Canyon teammates Kambrie Stuart, Tyler Mooring, and Ginny Deming celebrate after a double, as head coach Jeremy Mooring looks on, during Snow Canyon’s 12-2 win over Eastlake, Wash., in the Junior League western regional championship, Tucson, Ariz., July 19, 2018 | Photo courtesy of SJ Miller, St. George News

Although Snow Canyon had the higher seed going into Thursday’s championship game, a coin toss meant they were the visiting team. The Utah girls took advantage of the opportunity of batting first by loading up the bases, thanks to hits by Jenna Thorkelson, Tyler Mooring and Kambrie Stuart.  The result was an early 1-0 lead.

Snow Canyon loaded up the bases again in the second inning but was unable to score as three more runners were left stranded.

Eastlake managed to tie the game 1-1 by scoring a run due to a fielding error in the bottom of the second. Starting pitcher Tyler Mooring helped limit the damage with a nicely executed double play, catching a hard liner and throwing to first base for the second out.

Snow Canyon pulled away for good in the top of the third inning, thanks to a five-run rally. Stuart started things off with a liner to center field, after which Ginny Deming hit the ball to the warning track in deep center and ended up at third base, scoring Stuart. Emma Miller then grounded to the hole and scored Deming. After additional hits by Addison Lacayo and McKenna Staheli, the score was 6-1 in favor of Utah.

Addison Lacayo singles to right field during Snow Canyon’s 12-2 win over Eastlake, Wash., in the Junior League western regional championship, Tucson, Ariz., July 19, 2018 | Photo courtesy of SJ Miller, St. George News

In the bottom of the third, Washington loaded up the bases with three straight singles, prompting a pitching change for Snow Canyon. Thorkelson came in to relieve Mooring, and the Utah all-stars were able to limit Eastlake to just one run in the third.

Utah’s hit parade continued in the fourth. After a single by Miller, Jael Wilde executed a bunt single that put runners at first and third. Anyssa Montano then singled to left, scoring Miller and Wilde. Breckyn Atkinson then doubled to center, scoring Montano. Snow Canyon led 9-2 after four innings.

“Our substitutions were huge for us tonight,” said coach Mooring, mentioning in particular the offensive hitting contributions of Miller, Atkinson, Montano and Lacayo.

Behind Thorkelson’s strong relief pitching, Utah was able to hold Washington scoreless over the final three innings, but it was starter Tyler Mooring who picked up the win. In the later innings, Snow Canyon managed to tack on three additional insurance runs, thanks to key hits from Erin Gunn and Thorkelson.

As the West Region champs, Snow Canyon has earned a berth in the Junior League World Series in Kirkland, Washington. They’re scheduled to play in the tournament’s first game against Latin America’s champion at 9 a.m. on July 29. After four days of pool play, the 10 teams will be seeded into the World Series’ double elimination bracket, which will continue until the tournament concludes Aug. 4.

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Email: jrichards@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

 

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1 Comment

  • tenx July 25, 2018 at 8:46 pm

    Thanks St. George News for this coverage. Always good to get the local news of some of our young neighbors. I wish them a safe trip to Washington and hope they can bring home a world series win.

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