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Stilly Valley cruises on
GRANITE FALLS The Stilly Valley All-Star team overcame the sweltering conditions to defeat an overwhelmed Granite Falls squad in the second round of the fastpitch all-star tournament.
The Stilly Valley girls shutout Granite Falls 12-0 in a shortened, four-inning game.
Granite Falls suffered pitching woes in the first inning, walking much of the Stilly Valley lineup and giving up five unearned runs. Up 1-0 with the bases loaded, catcher Kaylyn Myers got the hits going with a deep ball to center field that was nearly caught. Instead, it fell fair and three teammates scored. Syvannah Cram followed her with an RBI single to make it 5-0. Myers was 3-for-3 in the June 29 game.
Defensively, Kayla Mashburn threw a one-hitter in a complete game of four innings.
The game followed a closer contest with Mukilteo the day before, with the Arlington-area girls advancing from the game by a 10-6 score. Hayley Fields started on the mound in that game and the defense shut out Mukilteo for three innings while accumulating 7-0 lead heading into the bottom of the fourth. Bailey Hoag helped power the offense with a home run.
Team manager Brian Fields said one of the best things about coaching in the all-stars is he considers his team almost flawless. With the best players from Stilly Valley Little League's three teams, Fields has confidence putting his players anywhere on the field.
"We have about five pitchers eligible in this game, so we've got deep pitching," he said after the win over Granite Falls, with a match against Marysville looming July 1. "I have 13 players and no weakness in any position."
The girls follow a Stilly Valley squad from last season that enjoyed a great deal of success, including a regional tournament run with games against teams from Oregon and California. Following that act won't be easy and the girls have high expectations for themselves, Fields added. But Fields and his staff plan to keep their eyes on the short-term goal defeating their next opponent.
"As a coach, we take this one game at a time," he said. "We're trying to take the pressure off."