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Stilly Valley softball dominates tournament of champions
SNOHOMISH — Team Nitro made sure that Stilly Valley Little League remained the home of the major softball tournament of champions championship trophy this year.
Nitro, the winner of the Stilly Valley majors league this spring, vanquished the Lake Stevens champions 4-0, the Sky Valley champions 13-0 and the Everett champions 11-0 to earn a short route to the championship game.
After a couple of days off from competition while the consolation bracket sorted itself out, the Stilly Valley girls played the Everett Rage a second time, defeating them 8-2 for the championship trophy May 28.
Led by a battery of pitcher Jessica Ludwig and catcher Macall McGhee, veterans of last year’s regional tournament All-Star team, Stilly Valley bounced back from a 2-0 deficit in the top of the first inning to lead by three runs going into the second inning.
Second baseman Lindsay Kerney led off with a walk and a stolen base and shortstop Hannah Weaver got on base on a hit, her first of two. Ludwig narrowed the Everett lead with an RBI single and McGhee walked in the four-hole. With bases loaded, first baseman Sam Macintosh hit a two-run single to right field, eventually going on to score on an error.
Weaver would go on to score twice more, Macintosh batting her in again in the fourth inning on a double.
All in all, six different players had at least one hit in the game and Ludwig struck out 10 in six innings.
“We had solid pitching all the way through, great defense,” said manager Traci Kerney, adding that Macintosh also pitched for the team during the tournament. “We did the basics well.”
While most of Stilly Valley’s stolen bases were uncontested by the Everett catcher, the championship team proved their defense was at another level, throwing an Everett runner out going for second in the third inning.
“Stilly Valley has dominated this tournament in recent years,” Kerney added. “This is at least the second year in a row.”
The tournament of champions is the end of the season for team Nitro, until All-Star baseball and softball get underway June 15. Other Stilly Valley and Marysville Little League teams may compete in various tournaments around the area.
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