MARANA, Ariz. - Milton-Freewater's Junior All-Stars had a response to Sunday's 6-0 loss to Alaska in the West Regional softball tournament.
They wanted an hour-long practice this morning in preparation of tonight's loser-out game against Arizona.
"They impressed me," M-F manager Lance Bullock said. "This group of girls has matured so much over the last two years. Their chins are up, they're ready to practice and it's just another game today."
On Sunday, M-F ran into an Alaska team that went to the World Series two years ago as 12 year olds, Bullock said.
Alaska's defense keyed its victory.
"We hit the ball really well, they just made the plays," Bullock said. "They were a solid team on defense. Their defense was so solid, we were 1-2-3 (outs) through six innings. The last inning we had a couple base on balls and they had an error.
"We did just about everything we could do, they just made some outstanding defensive plays," he said. "We line out seven or eight times, and had nice, hard-hit balls, but we couldn't get the ball to hit the ground. That's the kind of team you like to play."
Stefanie Copeland went the distance in the circle for Milton-Freewater, recording seven strikeouts and giving up just two walks.
"It was just a real solid pitching performance," Bullock said. "I think it was her best game of the year."
M-F plays Arizona at 6:30 p.m. today, with the winner needed victories over Alaska Tuesday and Wednesday to advance to the World Series.
Alaska 6, M-F 0
M-F 000 000 0 - 0 0 3
Alaska 200 040 x - 6 6 1
Copeland and Woodhall. Smith, Breslin and Meyerson.
HR - none.
Hits - M-F: none. Alaska: Meyerson 3, Hill, Page, Fiame.