MARANA, Ariz. — Triangle’s quest to reach Kirkland hit a familiar roadblock Wednesday.
For the second year in a row, the Triangle juniors fell to Alaska in the finals of the West Region softball tournament near Tucson, Ariz., as the Alaskans pounded out 11 hits and had no errors in a 14-1, mercy-rule victory.
Triangle would have needed to win both games of a two-game series to advance past Alaska to the World Series in Kirkland, Wash., but instead ends the season at 12-3. Triangle had two losses to Alaska in regionals and a loss to Pendleton in districts.
“Our kids had a good look on it, though,” Triangle coach Mike Lambert said. “Our kids know good competition. You have to be proud to get to the championship game to begin with. To finish second in regionals — I know we’re all proud of what they’ve accomplished.”
Weather conditions gave Triangle no favors, as Alaska scored pair of runs in blustery conditions in the first inning before Lambert challenged the conditions. The game was paused and didn’t resume until more than two hours later as the teams waited for a lightning storm to move through.
Triangle will lose six players this year that played a key part in this year and last year’s tournament runs. Brooke Kralman, Colette Robert, Jessica Lambert, Makayla Kelly, Abi Biggs, Jenny Field will move on to high school ball.
“We’ll be losing some of the core girls..., but we’ll have half the girls coming back,” coach Lambert said. “With the majors girls that competed in their regionals tournament this year, we should have a pretty strong team for next year.”
Alaska 14, Oregon 1
Alaska 423 50 — 14 11 0
Oregon 001 00 — 1 2 6
Syrup and Augasa; Lambert, Kelly (4) and Peal.
HR — none.
Hits — Alaska: Page 4, Valair, Hill, Tali, Jessee, Augasa, Syrup 2; Oregon: Kelly, Dillow.