Xplosion head to Western National

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WALLA WALLA — The Northwest Xplosion ’00 fastpitch softball team is heading to Medford, Ore., to participate in the ASA 12U-A Western National Tournament Saturday through Aug. 4.

This tournament features 44 of the top teams from Washington, Oregon and California.

Xplosion ’00 concludes their season at the tournament. They are currently 40-13 and recently claimed a third-place finish at the National Softball Association (NSA) State Tournament in late June.

The team has played five of its nine tournaments thus far at the 14U level and posted a 21-7 record against the older competition. In 14U tournament action, Xplosion ’00 claimed a first-place finish in the Walla Walla Sweet Onion Invitational, and two other third-place finishes.

“One of our goals this season was to be challenged, and by playing the older teams we were challenged and as a result we improved as a team,” Xplosion ’00 head coach Andy Coleman said.

At the NSA State Tournament on June 28-30 in the Tri-Cities, Xplosion ’00 was one of two undefeated teams left of the final day of the double-elimination tournament.

Facing off against Snohomish County Express, the other undefeated team, for a chance to play in the championship game the score was tied 0-0 after seven innings.

In extra innings, Xplosion ’00 scored three times in the top half of the eight, but allowed the Express to score four times in the bottom of the inning.

“It was a heartbreaking loss that we have had trouble bouncing back from,” said Coleman, as Xplosion lost its next game of the tournament and finished in third place.

The team finished in ninth place at the ASA State Tournament in Centralia on July 5-7 with a 1-2 record.

“Unfortunately, we didn’t play our best softball in Centralia,” Coleman said. “Our pitching was good, but our hitting and defense didn’t show up like they typically do.”

Xplosion ’00 hopes to turn things around in Medford. The team opens pool play at 8 a.m. on Tuesday against the Rip City Rampage from Portland.

“It has been a great season for us and we look forward to playing well against some of the best teams on the West Coast,” said Coleman.

Xplosion ’00 team members include Ali Skurski, Maddy Thomas, Kamryn Coleman, Faith Hoe, Lauren Hoe, Teisha Payne, Madison Hooper, Ashten Wright and Mady Bell. Coaches are Andy Coleman, Keala Hoe and Steve Farrington.

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