Redmond’s 9-10 girls all-star softball team advanced Tuesday morning to the state championship game with a 9-5 win over Cascade, a Salem area team, then pasted a 17-8 loss on Brookings-Harbor to win the 9-10 girls Little League Softball State Chamipionship at Bowlby field in Redmond.
“It’s unexplainable to be state champions,” said Redmond manager Dave McKinney as his team jumped up and down in the middle of the field.
Redmond had its hands full early in the game with Brookings-Harbor taking an 8-4 lead in the second inning
But the Redmond all-stars settled into focused defensive play and held the Brookings team scoreless in the third and fourth innings and scored two runs in the fourth to narrow Brookings-Harbor’s lead to 8-6.
“We came out a little flat after playing a morning game,” said McKinney, noting that it was the first time Redmond had been downthat much in the tournament. “We played a lot better defense.”
Redmond saved the fireworks for the fifth inning when they scored 10 runs, including a grandslam home run by Brianna Yeakey.
Kaitlyn Elliston started the inning with a double and Shawna Marshall singled. Then Yeakey drove in Elliston on a single.
Redmond took the lead at 9-8 when Rhian Sage scored on a base-on-balls by Sara McKinney.
Elliston then hit a double and Marshall walked to load up the bases for Yeakey’s home run.
“Wow, I’ve never hit a grandslam,” said Yeakey after the game. She said the team had doubted itself, but confidence in her teammates helped key the win.
Redmond shut down Brookings with defense in the bottom of the fifth and sixth innings and pitcher Megan Lau struck out one in the fifth.
Nine teams from all over Oregon competed in the four-day tournament. Redmond beat both of its pool opponents to reach the championship round.
Sunday the Redmond all stars beat Centennial 8-4 in seven innings.
Kiahna Brown struck out 12 in the game, including the last three batters in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Both teams scored in the first inning, with Redmond’s Brianna Yeakey scoring on an RBI single by Shelby Abbas. Redmond scored two runs in the third inning when Kaitlyn Elliston stole home and Yeakey scored on an RBI single by Abbas.
Centennial tied the game at 3-3 n the fourth inning and the game was tied again at 4-4 after the fifth inning. Neither team scored in the sixth inning sending the game into extra innngs.
Redmond reacted well to pressure with two players taking base on balls then Yeakey hit a two-run triple to score Elliston and Shawna Marshall. Yeakey then scored on a catcher’s error and Rhian Sage scored when Megan Lau was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
Redmond played Pendleton Monday morning, staving off a sixth inning comeback to beat the Columbia Basin team 7-6. The game was delayed for 20 minutes when the umpire called Little League headquarters for advice on a protested call.
Yeakey struck out 10 in six innings and served up a solo home run in the first inning to knot the game at 1-1. Pendleton scored in the second inning, but Redmond scored three runs to lead 4-2 in the bottom of the inning.
McKinney started the scoring when she stole home on a passed ball, then with the bases loaded Brown swatted a two RBI single. Redmond scored two more runs in the fourth inning when Marshall stole home and then Yeakey scored on a passed ball.
Redmond showed aggressive base running through out the tournament.
“We try to make the other team make mistakes with our base running,” said McKinney.
Redmond led 7-3 in the fifth inning when McKinney scored on a passed ball
With Pendleton within one point in the sixth inning, Redmond had seemingly won the game when a Pendleton player was thrown out at first. But the umpires reversed the bad call and with two away and two on base, Yeakey struck out the last batter for the 7-6 win.
“Fortunately they got it (the call) right,” said McKinney. “Pendleton showed some heart to battle us right to the end.”
The Redmond team includes Shelby Abbas, Rileigh Baker, Kiahna Brown, Kaitlyn Elliton, Hannah George, Megan Lau, Shawna Marshall, Sara McKinney, Kaci Sage, Rhian Sage, and Brianna Yeakey.