First published in the July 21 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.
The La Cañada Baseball and Softball Association’s 14-and-under softball team recently punched its ticket to the national tournament by winning five of seven games and placing fourth in the Southern California C State Championship in Lancaster.
The squad opened the state tourney with a 6-5 loss to Peninsula’s gold squad from San Diego. Emma Carmack turned in a stellar performance going 3-for-3 in the defeat.
LC managed to bounce back in the second day of the competition and won four consecutive games. The local team defeated the Navajo all-star team, 8-3, behind a grand slam from Victoria Kelly.
The team carried that momentum into the next game against Colton and came away with a 5-4 victory. Ena Ramsey and Laila Kazazian led the winning squad with two hits apiece.
La Cañada’s bats remained on fire against Lake Elsinore’s all-star team in a 16-3 rout. Juliette Smith was solid in the pitcher’s circle and surrendered three runs and struck out two.
The streak continued with an 11-2 win over Garden Grove. In the second inning, Siena Gunderson singled on an 0-2 count to drive in a run and Kelly also contributed an RBI single. Ramsey belted a two-run double, and Caitlin Yee and Carmack combined to pitch a three-hitter, striking out three in five frames.
On the final day of the tournament, LC made it five in a row with an 8-1 win over Baldwin Hills. The girls put on an offensive show in the second inning with four runs thanks to singles from Ramsey and Yee, a triple from Kelly and a double from Cormack. La Cañada tallied 10 hits in the game with Carmack, Ramsey, Gunderson and Kelly each collecting two hits.
The impressive streak came to an end in the semifinals as La Cañada fell to eventual champion Peninsula, 7-6, in a rematch.
With the qualifying bid, LC will compete in the for the USA Softball Western Nationals Invitational Tournament in Corona from July 26-31.