HomeBlocksFront-GridLocal All-Stars Place 7th in Competitive Tournament

Local All-Stars Place 7th in Competitive Tournament

First published in the Aug. 25 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

The La Cañada 14U All-Stars concluded its summer season with a strong seventh-place finish at the Western Nationals USA Softball Tournament. Despite a rocky start and a No. 19 seeding after the pool play rounds, La Cañada quickly rebounded in bracket play with a 4-2 record and a top-10 finish within the USA Softball 14U B-Division.
La Cañada 14U opened bracket play off with a 8-4 victory over 4S Ranch of San Diego. Laila Kazazian’s sacrifice fly scored the first run in the first inning. Victoria Kelly, Kazazian and Ena Ramsey all drove in runs in the third inning to put up four runs in the frame. Caitlin Yee went 3-for-3 at the plate to lead La Cañada in hits. Yee was also on the rubber, allowing seven hits and four runs over six innings while striking out seven.
La Cañada had a quick turnaround with the next matchup against eventual tournament runner-up and top-seeded MPSC Riot Gold of Monterey Park. La Cañada opened up a lead in the first inning when Samantha Drobis drew a walk, scoring a run. Victoria Kelly and Laila Kazazian both led La Cañada in hits, each collecting two hits apiece. La Cañada lost its lead late in the game and fell to Monterey Park, 10-5.
La Cañada bounced back quickly in the next game behind Caitlin Yee’s hot bat. She collected four hits, leading La Canada to a 17-1 victory over the Central Orange Panthers from Orange County. La Cañada racked up 13 hits in the game. Yee, Siena Gundersen, Laila Kazazian and Victoria Kelly each managed multiple hits for La Canada. La Cañada didn’t commit a single error in the field. Gundersen had three chances in the field, the most on the team.
La Cañada’s offense continued to stay hot at the start of the tournament’s second day. Caitlin Yee was bad news for the opposing pitcher, driving in four on three hits to lead La Cañada past the Northridge Quakes, 11-8. La Cañada took the lead for good with seven runs in the second inning as Addison Krug singled to drive in a run, Victoria Kelly singled on a 1-2 count to score a run, Yee singled to drive in a run, Juliette Smith singled to drive in two runs. Yee, Kelly and Siena Gundersen each collected multiple hits, with Kelly and Yee each have a team-high three hits. Meanwhile, Juliette Smith made the most defensive plays with three.
La Cañada’s fifth game over the last two days had a similar script to the previous two. Laila Kazazian gave Escondido Extreme 14U (Escondido, CA) fits as she collected four hits in a 15-4 victory. In the first inning, Kazazian singled to score a run. LC later notched six runs in the fourth inning as Kazazian, Samantha Drobis and Rocio Castro powered the big inning with RBIs. Yee was on the rubber and went five innings, allowing four runs on 11 hits. Kazazian, Ena Ramsey, Drobis, Gundersen, Kelly and Yee all had multiple hits.
In their third game of the day, La Canada surrendered the final 10 runs of the game and lost, 18-8, to Fountain Valley. Kelly collected four hits in defeat. LC opened up an early lead in the first inning on Juliette Smith’s two-run triple. La Canada put up three runs in the fourth inning behind key hits from Kelly, Kazazian and a triple by Yee. Fountain Valley scored eight runs in the sixth inning to overcome an exhausted La Canada squad that was playing its sixth game over the last two days.
The La Canada 14U All-Stars were eliminated with the Fountain Valley loss, but advanced 12 spots to earn a seventh-place finish.
“It was an amazing summer of travel softball for the La Cañada 14U All-Star team, with a fourth-place finish at the USA Softball C-States Championship and seventh-place finish at the Western Nationals Tournament,” a team spokesperson said. “It was the first time in 15 years that two of La Cañada’s summer all-star teams qualified for the USA Softball Nationals Tournament. Both the La Cañada 12U and 14U teams expressed extreme gratitude for the generous donations from the La Cañada community, merchants, and LCBSA softball supporters that allowed the teams to successfully close the summer season with this final achievement.”


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