Greater Helotes Junior Little League softball team left the heat of Texas on Friday, July 28 to the cooler climate of Washington State. Kirkland, Seattle, and the Little League Softball World Series awaited their arrival.
The GHLL girls opened the tournament with a bang when they defeated last year’s World Series champions from Latin America in a decisive 10-6 victory. Anika Litterio pitched four innings with 10 first pitch strikes, and four quality at bats.
Olivia Ball pitched three innings having 11 first pitch strikes and 3 strikeouts. Behind strong defense and three hits from Moreno the team earned their first win for the tournament.
Monday would present a heartbreaking result. Anika Litterio pitched five innings with 14 first strike pitches, and seven strikeouts. Ball pitched 3.1 innings with 10 first strike pitches, and three strikeouts.
The defense behind East’s pitcher E. Carter, proved to keep the Southwest (GHLL) girls from finding their rhythm. Southwest would not find the scoreboard until the fifth inning with a single run. The sixth inning the Southwest bats arrived and was able to move past the pitcher and bring three runs across the dish. Southwest tied the score in the seventh inning with a single run. Then the bats became silent as the East’s pitcher once again kept Southwest from finding the zone.
The East offense drew first blood with two runs scored in the second inning and third inning proved to be fruitful as well with two runs scored. East attempted a rally to keep momentum in the game during the sixth but were only allowed to score one across the plate. The East bats couldn’t not find a favorable pitch until the ninth inning when the winning run crossed the plate.
With the loss Southwest fell to a 1-1 record.
Tuesday, August 1 the girls faced a double header. In the morning game, Southwest squared off against the East’s cousin from the West. Although Litterio notched up 13 strikeouts in 6.1 innings it could not stop the bleeding for the Southwest. Litterio also racked up 18 first strike pitches, 1 walk, and 2 RBI’s.
Raven Moreno continued to carry a big stick with three quality at bats on four hits. However most of the sticks for Southwest remained extremely quiet. The slow speed of the West pitcher may have contributed to the keeping Southwest out of their rhythm.
The first inning proved to be most profitable for the girls. They scored four runs and that proved to be enough to secure the victory.
Southwest attempted to battle back with one run scored in the first, but wouldn’t score another until the fifth. Southwest attempted a rally in the seventh inning to win but were only able to score one run leaving the team with three total runs.
Southwest will see action again on Tuesday at 4:45 Kirkland time (5:45pm) or time. Southwest will play Europe-Africa. The Europe-Africa team enters the game with an 0-2 record searching for their first win in the tournament. Southwest is hoping to add another win to their record.
The girls will continue in pool play through Wednesday. At the end of pool play the girls will learn their seeding and this seeding will determine the team’s place in the bracket.
Bracket play will begin on Thursday. Bracket play is single elimination.
The Echo will continue to keep you updated throughout the tournament.