Cedar Nationals go 1-2 at West regional, fall short of Little League Softball World Series

Cedar City National League all-star team poses for a team photo, location and date not specified, 2018 | Photo courtesy of JR Robinson, St. George News / Cedar City News

CEDAR CITY — The Cedar City National Little League all-star softball team is 1-1 as of the third day of the Western Region tournament in San Bernardino, California.

After losing 6-5 to the Hawaii state champions Saturday, the Cedar City girls bounced back to beat Nevada Monday morning by a score of 8-6 to remain alive in the double-elimination playoff.

Cedar City National League all-star team poses for a team photo at Anaheim. Calif., July 2018 | Photo courtesy of Lisa Clove, St. George News / Cedar City News

Update July 24, 5 p.m. The Cedar Nationals were eliminated from the tournament Tuesday afternoon with a 10-0 loss to Southern California’s Southridge Little League of Fontana. Cedar managed just two hits in four innings while allowing seven hits and committing six errors in the field.

The Nationals, who recently won the Utah state championship in their hometown, are also the defending region champions, winning the West title in 2017 and going on to play in last year’s Little League World Series, where they ended up taking seventh place.

Little League softball players are between 10 and 13 years old.

Nationals assistant coach Brandon Allen told Cedar City News this year’s squad includes four players that were on last year’s team, namely Kamryn Allen, Michaela Whitehair, Madison Fuller and Kylee Wheelwright.

Hawaii 6, Utah 5

In Saturday’s opening-round contest, Cedar City took an early 2-1 lead over Gold Coast Little League of Honokaa, Hawaii, but surrendered five runs in the bottom of the third to fall behind 6-2. Utah scored a run in the top of the sixth and final inning to pull within one run, but Hawaii managed to shut down the Nationals’ comeback bid.

“We struggled making routine plays and had a couple of costly mistakes in the field,” Allen said after the defeat. “Hopefully we can regroup.”

Jaylee Clove of the Cedar City National League all-star team bats against Hawaii in San Bernardino, Calif., July 21, 2018 | Photo courtesy of Bailey Mackelprang, St. George News / Cedar City News

Whitehair, who took the pitching loss, struck out eight Hawaii batters in five innings, while giving up six hits and walking one. Shortstop Jaylee Clove had two base hits for Utah, and teammate Avery Trujillo drove in two RBIs.

Utah 8, Nevada 6

Monday morning, Cedar City battled Centennial Little League from Sparks, Nevada, to a 6-6 tie heading into the sixth inning.

Kylee Wheelwright, daughter of the team’s head coach Aaron Wheelwright, singled to drive in two runs, giving the Nationals an 8-6 advantage. Cedar then went on to secure the win by keeping Nevada from scoring in the bottom of the sixth.

Relief pitcher Elli John picked up the win for Utah after coming in for starter Whitehair in the third. John allowed two runs on two hits over the final four innings.

In Utah’s next game Tuesday, the Nationals were eliminated via a 10-0 shutout loss to Southern California, who’d beaten Hawaii 5-4 late Monday night.

For full bracket and links to box scores and results, click here. The tournament’s championship game is Thursday.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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