WASHINGTON CITY — An all-star team comprising a dozen girls aged 10-12 from Washington City recently represented Utah in the Little League Softball West Regional tournament.
The tournament, which took place July 24-30 in San Bernardino, California, featured 11 teams from 10 Western states.
The Utah team made an early exit from the tournament, falling to Northern California 12-0 on Saturday and losing to Alaska 6-0 on Monday. Click here to see full results and box scores for the tournament.
Although they lost both of their games, the players still had a memorable experience, head coach Matt Robbins told St. George News.
“The girls had a blast and it was great,” he said. “They built some good relationships with Hawaii and Washington, mainly. They really bonded with them out there.”
Robbins said he didn’t have an answer for the team’s lack of offense in both of the losses.
“That’s kind of the DNA of our team, is we have really good hitters,” he said. “They probably handle velocity better than any team I’ve seen. But our bats were just not there. I don’t really have an explanation for it, either. I’m not sure what was going on. We couldn’t manufacture a base runner. We tried to play small ball and lay down some bunts, but we just didn’t have any success on offense.”
Earlier in the month, at the Utah state tournament held in Cedar City July 6-8, the Washington City team had no trouble scoring, racking up an impressive 100 runs over seven games, posting a 6-1 record and capturing the state title.
That tournament included back-to-back wins over Cedar American in the finals, by scores of 18-1 and 9-3. Washington also defeated Cedar National twice, by scores of 18-2 and 18-0, and posted a 16-3 win over Snow Canyon. Washington’s only loss was a 6-5 defeat the first day at the hands of Enterprise, but Washington avenged that loss with a 16-0 rout of Enterprise to advance to the finals on the state tournament’s third and final day.
Robbins said he’s already looking forward to coaching many of the same players again next year.
“We have four teams to pull from, from the Washington City Little League,” he said. “I know a lot of the girls. They’ll be in it again next year. I got a really good feeling about it.”
Robbins said he knew what to look for next year.
“I’m going to make that a big focus coming into the fall and spring of next year, to make sure we get back there.”
Nevada’s state team, which was from the Summerlin South League in Las Vegas, ended up winning the West Regional with a 10-0 win over Arizona on Friday morning. Nevada advances to play in the Little League World Series in North Carolina Aug. 11-18.
Utah’s roster included the following players: Morgan Staheli, Oaklee Koester, JC Larson, Kylie Carpenter, Brenlie Phelps, Chesney Robbins, Kyra Davis, Kamarie Sullivan, Paige Tuckfield, Kennadee Antonio, Nyah Snyder and Gemma Giacoletto. Head coach Matt Robbins was assisted by Becky Staheli and Richard Phelps.
Robbins praised his team.
“Everyone’s super proud of them. They made a great little showing down there.”
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