Softball Junior West Regional
July 16-21: Arthur Pack Complex
The first day of the Softball Junior League West Regional held at Arthur Pack is in the books with Hawaii (2-0) and Southern California (2-0) taking an early lead. Utah (1-0) and Northern California (1-0) have also advanced to the final round of their respective brackets.
Hawaii will take on No. California in the final of Bracket A on Sunday night and So. California will face Utah in the Bracket B final. The winner of each game will face each other in the opening round of the Championship Bracket on Tuesday night.
Flagstaff (0-1) lost to Hawaii 13-3 and will play in the Elimination Bracket against Alaska (1-1) on Sunday night while Marana (0-2) lost to Utah 11-1 in the first round Saturday morning and Oregon 8-5 in the first round of the Elimination Bracket Saturday night. Marana will play in the Consolation Bracket on Monday night.
Washington (0-2) has also been eliminated from championship play and will join Marana in the Consolation Bracket.
Utah took a 6-0 lead on Marana in the bottom of the second inning on Saturday morning and never looked back. The team from Cedar City, Utah finished in the semifinals of the Little League West Regionals last year, which turned out to be the best finish ever for Cedar American.
Japrix Weaver took the circle for Utah last year and she put up another good outing against Marana on Saturday. The freshman struck out seven batters and gave up three hits and one earned run in the game called after five innings.
“The game was so much fun and everyone played together I think,” Weaver said. “We were nervous coming in but we got over that once the game started.”
Emma Janes hit a double off of Weaver in the top of the fourth and Emilia Stueck drove her in one out later for the lone run but Weaver had plenty of help on the offensive side to overcome the run.
Utah connected on three triples in the bottom of the second (Kylie Oldroyd, Kelsey Oldroyd and Weaver) to break up what looked to be a tight game after Tatum Caldwell shut down Utah in the bottom of the first.
Utah added another run in the bottom of the third and two more in the bottom of the fourth to take a 9-1 lead. Denim Henkle drove in the winning runs in the bottom of the fifth. Britnie Simcox and Shaylee Evans had doubles to help lead Utah and Rebecca Boyer went 3-4.
Madi Nagelhout picked up the other hit for Marana and Belle Downing took the circle in the third inning.
“I think I did really well but there is always room for improvement,” Weaver added. “We just need to have more fun and cheer each other on.”
Saturday, July 16
Hawaii 6, Alaska 4
So. California 9, Oregon 3
No. California 15, Washington 0
Utah 11, Marana 1
Hawaii 13, Flagstaff 3
So. California 8, Montana 1
Oregon 8, Marana 5
Alaska 14, Washington 11
Sunday, July 17
Flagstaff vs. Alaska, 5 p.m.
Montana vs. Oregon, 5 p.m.
Hawaii vs. No. California, 7:30 p.m.
So. California vs. Utah, 7:30 p.m.
Monday, July 18
Washington vs. Montana/Oregon loser, 5 p.m.
Marana vs. Flagstaff/Alaska loser, 5 p.m.
Montana/Oregon winner vs. So. California/Utah loser, 7:30 p.m.
Flagstaff/Alaska winner vs. Hawaii/No. California loser, 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, July 19
Consolation Championship, 5 pm.
Championship Bracket, 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, July 20
Elimination Game, 6:30 p.m.
Thursday, July 21
Championship Game, 7:30 p.m.
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Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014 and has been a youth, high school and college coach for over 30 years. His own children have won multiple state high school championships and were named to all-state teams. Competing in hockey, basketball, baseball and track & field in high school, his unique perspective can only be found here, on AZPreps365.com and on the pages of the Vail Voice and the Tanque Verde Voice. Contact Andy Morales at AMoralesMyTucson@yahoo.com