SOFTBALL WESTERN REGION: Montana advances to World Series

(Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)


July 20-26: Arthur Pack

Garden City (Montana) beat Cedar American (Utah) 12-1 to capture the Junior League Softball Western Regional held at the Arthur Pack complex in Marana Wednesday night. With the win, Montana (4-0) advances to the Junior League Softball World Series to be played in Kirkland, Washington from July 30 to Aug. 5.

Utah finished 4-2 at the regional, highlighted by a 6-5 win over Alaska (2-2) in the final game of the Elimination Bracket on Tuesday night. The team from Nunaka Valley sent Utah to the Elimination Bracket on Friday, July 21 and Utah won three elimination games in a row to get to the championship game. Utah eliminated Arizona, Northern California and Alaska along the way.

Montana and Utah battled through three scoreless innings but Montana plated 11 runs in the top of the fourth to secure the victory. Destiny Manuel walked to start off the top of the fourth and Emily Hermes reached on a bunt one out later to put two on. McKenzie Wright reached on an infield hit to load the bases and then Morgan Holmes delivered on a bases-clearing double to break the inning open.

“I was watching the pitcher during warmups and I went up to bat looking for the first pitch,” Holmes said. “I couldn’t have done it without my teammates. If they didn’t get on then I couldn’t have brought them in.”

Montana will switch jerseys now and will represent the West in Pool B of the World Series. The team from Missoula will go up against Warwick, Rhode Island (East) in the first game scheduled for July 30. They will play against The Netherlands (Europe-Africa) on July 31, Helotes, Texas (Southwest) on Aug. 1 and Maunabo, Puerto Rico (Latina America) on Aug. 2. Bracket Play begins on Thursday, Aug. 3.

“I can’t wait to represent the West,” Holmes added. “We’ve waited for this for a long time. Our team has been together for years.”

Holmes went 2-for-3 with two doubles against Utah as did Hermes. Josie Caye went 2-4. Addy Gaub had a double. Shelby Dunwell went the distance for the win. Kelsi Oldroyd went 2-2 for Utah. Denim Henkel had a double and Laynee Anzalone had an RBI. Braylee Peterson picked up a single and Japrix Weaver picked up four strikeouts in the loss.

Dreayla Haran scores during the 11-run outburst in the 4th inning. Logann Laws provided the tag. (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

Shelby Dunwell, Montana (MVP)
Morgan Holmes, Montana
Josie Caye, Montana
Destiny Manuel, Montana
Grace Hardy, Montana
Denim Henkel, Utah
Japrix Weaver, Utah
Kelsi Oldroyd, Utah
Laynee Anzalone, Utah
Pese Matautia, Alaska
Laila Tosi, Alaska
Lexie Davis, Alaska
Addison Cooksey, Apache Junction
Tristen Greer, Apache Junction
Makenna Palamara, Burbank
Clarisa Robles, Burbank
Brooke Lafferty, N. California
Lexee Larranaga, N. California
Kailyn Lopez, Washington
Madison Coffey, Washington
Taylor Bourguet, Thornydale
Maya Ormsby, Thornydale
Natilee Dentel, Oregon
Lexie Crabtree, Oregon


Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014 and he was awarded the Ray McNally Award in 2017 and he 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 and on AZPreps365.com. Andy was named a Local Hero by the Tucson Weekly for 2016. Contact Andy Morales at AMoralesMyTucson@yahoo.com


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