9–10 All-Stars take second in West Sacramento

By Robert Husseman, The Triplicate July 17, 2012 03:13 pm

Del Norte beats Peach Bowl LL Sat., falls to Gilroy LL Sun.

 The Del Norte Little League 9–10 Softball All-Stars. Submitted by Mark Horner
The Del Norte Little League 9–10 Softball All-Stars. Submitted by Mark Horner
The Del Norte Little League 9–10 Softball All-Stars finished in second place at the California Little League Division II Tournament in West Sacramento over the weekend.

Gilroy Little League defeated Del Norte on Sunday, 8-3, to claim the tournament championship. Del Norte suffered both of its losses at the hands of Gilroy, falling 12-1 in five innings on Thursday.

“Gilroy came to hit the ball,” All-Stars coach Mark Horner said. “We had them all the way to the fifth. It was a good battle.”

Del Norte held a 3-2 lead into the fifth inning, but Gilroy racked up three runs in both the fifth and sixth innings.

Laycee Coopman tripled and McKenzie Fernandez doubled for Del Norte.

With hits hard to come by against Gilroy, Horner said that Del Norte returned to the small-ball tactics that helped the 9–10 All-Stars win the District 26 championship last week.

“We were running aggressively,” Horner said. “When (Gilroy) got on, we were aggressive at throwing to bases. We drilled the girls to be aware of the runners.”

To make the championship game, Del Norte had to overcome Peach Bowl Little League of Yuba City on Saturday. The 9–10 All-Stars fell behind, 9-7, in the sixth inning of their game but scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth to tie the game.

Coopman singled to open the seventh inning and gained two bases on an errant throw to first by Peach Bowl. Shelby Horner followed with a walk-off single, plating Coopman and putting Del Norte back into championship contention.

Fernandez had “a hot bat” on Saturday, according to Horner, and Ayliah Rafalowski made “numerous defensive plays” as the Del Norte second baseman. Tamesha Jordan pitched a complete game for the 9–10 All-Stars, striking out eight.

Thus concludes a whirlwind All-Star season for the girls from Del Norte County, which began June 29 with the California Little League District 26 Tournament in McKinleyville.

“It was a good go, for sure,” Horner said. “A lot of memories made.”

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