KODIAK — The Kodiak Little League junior softball all-star team moved into the District I championship game with a stunning 15-10 win over top seed Dimond-West on Sunday in Anchorage.
The islanders played No.2 Nunaka Valley Monday in the winner-take-all game (look for results later this week in the Daily Mirror).
The winner of the championship game advances to play District 2 champion Juneau in a five-game series that determines the state champion and a berth to the regional tournament in the Lower 48. That series starts next week in Anchorage.
District I administrator David Gemmell told Kodiak Little League President Leonard Pickett that he has no recollection of a Kodiak softball team playing in a District I championship game since the 1990s.
“They are pretty pumped,” Kodiak coach Bryan Larson said. “They kicked butt and were amazing.”
Kodiak rebounded from its 18-7 pool play loss to Dimond-West in a big way by scoring six runs in the opening frame Saturday.
Dimond-West clawed back and tied the game in the second, but Kodiak used a five-run fourth inning to take the lead for good.
Kodiak exploded for 13 hits, with Shanoah Spear leading the way with four singles. Emily Larson added a single and a double, while Hailee Wallace had two singles. Kyla Pineda scored three times.
“They swung the bats,” Larson said. “They jumped out early and that got the confidence up.”
Dimond-West made things interesting with a four-run final inning, which included a two-run home run. The blast did not bother Kodiak’s all-stars.
“The girls just got back in the game and got the final out,” Larson said.
Kodiak has lost twice to Nunaka Valley at the District I Tournament: 27-2 in pool play and 11-7 in bracket play. In the bracket play loss, Kodiak held a one-run lead in the final inning.
Larson is hoping the third meeting against Nunaka — a state powerhouse — will go Kodiak’s way.
“The girls are working really well together,” Larson said. “All that practice is starting to pay off.”