Mill Creek All-Stars finish 2nd at West Regionals | Little League Softball
Last updated 8/4/2017 at Noon
he Mill Creek All-Stars came up just a run short of advancing to the Little League Softball World Series.
Mill Creek, representing Washington state, lost 1-0 to Utah in the West Regional Championship game Friday, July 28, at Al Houghton Stadium in San Bernardino, California.
Neither team was able to push across any runs in the first six innings, sending the game into extra innings.
In the bottom of the eighth, Sidney Webster hit a single to score Michaela Whitehair for the winning run. Utah’s Payton Lister pitched all eight innings, allowing 3 hits, striking out 12 batters and issuing only 2 walks to pick up the victory.
Alexis Sicairos, Deirde Delgado and Heleina Ah-Loe each had a hit for Mill Creek.
The loss ended a 12-game Mill Creek winning streak that included claiming the Washington state championship and going 4-1 in the West Regionals.
Mill Creek advanced to Friday’s title contest after defeating Northern California 6-0 in the semifinals on Thursday, July 27.
Simone Williams allowed only 1 hit and struck out 9 batters in six innings of work. Kalia Zellmer was 2-for-3 with 2 RBI and 1 run. Lauren Whitley and Annie Coe each drove in a run.
“We made some awesome, awesome plays out on defense. The girls just played really good tonight, solid defense,” Mill Creek manager Daryl Stevens said.
Mill Creek opened the tournament with 11-3 victory over Hawaii on Saturday, July 22, and a 10-0 win over Montana on Monday, July 24, in pool play.
Williams struck out 10 in a complete-game performance in Saturday’s opener. Delgado and Macie Dean each drove in 3 runs and Zellmer had 2 RBI. Avery Hare, Sicairos and Delgado each scored 2 runs. Williams again was dominant against Montana, allowing 1 hit and striking out 6 in a game called after four innings due to the 10-run mercy rule.
Zellmer was 2-for-3 with 3 RBI and 2 runs. Whitney, Sicairos and Delgado each scored 2 runs.
“Simone again was pitching great,” Stevens said. “ We talked before the game about setting the tone for the rest of the tournament once we get into single elimination and we wanted to come out tonight and with it being kind a highlight game at 7:30 and show everybody what we’ve got and put a thought into their heads and that’s what did. We came and just performed.”
Missing two players due to illnesses, Mill Creek defeated Alaksa 11-1 in a loser-out quarterfinal contest on Wednesday, July 26.
Williams allowed 2 hits in five innings and struck out 8 in a game called after five innings due to the 10-run mercy rule.
Sicairos, Ah-Loe, Hare and Dean each had 2 RBI and Sicairos scored four times.
“Tonight, we had our subs come in. They played great out on defense,” Stevens said. “Both of them put a bat on the ball when they were up to bat. Eleven hearts instead of 13 but the other were at home watching. Everybody was ready to go.”
Mill Creek ended up outscoring the opposition 38-5 in the tournament. Williams struck out 44 batters in 26 2/3 innings. She allowed 16 hits and 5 runs and finished with a 1.13 ERA. Mill Creek batters hit .315.
CONFLICTING LOYALTIES: Mill Creek City Manager Rebecca Polizzotto faced a dilemna when Mill Creek faced Alaska on Wednesday, July 29. Polizzotto came to Mill Creek from Alaska where she served as a Senior Assistant State Attorney General for 11 years.
When asked who she planned to root for in Wednesday’s game, Polizzotto declined to take sides.
“I’ll probably cheer for the team that wins,” she said with a smile.
Mill Creek editor Dan Aznoff contributed to this story.