Nunaka Valley girls lose at World Series

SOFTBALL: Alaskans play again today after falling 8-4 to East Region champ.

August 16, 2011 

Things fell apart Tuesday for Nunaka Valley at the Junior Softball World Series in Kirkland, Wash.

A day after the Alaskans opened with a victory, they struggled in every aspect in an 8-4 loss to East Region champion Greensburg, Pa.

Nunaka Valley had just four hits, committed three errors that set the stage for five unearned runs and gave up 13 hits. The loss evens Alaska's pool-play record to 1-1 with two games remaining, including today's 1 p.m. game against the Netherlands.

Nunaka Valley used both of its pitching aces, and both got roughed up. Starter Sydney Smith left after surrendering three straight singles without recording an out in the fourth inning, giving way to Heather Breslin. Smith, who took the loss and is 1-1 in the tournament, gave up six runs on seven hits. Breslin allowed two runs on six hits.

The Alaskans jumped to a 1-0 first-inning lead on Taria Page's RBI triple. Page was Alaska's hitting leader Tuesday, belting a triple and double to account for half of her team's hits and driving in two runs to account for half of the RBIs too.

Trouble started in third, when Pennsylvania piled up three runs on two hits and two errors.

It continued in the fourth when Smith got into immediate trouble by giving up singles to the first three batters. Breslin wasn't able to kill the rally, giving up two more hits and needing a double play to escape the inning.

Alaska got two runs back in the fifth on Nanea Tali's two-out double that scored Smith, who reached with a single, and Breslin, who walked. They added another run in the sixth with Page's RBI double.

Nunaka Valley was limited to seven baserunners -- four hits, three walks. And once on base, the Alaskans did themselves no favors. Two were caught stealing in the first inning, Tali was thrown out trying to stretch her fifth-inning double into a triple and Page was caught while trying to steal third base in the sixth.

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