Nunaka Valley on Friday parlayed one big inning and stingy pitching into an opportunity today to seize fifth place in the Little League Junior Softball World Series in Kirkland, Wash.
Nunaka Valley's girls used three singles and two errors by Bacolod City, Philippines, to generate a three-run fourth inning and earn a 3-2 victory on Friday.
That win, which raised Nunaka Valley's record to 3-2 in the tournament, also advanced it into today's game at 7:30 a.m. ADT against Willemstad, Curacao, the Latin America champs. The winner earns fifth place in the 10-team tournament and the loser finishes sixth.
Nunaka Valley, the West champ, beat Curacao 2-0 on Thursday.
Against the Philippines on Friday, Gabby Meyerson, Morgan Hill and Taria Pope lashed consecutive singles, which coupled with two errors and a fielder's choice by Sydney Smith, gave Nunaka Valley a 3-1 lead.
The Philippines, the Asia Pacific champ, plated a run in the bottom of the seventh to cut Nunaka Valley's lead to 3-2, and had runners on second and third bases with one out. But Heather Breslin induced a pop-up to shortstop and a game-ending fly-out to left field to cap the victory.
Smith, who pitched the first four innings, and Breslin, who pitched the last three, surrendered a combined nine hits, but also stranded nine runners.