Heading into the 2011 Junior Softball World Series, Canada hadn’t won a game in seven years.
Despite taking just one win in five games, the Layritz girls team (aged 13 and 14) can consider their trip to Kirkland, Wash., a success.
“The goal going in was to win some games and end the streak and we did that,” said coach Paul Tucker.
Adding to Canada’s world series story was the fact 10 of Layritz’ 13 players were first-years, while the majority of the teams were in their second year.
Layrtiz ended the tourney with a bang on Saturday, edging the Netherlands 1-0 for ninth place.
“We didn’t play our best over the tournament. We were competitive but some of the games we were (leading) before losing,” Tucker said.
The Netherlands (1-4) were no slouch either, having beaten a very good Alaska (U.S. West) team in round robin play.
Perhaps the team’s destiny was altered when the opening game on Aug. 14 was delayed overnight. Layritz was up 4-1 against the hosts Bellevue in the second inning before Bellevue came back and took a 6-4 lead. That was the score when the game was called due to darkness. It re-started on Monday with Bellevue winning 11-5.
“It was a hard way to start the tournament,” Tucker said, adding there were other positives in the round robin losses. Layritz played strongly against eventual winners Michigan, keeping the game to a three-run deficit into the fifth inning before losing 9-2.
Part of the process
About half of Layritz’ roster was on the Layritz girls team who went to the 2010 Little League softball (11-12) world series.
The tournament was an eye-opener for the eight Layritz girls going to Lambrick Park’s baseball academy this year.
Layritz consists of district players Christina Bourassa, Breanna Dunn, Mary Harding, Leah Johnson, Georgia Martin, Raven McKinney, Alex Patton, Allie Pellizzaro, Jenna Saulnier, Sydney Sparanese, Megan Thomson, Kaitlyn Tucker, Hailey Young.