Kirkland Softball Majors All-Stars Win State Title

Kirkland, the 2011 Washington Little League Majors Champions.  Standing left to right: Coach Charlie Sovacool, Alex Hanger, Tatum Kawabata, Katie Erickson, Sophia Swain, Coach Bob Swain, Clare Sovacool, Gianna Paribello, Lisa Nelson, Talia Starr, Manager Nolan Radke.  Kneeling left to right: Juliana Lynch, Tori Bivens, Caitlin Buckley, Kristina Warford, Brynn Radke

Photo credit: Kirkland, the 2011 Washington Little League Majors Champions.  Standing left to right: Coach Charlie Sovacool, Alex Hanger, Tatum Kawabata, Katie Erickson, Sophia Swain, Coach Bob Swain, Clare Sovacool, Gianna Paribello, Lisa Nelson, Talia Starr, Manager Nolan Radke.  Kneeling left to right: Juliana Lynch, Tori Bivens, Caitlin Buckley, Kristina Warford, Brynn Radke

The Kirkland Majors Little League Softball All-Stars team won the Washington state championship tournament last Friday at Northshore Athletic Fields in Woodinville. Kirkland defeated Woodinville in the championship game, 11-0.

Kirkland now advances to the Little League Western Regional tournament in San Bernardino, CA, during July 23-29. Kirkland will begin competition with four games in pool play against teams from Montana, Utah, Idaho, and Northern California. The winner of that tournament will secure a berth in the Little League Softball World Series in Portland, OR during August 11-17.

The Kirkland team represents both the Kirkland National and Kirkland American Little Leagues, and includes the following players: Tori Bivens, Caitlin Buckley, Katie Erickson, Alex Hanger, Tatum Kawabata, Juliana Lynch, Lisa Nelson, Gianna Paribello, Brynn Radke, Clare Sovacool, Talia Starr, Sophia Swain, Kristina Warford. Manager Nolan Radke is assisted by coaches Charlie Sovacool and Bob Swain. Following the state title win, Radke said, “It’s been great to watch the girls hit. It takes a lot of the stress away when you score so many runs. They’re a good group of kids...positive, upbeat. They really have a lot of fun.”

This year's state title run continues several years of strong fastpitch softball performances by Kirkland. Many of the girls played on the Kirkland National Little League 9-10 and 10-11 year old state championship teams in 2009 and 2010, respectively. One girl also played on the Kirkland American Little League 9-10 state champions in 2008.

The Kirkland girls compiled the following statistics in the 2011 state tournament:
Runs Scored 65 Runs against 12
Hits 59 Hits allowed 13
Team batting average .440 opposing team .134
Pitchers ERA 1.73

State Game 5

STATE CHAMPIONS: KIRKLAND
Kirkland 11 – Woodinville 0

Kirkland scored two in the first inning with both Brynn Radke and Caitlin Buckley walking, Sophia Swain roped a double into centerfield to score Brynn from second. Talia Starr then hit an infield grounder to score Caitlin on the fielders choice. Kirkland added 3 more in the second inning. Lisa Nelson, Kristina Warford, Brynn Radke, and Caitlin Buckley all drew walks forcing in Lisa, and then Sophia Swain hit a 2 RBI single to bring in Kristina and Brynn. One more run was added in the third inning, again off a walk, this time to Tatum Kawabata who scored on a bunt base hit by Lisa Nelson. The fourth inning started with Kirkland adding three more runs. Brynn and Sophia drew walks. Talia Starr hit a triple and then scored on the overthrow to third base. The last two runs came in the fifth inning when Caitlin singled and Sophia walked. Talia singled to drive in Caitlin, and Clare singled to score Sophia. Triples: Talia Starr. Doubles: Sophia Swain. Lisa Nelson went 2 for 2. Sophia Swain went 2 for 2. Talia Starr went 2 for 4. Lisa pitched all 5 innings giving up 2 hits, walking 3 and striking out 9.

Kirkland now advances to the Western Regional Championships in San Bernardino, CA. Pool play against Montana, Utah, Idaho, and Northern California starting Sunday July 24th.

Tournament Stats:
Runs Scored 65 Runs against 12
Hits 59 Hits allowed 13
Team batting average .440 opposing team .134
Pitchers ERA 1.73

State Game 4
Kirkland 11 – East Jefferson 3
Kirkland scored 5 in the first when the first five batters walked and scored on wild pitches and 2 fielders choices. East Jefferson answered back with 3 of their own in the bottom of the inning, with two seeing-eye singles, and a well hit triple. The second inning started with a walk to Kristina Warford and a base hit bunt by Brynn Radke along with an overthrow by the pitcher that went to the right field fence allowing both girls to score. Clare Sovacool led off the third inning with a home run over the fence in left-center. Lisa Nelson singled and was scored on a line drive up the middle by Brynn. Sophia Swain scored in the fourth on a ground rule double by Clare. The last run came in on singles by Clare and Tatum Kawabata. Lisa Nelson pitched all 6 innings, allowing 3 runs on 4 hits and 3 walks, striking out 6. Juliana Lynch and Kristina Warford made fine running catches in the outfield. Clare Sovacool went 3 for 3 with a single, double and HR. Brynn Radke went 2 for 3. Kirkland will be playing in the Final Game on Friday at 5:30 against the winner of the Woodinville/East Jefferson game.

State Game 3
Kirkland 8 – Woodinville 5
Kirkland jumped on top in the second inning that started with a double by Clare Sovacool. Tatum Kawabata drove in Clare with a single back up the middle and then scored on a double by Katie Erickson. Kirkland added 3 more runs in the top of the third when Brynn Radke walked to lead of the inning, was moved to second by a base hit bunt from Caitlin Buckley and both scored on a double by Clare Sovacool that hit the fence in the air. Tatum singled again to drive in Clare. Woodinville picked up an unearned run in the bottom of the third, then 4 more unearned runs in the bottom of the fourth on an uncharacteristic series of errors. Kirkland came back in the top of the 5th inning with the score tied 5 to 5. Gianna Paribello lined a shot into right-center for a single, and was moved to second by a bunt from Sophia Swain. Clare singled to drive in Gianna. Woodinville went down 1,2,3. In the top of the 6th, Katie Erickson walked with one out, stole second and advanced to third on a passed ball. She was still on third with two outs when Brynn Radke doubled bringing her in. Sophia Swain doubled to score Brynn for the last run of the game. Lisa Nelson pitched all six innings not allowing a single earned run, striking out 11 batters, giving up only 4 hits and walking one. Clare Sovacool went 3 for 3 with 2 doubles. Tatum Kawabata was 2 for 2. The next game is against defending little league state champs E. Jefferson. Wednesday at 5:30 Northshore Athletic Felds #3 in Woodinville.

State Game 2

Kirkland 19 – Battle Ground 2
In the first five games, Kirkland had been blanked in the first inning. That jinx was finally broken as they scored 10 times in the first against Battle Ground. Brynn Radke walked, Caitlin Buckley laid down a bunt that went for a base hit, Sophia Swain walked, then Talia Starr doubled to drive in all three runners. Clare Sovacool doubled for an RBI, Juliana Lynch doubled and drove in a run, and later in the inning Talia doubled again for two more RBIs. Caitlin Buckley was 3 for 5. Talia was 3 for 4. Gianna Paribello, Kristina Warford, and Katie Erickson all went 2 for 2. Tori Bivens went 2 for 3 and pitched the first two innings of the game, giving up one run on one hit and striking out 3. Talia Starr closed out the game giving up one run on one hit and striking out six. Game 3 Monday at 2:30 against Woodinville.

State Game 1

Kirkland 16 – Pacific 2 (Pacific is from Edmonds)
In the top of the first inning, Kirkland hitters went out 1,2,3. In the bottom of the first inning, Pacific loaded the bases with only one out. The next batter hit a ground ball to Tatum Kawabata who threw the runner out at the plate for the second out. The next hitter drove a shot to shallow center and Caitlin Buckley made a fantastic, running shoe-string catch to end the inning. In the second inning, Talia Starr and Sophia Swain both singled and scored on an RBI single by Lisa Nelson (a line drive in the right field gap). Kirkland added their third run in the third inning off a Brynn Radke single, followed up with a sacrifice bunt by Tori Bivens. Pacific answered back with two runs of their own in the bottom of the third. Clare Sovacool led off the fourth with a triple, followed by Sophia Swain with a triple, and the flood gates were opened. Kirkland scored 8 runs on 8 hits and added 5 more runs in the 5th. Brynn Radke went 4 for 5. Talia Starr was 2 for 3. Sophia Swain went 3 for 4 with a triple. Lisa Nelson went 3 for 4. Clare Sovacool hit a triple. Katie Erickson came off the bench and delivered an RBI single, and Juliana Lynch also came into the game to single and score a run. Lisa Nelson pitched 4 innings with one strike out and Tori Bivens closed out the game facing only three batters and striking out one. The defensive player of the game was Caitlin Buckley, with 4 put outs in centerfield and a throw to the plate that saved a run. Game 2 is Sunday at 1:00.

(District games are below)
Game 3

Kirkland 17- Falls 0
District 9 Championship Game
Falls beat Bellevue 11-6 to play Kirkland in the championship game. Kirkland scored 17 runs on 12 hits with 11 of the runs coming in the 5th inning along with 9 of the hits. Kirkland started the scoring in the second inning with a bases loaded shot by Lisa Nelson that deflected off the glove of the second baseman scoring two runs. Kristina Warford drove in another run with a grounder to short. In the third inning, Talia Starr doubled and scored on a single by Sophia Swain, giving Kirkland a 4-0 lead. Lisa Nelson and Juliana Lynch scored in the fourth inning off Brynn Radke’s liner to center. The fifth inning started with a double by Talia Starr and was culminated by a 2 run homer off the bat of Katie Erickson; a line drive that settled against the fence in right-center field. Talia went 4 for 4 with 3 doubles, 2 RBI’s and 4 runs scored. Sophia Swain and Katie Erickson went 3 for 3. Katie Erickson hit a home run. Doubles by Talia Starr (3), and Tori Bivens. Lisa Nelson pitched the 5 innings allowing only one hit and striking out 9 batters.

Tournament Stats
Runs Scored 54 Runs Allowed 2
Hits 47 Hits Allowed 3
Team Batting Average .510 Opposing Team .065
Pitchers ERA 0.64

State Tournament starts on 7/9/11 at the Northshore Athletic Fields 14700 NE 145th ST Woodinville, WA 98072
Kirkland plays the winner of D1 at 11:00 on filed #3
Opening Ceremonies are at 2:00 (after the game)

Game 2

Kirkland 26- Bellevue 1
This was only a 4 inning game but Kirkland had 24 hits. Tatum Kawabata hit a home run the hard way, beating the throw to the plate. Gianna Paribello hit a triple. Doubles by: Brynn Radke, Caitlin Buckley, Talia Starr, Clare Sovacool (whose double bounced over the fence), and Lisa Nelson. Tatum Kawabata went 2 for 2, Gianna Paribello went 3 for 3. Caitlin Buckley, and Clare Sovacool went 3 for 4. Talia Starr and Sophia Swain both went 4 for 5. Talia pitched all 4 innings with Sophia catching for her, giving up one unearned run and striking out five batters. Game 3 is Tuesday at 6:00 at Torguson fields.

Game 1

Kirkland 11- Falls 1
The Kirkland softball team got the all-star season going with a win. Strong pitching and great hitting led to the 11-1 victory. Lisa Nelson pitched two innings striking out 6 batters and giving up one earned run. Tori Bivens pitched the last three innings striking out 6 batters. The team had eleven hits in five innings. Three of them were triples by Tori Bivens, Clare Sovacool, and Talia Starr. Tori and Clare were three for three with Clare capping off her batting performance with a two run home run! Game 2 is Sunday at 12:00 Torguson fields in North Bend against Bellevue.