Sports

Federal Way Little Leaguers heat up

By CASEY OLSON

The Mirror

Last week’s heat wave across the Puget Sound area didn’t make for a real comfortable night’s sleep. But the sunny weather provided a perfect backdrop for Federal Way’s numerous Little League all-star teams still playing baseball.

Now is the time that the Little Leaguers take center stage in the postseason, and three Federal Way area teams have already won their respective District 10 tournaments and qualified for state. Steel Lake Little League snared a pair of titles in Senior baseball (15-16) and the 10-11 girls softball tournaments and Federal Way National won the 9-10 baseball title.

The marquee all-star event kicked off Monday at Sunset Park in Auburn. The 2006 District 10 Little League All-Star Tournament for 11- and 12-year-old boys and girls includes all 10 teams from Federal Way, Kent, Buckley, Enumclaw, Bonney Lake, Sumner, Fife, Maple Valley and Northeast Tacoma. The tournament ultimately culminates at the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa., next month.

Steel Lake rolled into the semifinals with wins over Soundview, 6-3, and Kent, 3-2. But Auburn dropped them into the losers bracket with a 3-0 win Wednesday night. Auburn belted a 2-run home run in the fifth to break open a 1-0 game. Steel Lake pitcher Zac Kolterman allowed one run on two hits while throwing the first four innings.

Steel Lake will now have to win three-straight games to claim the district title. The championship will be played a 10 a.m. today.

Federal Way American won their first two games over Federal Way National and Bonney Lake before losing to Auburn, 5-0, to drop into the losers bracket. Kent eliminated American Wednesday night.

Federal Way National was eliminated Tuesday by Kent, 10-0.

The Steel Lake Senior team rolled through their District 10 tournament at Auburn’s Brannan Park. The 15- and 16-year-olds downed Kent Little League in the title game, 5-3. They also had victories over Bonney Lake-Sumner/Tahoma, Federal Way American and beat Kent in their tournament opener.

The championship was all about Steel Lake pitcher Drew Staples. Staples threw the first six innings of the seven-inning game in Auburn and allowed just one unearned run. Staples left after the sixth because Little League baseball allows a pitcher to throw only 95 pitches per game. Staples tallied five strikeouts during the game and got plenty of help from his defense.

Steel Lake got a two RBI-single from Brett Fitzgerald in the second inning and an RBI walk from Erik Lindenauer to make it 3-0. The team then scored single runs in the fifth and sixth innings to make it 5-1. Kent scored a single run in the second and two more in the seventh.

Steel Lake opens up the 2007 Washington State Senior Baseball Tournament at 2 p.m. in Vancouver against the winner of the District 9 championship today.

The team includes Jerrod Bachman, Ronnie Castagno, Jeff Edd, Fitzgerald, Stephen Foster, Jordan Johansen, Chad Kebba, Mason Lapping, Lindenauer, Chris Nishimura, Kyle Quackenbush, Drew Staples, Jory Tysdal and Brandon Warren. The team is coached by Brent Edd, Jon Lindenauer and Steve Park.

Steel Lake Little League also rolled to the title of the 2007 District 10 Little League Softball 10- and 11-year-old tournament late last month at the South King County Ball Fields.

Steel Lake won the four-team tournament by playing a total of 12 innings in three games. The Little League mercy rule ends games after four innings if a team is up by 10 runs.

Steel Lake blew away Fife-Milton-Edgewood in their opener, 32-2, beat Kent/Auburn/Tahoma in the semifinals, 12-2, and dominated Bonney Lake-Sumner in the championship, 20-3.

In the title game, Steel Lake took a 1-0 lead after a first inning and then tallied eight runs in the second, nine in the third and two more in the fourth. Raquelle Hale drove in five runs in the game and Katie Jackson struck out all seven batters she faced on the mound and also had a three-run home run. Halle Colson and Lexis Pawlowski both knocked in two runs.

Steel Lake will open up the state tournament at 11 a.m. in Battle Ground against the winner of the District 1 tournament.

The roster includes Annalise Campbell, Colson, Jasmin Fulmore, Hale, Jackson, Megan Jewett-Chan, Pawlowski, Kayla Quiroga, Morgan Snyder, Reno Whitcomb, Celine Woo, Alyssa Woods and Alysea Zaragoza. The team is managed by Terome Fulmore and coached by Richard Jackson and Chuck Woods.

The Federal Way National 10- and 11-year-olds also rolled through their District 10 tournament, which was played at the South King County Ball Fields. National downed Kent Little League in the title game, 2-0, to advance to the state tournament.

Right-handed pitcher Markus Montelongo and lefty Scotty Sunitsch held Kent scoreless on the mound. Montelongo threw the first 4 1/3 innings before being relieved by Sunitsch.

Both of National’s runs came in the top of the fifth inning on a two-run double by Lawyer Braun.

“It was about as great of a 10-year-old game as you could see,” said National manager John Sugg.

The team’s run to the District 10 title included a 12-9 win over Federal Way American in their opener, then a 4-3 victory over defending state champion Auburn, which left the tying run on third base in the sixth inning. Christian Stafford had a huge two-run double in the fourth to give Federal Way its first lead of the game. National then beat Kent, 10-5, to earn a berth into the title game. Montelongo homered during the game and Garrett Westberg picked up the win on the mound.

The Federal Way National players are Braun, Dax Wallat, Montelongo, Garrett Westberg, Sunitsch, Kaden Jacobs, Christian Stafford, Max Dalrymple, Daniel Ochs, Andrew Ellingson, Jon Charbonneau, Stephen Swan, Justin Ekness and Tanner Knapp. Sugg is assisted by Steve Pearson and Tom Wallat.

National will open up their state tournament run at 11 a.m. Sunday in Vancouver.

Sports editor Casey Olson: 925-5565, sports@fedwaymirror.com

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