Federal Way National juniors softball team wins state championship

The team is competing at the West Region tournament in Arizona next week.

After an undefeated season, the Federal Way National Little League’s juniors softball team recently became state champions for the first time in league history.

The team, of players ranging from ages 12-15, won the Washington state tournament against the Ballard Juniors Little League on July 14 in Everett.

“This is the first time that a FWNLL softball team has won state,” said Manager Jeff Hackney. “It means a lot for me to see these girls reach this level. I don’t have the words to express how proud I am of all these girls.”

The Federal Way National team is representing Washington state at the West Regional tournament in Tucson, Arizona from July 22-28.

The first game in Tucson is Saturday, July 23. If the team is successful at the regional tournament, the team moves on to the Little League Juniors World Series held in Kirkland in August.

“They have worked hard this year making tremendous improvements, and I know they will do their best to try and bring back the regional title as well,” Hackney said.

On July 19, the team and coaches were honored at the Federal Way City Council meeting.

The championship-winning game against Ballard was a battle from the start, with no runs scored until the third inning, Hackney said.

A triple by Samantha Hackney down the third baseline, followed up by a sacrifice fly by Samantha Jolley allowed Federal Way to take the lead 1-0. The fourth inning started with a hard line drive to right field by Monica Fierro, with two outs Ava Robertson walked and Samantha Hackney hit a double to score another run.

The team got an issuance run in the sixth inning. The final score was 3-0 with Federal Way securing the championship. Audrey Deviney pitched a great game with 12 strikeouts over seven innings, giving up only three hits, Hackney said.

As the team heads to Arizona, Federal Way National is accepting donations to assist with travel costs. To donate, visit 99pledges.com/fund/federalway.

The team is led by Manager Jeff Hackney, Coach Jeremiah Carter, Coach Tim McCabe and Coach Kris Jolley. The players are Jaelyn Barnum, Izzy Blasé, Brooklin Carter, Jordyn Davis-Thompson, Audrey Deviney, Monica Fierro, Claire Foster, Samantha Hackney, Samantha Jolley, Adrienne Koontz, Hayden McCabe, Ava Robertson, Valentina Ruiz and Karis Song.