By GERRY STEELE
Of the Baker City Herald
Bakers Senior girls softball teams hopes of advancing to the World Series next week came to an abrupt end Monday at the regional tournament in Southern California.
East Redding, Calif., scored three runs in the top of the sixth inning to come from behind and edge Baker 4-3 to eliminate Baker from the tournament. Baker had dropped into consolation play Sunday after a 9-0 loss to Glendale, Calif.
Its been a fun ride, but I cant believe its over, said Baker manager Dale Curtis. It was great while it lasted.
Curtis said East Redding entered Mondays game with a 40-1 record after suffering its first loss of the season Monday against Utah.
They were undefeated coming into the tournament. And, Glendale chose players from among 150 teams in its area, he said.
We finished 16th in the world. What more can you ask for from this group of girls? Curtis said.
Against East Redding, Baker jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning.
Anne Hensley got the ball rolling with a walk. Amanda Moutsanides singled, and both runners came home on a double by Rachel Hill.
East Redding cut Bakers lead to 2-1 in the second, but Baker boosted its cushion back to 3-1 in the fourth.
In that inning, Mogan Shira reached base on a bunt single. She was sacrificed to second by Amanda Cribbs. And, when East Redding tried to make a play on Shira and threw the ball away, Shira scored.
Then, in the fateful sixth, East Redding scored two runs on an RBI double to left-center field and a bloop single into shallow left field. The winning run scored later in the inning on a Baker error.
Julie Lovisone took the loss, allowing all three runs. She gave up three hits, struck out two and walked one in three innings of work.
Moutsanides started in the circle for Baker, allowing one run on four hits, while striking four and walking three.
The girls played much better today. They came out playing like they can, said Baker coach Kathy Taylor.
Our pitching just wasnt like it has been, she said.
Taylor said the playing surface at Hawthorne was made of sand.
Playing on the sand, our pitchers were slipping on their deliveries and werent able to get their usual power on their pitches, Taylor said.
The girls are disappointed, of course, but they played well.
The loss ends a successful run through the post season for the Baker girls in which they won district, state and division titles to advance to the regionals.
The members of the Baker squad are Moutsanides, Lovisone, Hensley, Hill, Shira, Cribbs, Erin Brookshire, Kirsten Brookshire, Lauren Robbins, Kaela Curtis and Andi Conklin. Janey-Rae Collins was also chosen for the team, but she was injured during a practice and was unable to play.
Dale Curtis said the team tentatively will fly back to Baker City Wednesday.
East Redding 0 1 0 0 0 3 0 4
Baker 2 0 0 1 0 0 0 3
Muncy, Mantor (5) and Bunson, Sain (5). Moutsanides, Lovisone (5) and E. Brookshire. WP Mantor. LP Lovisone.
Baker hits Curtis, Moutsanides, Hill, Shira.
Baker RBI Hill 2.