Snow Canyon stifles Texas to win Junior League Softball World Series

West (Snow Canyon) players and coaches pose with championship banner after beating Southwest (Texas) 9-3 in Junior League Softball World Series championship game, Kirkland, Washington, Aug. 4, 2018 | Photo courtesy of Nate Staheli, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — The Snow Canyon Little League all-stars are the world softball champions, thanks to a 9-3 victory over Smithville, Texas, in the Junior League Softball World Series championship game Saturday afternoon.

Playing at Kirkland, Washington in front of a national television audience (the game was broadcast live on ESPNews), the West champions jumped out to an early 7-0 lead over the Southwest champs after two innings and stayed ahead the remainder of the game.

“We got out to a quick start hitting the ball and put some runs up,” West head coach Jeremy Mooring told St. George News after the game. “That settled the girls down and we relied on our defense to carry us.”

Starting pitcher Jenna Thorkelson was perfect for West over the first three innings, allowing no baserunners while striking out four batters.

West posted its first runs in the bottom of the first inning thanks to a two-run single by Jael Wilde that scored McKenna Staheli, who’d been hit by a pitch to start the inning, and Thorkelson, who’d singled on a fly ball to left. Wilde advanced to third on the play, due to a fielder’s error.

Kambrie Stuart then brought home Wilde with a single to make it 3-0 for West after one inning.

West added four more runs in the bottom of the second, thanks to back-to-back doubles by Stuart and Ginny Deming, followed by a single by Tyler Mooring that scored Deming.

Southwest led off the fourth inning with a pair of hits. The first batter, Mihyia Davis, eventually scored on a wild pitch, after which Gabriela Leal singled in another run to make the score 7-2. West put two runners on in the bottom of the fourth but came up empty in the frame.

Thorkelson buckled down in the fifth, quickly retiring all three batters and picking up two more strikeouts.

West picked up another run in the bottom of the fifth as Wilde singled to score Staheli and make it 8-2.

Tyler Mooring replaced Thorkelson at pitcher with no out and one runner on in the top of the sixth. The next two batters got out, but Texas later managed to score one run to make it 8-3.

West added its ninth and final run in the bottom of the sixth when Addison Lacayo singled to score Mooring, but trailing baserunner Anyssa Montano was subsequently thrown out at home for the third out.

Texas singled to lead off the top of the seventh, but later hit into a double play triggered by a popup to third. Kiyanna Sampson then flew out to West centerfielder Staheli, ending the game.

Following the final out, West’s players, coaches and fans celebrated in the stands and on the field as they awaited the presentation of the championship trophy and banner.

“I am proud of these girls and all the hard work they have put in,” coach Mooring said.

The weeklong tournament featured a total of 10 teams of girls age 14 and under, including four international squads, playing four days of pool play, followed by a single-elimination championship bracket Thursday through Saturday. With West’s 8-6 semifinal win over Italy on Friday, Snow Canyon became the first Utah team to advance to the finals in the tournament’s 20-year history. The high-scoring Snow Canyon team collectively outscored its opponents 69-17 as it went 7-0 through the seven-day World Series tournament.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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1 Comment

  • tenx August 4, 2018 at 9:50 pm

    Congrats to the Snow Canyon girls. Just think…..World Series Champs! And thanks to StGnews for covering local sports, especially this great win. Fantastic!!!

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