KRV junior softball squad collects TOC Championship

The Kern River Valley Little League Junior Softball team display their TOC (Tournament of Champions) banner after winning the championship game on Saturday.

By Ray Conner

The Kern River Valley junior softball team continued their winning ways.

After going through the season at 12-0, next up was the Tournament of Champions (TOC) games. KRV’s squad playing in the California Junior Softball District 51 TOC dominated in the championship.

Playing the game at George Randall Field in Kernville, the team only played four innings as they ran past their Tehachapi Vipers opponents 21-0. The KRV squad put the ball in play, took advantage of a struggling pitcher, and scored early and often in taking the victory.

The KRV squad set down their opponent in the top of the first. When they came to bat, they were eager to get the offense rolling. The dust settled and the home team was looking at a score of 8-0. Three hits, one free pass, and three hit batters produced runners that circled the bases. They followed that with a pair of runs in the second. They would finish the scoring with an 11-run third to put the margin at 21-0.

In the circle, Jade Montes tossed a two-hit shutout. She pitched all four innings allowing no runs on two hits. She struck out three and walked two in picking up the win.

For the game, the KRV squad was walked five times and hit by the pitch seven times. They also collected nine hits as a team. Leading the way on offense was Ashley Plante with two hits, including a double. She scored twice and knocked in a pair of runs.

Gabby Eastes delivered two hits, scored three times and had one RBI. Emma Bechtel also had a pair of hits and scored two, while Kenadie Young smacked a double and scored two times. Naomi Tapia had one hit scored, twice and drove in one run. Rounding out the hit parade was Bobbie Pruitt who had one hit and once run scored. Breena Elliott was credited with two RBIs in the game.

Teagan Liske, Amber McArhen, and Bella Goffinet recorded one RBI apiece for the KRV team. Kiera Hayes crossed the plate twice, while Josie Wilder scored once to cap the offense for the champions of the TOC.

In order to get to the championship game, the KRV team had to go through the Fireflies. This was a battle as neither team wanted to give in. Burt in the end the KRV squad came though and delivered the 4-2 victory to advance them to the championship game.

The Fireflies opened the scoring in the bottom of the third. They were able to score on a ground out and the game stood at 1-0. KRV had no answer until the t of the third. They would knot the game at 1-1. With two outs, Montes cracked a double. Young followed with a double of her own to drive in her teammate.

The KRV team took the lead in the top of the fifth. Pruitt delivered a run-scoring single after McAhren reach first on a hit batsman. The score was sitting at 2-1 when KRV came to bat in the top of the sixth. This time two runs would cross the plate. Montes had the big hit as she drove in two runs with a double to put the score at 4-1. Plante started the rally as she opened the inning with a single. Estes was HBP to put runners at first and second. The Fireflies scored once in the bottom of the seventh, but the rally was cut short and the KRV team earned the hard-fought win.