Hoquiam 16U All-Stars eliminated from Babe Ruth World Series play

WILSON COUNTY, N.C. — Hoquiam’s stay in the Babe Ruth 16U Softball World Series ended Monday afternoon.

Starting bracket play, Hoquiam was unable to keep up offensively with Pittsfield, Mass., and Lodi, Calif., to bow out of the tournament in a tie for fifth place.

The placing for Hoquiam was its third-best finish in a 16U World Series in its history. Its best finishes came in 2001 in third place and 2009 in fifth place.

Pittsfield scored three runs in the top of the 10th inning and held off a Hoquiam rally to win, 4-2, in 10 innings. In a loser-out contest later in the day, Hoquiam was held to just six hits in a 4-1 loss to Lodi.

“To go 10 innings in a 1-1 game, we had our shots,” Hoquiam manager Mike Cummings said. “We couldn’t hit the ball. Coming over here, I was worried about that. We got here and we didn’t hit. If you don’t hit, you don’t win.

“The defense played great and Bailee Bradley is an animal (in the circle),” Cummings said. “She threw every inning in the heat and never slowed down. Kylie Stewart caught all 10 innings in the heat. Those two really battled hard; the whole defense battled hard.”

Against Pittsfield, Hoquiam had chances late in the game and in extra innings to win, but stranded runners in scoring position. It cost it the game after Pittsfield slugged three runs in the top of the 10th inning and got out of Hoquiam’s one-run in the bottom of the frame.

Bradley took the loss in the circle. Ellie Quercia, cited by Cummings for her offense, was named the game’s MVP with three hits, including a double. Ashlyn Wakefield was also cited by Cummings for her offense.

Against Lodi, the California Central Valley squad scored three in the top of the second inning and scatted six Hoquiam hits. Kayla Hilliard was the game’s MVP for Hoquiam and Emma Skinner finished with two singles.

Weekend games

Hoquiam went 3-1 in pool play with wins on Saturday and Sunday to get into the championship bracket.

On Sunday, Hoquiam finished pool play with an 8-2 victory over East Beaufort, N.C. On Saturday, Hoquiam knocked off Fern Creek, Kent., 7-3.

Against East Beaufort, N.C., Skinner and Bradley each had three hits, with Wakefield and Maddie Studer each driving in two runs and Ali Spradlin an RBI as well.

Struder’s two-run double and Wakefield’s two-run single in the third inning opened the game for Hoquiam. Bradley struck out five, walked four and scattered six hits in the circle. Skinner was named the game’s MVP.

On Saturday, a two-out, two-run double by Kala Hilliard allowed Hoquiam to grab the lead from Fern Creek in the win. Bradley scattered eight hits and struck out four in the circle.

Quercia, who won Sunday’s bases race, was named the game’s MVP with two hits, two runs scored and excellent defense, added Cummings. Wakefield slugged three hits and an RBI, Hilliard and Kaitlyn Paladin added two hits each.