ALACHUA, Fla. — Both figuratively and literally, Hoquiam’s all-stars endured a long day at the Babe Ruth Softball 12-U World Series on Friday.
Battling intense heat, thunderstorms and a pair of tough Florida opponents, Hoquiam dropped its first two World Series contests at Alachua, Fla.
Falling barely short with a late rally, the Hoquiamites fell to Middleburg, Fla., 7-6, in their second game Friday night.
Host Santa Fe., Fla., downed Hoquiam, 13-3, in the tourney opener.
Hoquiam continues round-robin pool play against JPRD East of Louisiana this morning and Mount Olive of New Jersey this afternoon.
A thunderstorm delayed play for more than two hours Friday, interrupting the Hoquiam-Santa Fe game in the third inning and pushing back the remainder of the program. The Hoquiam-Middleburg game didn’t conclude until approximately 10:45 p.m.
Hoquiam manager Scott German said his team was affected by the humid conditions.
“I’ve never dealt with anything like that and I can’t imagine what it was like for the kids,” he said. “But the kids battled back and never gave up.”
Trailing Middleburg, 7-1, Hoquiam closed the gap with a five-run fifth inning. Randie Stewart ignited the rally with a single and Taylor Strom delivered an RBI single in the inning.
Ruby Pope bunted for a hit and Kacey Pelan drove in a run with a squeeze bunt.
Kylee Bagwell doubled for Hoquiam. Abbi Spradlin, who made a diving catch in center field, received the Defensive Most Valuable Player award.
Santa Fe countered a three-run Hoquiam first inning by scoring seven runs in its half of the same frame.
Bagwell and Maya Jump had the only two Hoquiam hits. Jump, who made several fine plays at shortstop, earned Defensive MVP honors.