Blue and white balloons surrounded the scene as the city of Kirkland held a send-off rally for the Kirkland majors softball all-stars on July 18 at the Marina Park Pavilion.
Mayor Amy Walen said the team was an inspiration as it prepared to depart for the Western Regionals in San Bernardino, California, the following morning.
Former Kirkland Little League majors and juniors star Tori Bivens, who also led Lake Washington High to a state title and now plays at Boise State, spoke to the girls about teamwork.
The girls are Erin McKeag, Hailey Story, Emma Pascal, Ashlyn Cook, Kya Aldrich, Bella Ely, Kaidance Caiola, Emily Nielsen, Christina Minor, Mary Madaline Roe and Zoe Tarrach.
At regionals, Kirkland defeated Alaska, 15-1, and Montana, 21-0, in their first two games on July 21-22. They were to play Oregon on Tuesday, after the Reporter’s deadline for its July 27 print edition.
Against Alaska, Minor had two hits and earned the win with eight strikeouts in the four-inning game. Pascal had two hits and three RBIs and Caiola had two RBIs.
In the three-inning Montana win, Kirkland got two hits each from Caiola, Ely, Story (three RBIs) and Pascal (two RBIs). Aldrich, Cook and Roe had three RBIs each and Minor got the win with six strikeouts.
The regionals winner will advance to the Little League World Series on Aug. 8-15 in Portland, Oregon.
Kirkland defeated Snohomish twice to notch the state title by scores of 2-1 in eight innings and 8-3 in the championship game on July 8 in Vancouver.