Kya Aldrich unleashes a pitch. Courtesy of Kristin Pascal

Kya Aldrich unleashes a pitch. Courtesy of Kristin Pascal

Kirkland knocks past Canada in World Series

Locals to play in quarterfinals on Monday

Kirkland refueled and unleashed its firepower on the softball diamond.

After losing the day before, the locals rebounded with a 7-3 triumph over Canada (Victoria, British Columbia) on Sunday night in the Little League Softball World Series at Alpenrose Stadium in Portland, Oregon.

Kirkland (3-1), which finished second in Pool A, will take on Wheelersburg, Ohio (2-2), which finished third in Pool B, at 10 a.m. on Monday in the elimination quarterfinals. The game will be televised on ESPN2.

“I feel like we learned from our mistakes yesterday and we all fought really hard, battled through the whole game,” said Kya Aldrich, who went 4-for-4 and earned the complete-game win with nine strikeouts.

Added Ashlyn Cook about Saturday’s 12-2 defeat to the East: “That loss kind of pumped us up even more for this game.”

The locals bolted out to a 6-0 lead with three runs in the top of the fourth inning on RBI blasts by Bella Ely (double) and Aldrich (triple) and an RBI groundout from Hailey Story. Aldrich added her final single as Kirkland tacked on another run in the sixth.

Kirkland sent eight batters to the plate in the third inning and tallied three runs to take a 3-0 lead on a two-RBI, bases-loaded single by Cook, and Story scored on a wild pitch with the bases loaded. Story, Kaidence Caiola and Aldrich also singled during the at-bat.

“I was pumped up at that time because I knew that even a base hit was gonna score something and get this game going,” Cook said. “I was zoned in and I was looking for that pitch down the middle, ‘cause I know that this girl had been throwing it all night, so I was ready for it.”

“It was great, it just felt normal,” Aldrich said of busting out the early runs.

Canada cut Kirkland’s lead in half to 6-3 with three runs on four singles in the fourth inning.

Aldrich and Kirkland escaped a no-out jam in the first inning with two runners on with two strikeouts and a popout. Aldrich also fanned two in the second as Canada stranded a runner at third, and Canada left a pair of runners on base in the fifth and sixth. Aldrich reeled off 127 pitches.

Aldrich took a comebacker to the mound off her ankle bone during the game.

“When I got hit, it kind of made me fight harder. I felt like I was about to faint, but I really wanted that game. I feel like our whole team did great just fighting,” said Aldrich, who was icing the bone during this interview.

“We’re all icing our arms, our hamstrings, our feet, for Kya,” Cook said with a laugh.

Story, whose nickname is Hay Hay, said it’s nerve wracking playing in the World Series, but she’s thrilled to compete against teams from other states and countries and notch some wins.

“We have a lot of friends from other countries and we’ll hang out in the hallways,” she said.

Mental strength, Story noted, is one of the hallmarks of Kirkland’s success over the last three years, in which they’ve only lost four games.

The girls have become closer on and off the diamond during that journey across Washington, into California and now to Portland. It’s a sisterhood of the traveling softball squad.

“It’s really fun to get to hang out with your friends all the time,” Story said.

Front photo: Christina Minor makes a play at second as Bella Ely stands by. Courtesy of workmac-LLSWS

Kirkland takes the field. Courtesy of Kristin Pascal

Kirkland takes the field. Courtesy of Kristin Pascal

More in Sports

Sportswriter Shaun Scott and his friends Brian Walker and Tony Walker met NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal at Big Chicken restaurant in Las Vegas, Nevada on Nov. 24. Courtesy photo
A memorable Vegas trip

Sportswriter Shaun Scott meets one of the best NBA players to ever lace up sneakers.

Blasting through the pool, racking up victories

Lake Washington swim and dive team shines in KingCo.

Kangs defeat Rebels in girls hoops showdown

Lake Washington and Juanita players battle for the ball in a 2A/3A… Continue reading

Lake Washington defeats Juanita in boys hoops; local girls squads face off tonight

Torin Montgomery amassed 15 points and 17 rebounds to lead Lake Washington… Continue reading

Intong leads tight-knit Juanita team to success

Rebel senior jumps into her fourth year on the squad.

Liesse helps lead LW to hot hoops start

Kang sophomore possesses an all-around game.

Amberly Melendez: Walking the long road

Northwest University graduate shines on the world racewalking scene

Juanita battles Bellevue in hoops action

Juanita’s Tyler King reaches for the ball while Rebel Jake Hohu provides… Continue reading

Kirkland athletes are ready to row in college

Kelly, Laukaitis compete for Sammamish Rowing Association.

Lake Washington, Juanita football players earn all-league honors

A plethora of Lake Washington and Juanita football players earned 2A/3A KingCo… Continue reading

Kirkland-based adult tennis squad takes second at nationals

Mixed doubles squad travels to Florida for tourney.