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Hits keep coming for Jr. Eagles

Sure, it’s been a fun trip to Florida this week for a group of Eagle Point teenage girls, but it’s not just been a vacation for the Jr. Eagles.

With dreams of claiming the crown at the 14-Under Babe Ruth Softball World Series in Jensen Beach, Florida, the Jr. Eagles have put their best foot forward and took another big step Monday by opening bracket play with an 8-3 win over West Volusia of DeBary, Florida.

That win sets up a 6 a.m. PDT meeting Tuesday with the Longwood Impact of Longwood, Florida, in the tournament semifinals, with the winner advancing to Wednesday’s championship game.

Thus far, Eagle Point has been perfect in the win column after prevailing in its warm-up game before posting four straight victories in pool play and then winning with ease Monday.

“Everybody had great hits today with solid offense and solid defense,” said Jr. Eagles coach John Thompson.

Caitlyn Warner and Cailey Rizzardo were the stories of the game Monday, with Warner pitching “phenomenally,” according to Thompson, and Rizzardo making “multiple great plays” at shortstop to go with their exploits on offense to pace Eagle Point.

Warner allowed three runs — none earned — on seven hits in seven innings inside the circle. She struck out two and walked none.

At the plate, Warner was 3-for-3 with a team-high three RBIs as the Jr. Eagles struck early and often against West Volusia, which was playing in its second game of the day after having to win a pigtail game to match up against the Pool B champions.

Rizzardo smacked two doubles and finished 3-for-4 with three runs scored and was named the player of the game by tournament officials.

Third baseman Cleo Smith continued her productive play by going 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles, one run and one RBI, while right fielder Bailee Worrell drove in two runs and Caitlyn Brotzman made several key defensive plays in center field.

Kaylena Hoag also had an RBI for Eagle Point, and Coleen Thompson endured her sixth game behind the plate at catcher in humid conditions.

The Longwood Impact beat the host TCAA Wildcats 10-0 in their bracket opener.

Pool A champion Vineland Pigtail will face Angola Kids at 8 a.m. PDT in the other semifinal, with winners playing at 2 p.m. PDT Wednesday in the championship and losers dropping into the Diamond Bracket semifinals for a chance at placing third overall.

— Reach reporter Kris Henry at 541-776-4488, khenry@mailtribune.com, www.facebook.com/krishenryMT or www.twitter.com/Kris_Henry