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Jr. Eagles fall shy at Babe Ruth World Series

Eagle Point was able to bring the tying run to the plate in its last at-bat, but the Jr. Eagles couldn’t pull off the comeback in the championship semifinals Tuesday at the 14-Under Babe Ruth Softball World Series in Jensen Beach, Florida.

One rough inning spurred by three errors ultimately proved costly for the Upper Rogue champions in a 6-4 loss to Longwood Impact of Longwood, Florida.

“We just had a couple errors early in the game and didn’t get our bats going until later in the game, and we just came up short,” said Jr. Eagles coach John Thompson.

While Eagle Point’s championship hopes were dashed with its first loss of the tournament, the Jr. Eagles still have an opportunity to finish as high as third place at the 10-team event.

The local girls dropped into the Diamond Bracket and will play a consolation semifinal game at 8 a.m. PDT Wednesday against the Centennial Bombers.

The winner of that game returns to the field at noon to play for third and fourth place overall. The Eagle Point-Centennial loser plays at noon in a Diamond Bracket placing game for fifth or sixth overall.

“They were really disappointed right after the game,” said Thompson, “but now we know we’re still here to compete for something and that’s what we’re doing.”

“We took them to the beach for a couple hours to decompress,” he added, “and now they’re sitting in a truck singing and dancing and waiting to go to the mall. Ultimately, we won’t know how they took (the loss) until tomorrow, but I think they’ll be OK.”

On Sunday, Eagle Point topped Centennial 16-1 during pool play.

In Tuesday’s semifinal, the Jr. Eagles and Longwood were even at 2-all through four innings before the Impact took advantage of a few miscues to build a 6-2 advantage in the fifth inning.

In the seventh, Eagle Point’s Kaylena Hoag ripped a two-run triple to bring her team within 6-4 but, with two outs, cleanup hitter Caitlyn Warner’s fly ball to left field was hauled in to end the game.

Cleo Smith, Alexis Waites and ZahRiah Silafau recorded the only other hits for the Jr. Eagles, with Smith, Cailey Rizzardo, Coleen Thompson and Bailee Worrell each crossing the plate.

Warner allowed two hits and three runs — one earned — over four innings inside the circle with no walks and no strikeouts, while Smith pitched three innings and allowed three runs — none earned — with one hit allowed against one walk and four strikeouts.

Longwood Impact will play Vineland Pigtail, a 3-2 winner against Angola Kids, in Wednesday’s championship game. In the other Diamond Bracket semifinal, Angola Kids will match up against JPRD West.

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