Auburn Little League Dynamite finish fifth at Western Regionals

The Washington State Little League Junior Softball champion Auburn Dynamite wrapped up its season this past weekend with a 9-2 loss to the Fontana, Calif., all-stars in the West Regional Tournament in Tucson, Ariz.

The Dynamite ended the double-elimination tourney in fifth place, and the all-stars from Sunnyside, Ariz., took home first-place and a berth in the Little League Junior Softball World Series.

After opening the tourney on July 31 with a 3-0 win against Fontana, Calif., the Dynamite found themselves on the losing end of a 13-1 game against the all-stars from Alaska in round two then lost to Fontana in the final game.

"Finishing fifth at Western Region was no small feat," team manager Perry Azevedo said. "Our last two losses we jumped on both opponents, but couldn't hold the lead. Everyone gave their best effort to the very end. We just fell short of our goal."

The postseason began for the Dynamite on June 27 in the Washington State Regional Tournament.

The Dynamite put away the South Hill all-stars 17-1 and 11-5 in back-to-back games to win the regionals and a berth in the state tourney.

The Dynamite swept through the competition at the state tournament, easily beating teams from Bainbridge Island, Woodinville and Lake Stevens to grab the state title and a chance to represent Washington at the regionals.

Through their first six games of the postseason, the Dynamite averaged 13.4 runs per game and gave up just three runs.

In Arizona, however, the team couldn't its offense started.

In the postseason. Taylor Hansen led the way for the Dynamite, going 15-of-31 for a .484 average with six doubles, two triples, a home run, 12 RBIs and 15 runs.

Brianna Azevado hit .438 with five doubles, a triple and 13 RBIs.

Also contributing at the plate were Jordyn Judge (.438 with eight runs scored), Emily Bartholomew (.414 with six RBIs and a home run), Laurel Tauzer (.364 with four RBIs and seven runs scored) and Megan Perius (.346 with four RBIs and three triples).

Carly Ross, Jill Tinsley and Caitlyn Rhoades added four RBIs apiece and Mindy Wanner had an RBI.

In the circle, Rhoades finished 7-2 with a 2.678 ERA through 49.2 innings pitched. She struck out 29 and gave up only 19 earned runs.

Reliever Azevedo pitched 6.1 innings and finished with a 5.526 ERA and seven strikeouts.

Next season the Dynamite will disperse as the girls move on to play prep fastpitch for Auburn, Auburn Riverside and Auburn Mountainview high schools.

Perry Azevedo, who has managed teams in the Auburn Little League for more than a decade, is retiring from coaching.

"I'm very proud to have been associated with this group and the whole city of Auburn who backed us all the way," he said.

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