Monument Major Boys in title game
For the past three years, the Monument Little League baseball team has dominated the District 1 Major Division on the Western Slope.
In 2011, Monument notched its first District 1 title and went on to win the state championship. Monument repeated as champs in 2012.
Now, with many players who have experienced both title runs, the Monument Little Leaguers are thinking Waco, Texas, where the regional tournament is held. And maybe, just maybe, the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa.
A 19-3, four-inning victory Wednesday over Grand Mesa secured Monument a chance to three-peat.
“We’re hoping we compete well (at state),” coach Corey Hafey said. “We’re really hoping for a chance to go to Waco and have a chance to represent Colorado in the Little League World Series. It would be fun.
“They have a lot of composure, they’re very disciplined and can take a lot pitches for kids in this age group. They wait for their pitch, even with the quality pitching we’ve seen in this tournament.”
Kaden King finished with two hits, including an opposite-field home run for Monument.
Fruita takes 9-10 Girls title
In the bottom of the fourth inning, Brooklyn Lucero wasn’t thinking about clearing the bases to enact the 10-run rule in the 9-10 Girls District 1 Little League softball championship game.
“I was just trying to get on base and knew that if I didn’t make a hit, then the person behind me (in the batting order), Bella (DiDinato) would,” Lucero said. “I was just hoping we could win this game and get the three runs in.”
But after ripping a triple to the right-center gap, Lucero was mobbed by her screaming teammates immediately after the 15-5 victory over Grand Mesa on Wednesday.
The win showed Fruita’s resilience after Grand Mesa denied Fruita’s bid for the title Tuesday, defeating Fruita 12-2 to force a second game for the title.
After falling behind 5-0 in the top of the first, the entire Fruita squad huddled up apart from coach Loren Paulson, who wasn’t sure what was said, but it sparked a collective attitude change.
“We knew that no matter what happened, they’d keep battling,” Paulson said. “It’s something we’ve stressed to them all season.”
“We kind of believed in ourselves, and we hit the ball pretty good,” said Shay Cutshall who tripled and scored four runs.
Fruita will host the state tourney, which begins Friday.
In the District 1 Little League Softball Junior Girls Division on Wednesday, Delta defeated Grand Mesa 20-5 in an elimination game.
In other District 1 Little League baseball tournaments Wednesday:
9-10 Boys: Monument defeated Three Rivers 12-2 to earn a spot in Friday’s championship game as the lone unbeaten team left in the double-elimination tourney. Three Rivers will play Fruita in an elimination game at 7 p.m. today at the Orchard Mesa Little League fields. Fruita remained alive Wednesday with a 15-0 win over Fruita 2.
10-11 Boys: Three Rivers defeated Delta 11-1 to advance to a championship game today against Monument at 6 p.m. at the Monument Little League fields.