Redmond manager Cheryl Johnson pointed at Natalia Farago, who slightly limped toward her friends after the game with an ice pack tied to her left leg. That’s one tough kid there, Johnson said.
Farago took a comebacker to the mound in the second inning, but stayed in the game at third base in Redmond’s 12-9 loss to the Southeast (Tampa, Florida) in Wednesday’s final Pool A matchup at the Junior Softball World Series at Everest Park in Kirkland.
Johnson is proud of her team, which went 1-3 in pool play and will compete in single-elimination championship play starting tomorrow. Redmond will play the West (Santa Clara, Utah) at 1:30 p.m on Thursday; the West led Pool B with a 4-0 record.
“They just don’t give up and they wanna keep at it, and we’ll battle with a few bruises and bumps and still be there for the rest of their team, so it’s great,” Johnson said.
The Southeast blasted out a 9-1 lead with nine runs in the top of the second after Redmond took a 1-0 lead in the first on a Ella Claus triple and Kimora Johnson RBI groundout.
Redmond added a run on a Southeast overthrow in the third and the Southeast tacked on three runs in the fourth to go up 12-2.
The locals stormed back with five runs in the fourth inning on a two-RBI single from Sundis Cole, a two-RBI double from Johnson and an RBI double from Farago. Redmond added a pair of runs in the sixth on an RBI single from Farago and an RBI double from Grace Haegele, who pitched the final five innings.
“We tell them over and over and over, you can do this, it doesn’t matter what the score is — they hit eight, we can hit eight, let’s just keep going,” manager Johnson said. “It’s amazing to see them out there believing in themselves, being young women empowered like that. They keep digging deep within themselves to keep playing.”
Claus had three hits, Farago and Cole had two hits each and Farago and Johnson had three RBIs apiece.
Defensively, Claus made several catches in center field, second baseman Cole tagged a much taller runner to start a double play and also made a lunging catch, and Haegele slid on her knees to snag a popup in front of the mound.