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Smiling in sixth

The Tigard/Tualatin City team finishes play at the Little League Softball World Series


Photo Credit: DAN BROOD - FINAL CHEER -- The Tigard/Tualatin City Little League all-star softball team brings it in one last time following the fifth-place game at the Little League Softball World Series.PORTLAND — No. 6.

Not in the state.

Not in the region.

Not even in the country.

The Tigard/Tualatin City Little League Majors (ages 11-12) all-star softball team can claim to be the No. 6 team in the entire world.

And the squad, which earned that lofty achievement with its play at the Little League Softball World Series, which ended Aug. 13 at Alpenrose Stadium, is pretty darn happy about it.

“That means a lot to us,” Tigard/Tualatin City shortstop Bella Valdes said of the sixth-place finish at the World Series. “I’m so happy. This is big, and it’s a lot of fun.”

“It means everything to us,” Tigard/TC pitcher Tia Cordts said. “We got to play some competitive softball.”

“It means so much,” Jennifer Redfern said. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing. And it was definitely fun. All of the girls were so nice.”

“It was so special to do this with this team,” Tigard/Tualatin City third baseman Brooke Clinton said. “We’re crazy and loud and work well together.”

“Just getting here is a great accomplishment,” Tigard/TC manager Chris Cordts said. “Getting here is a great accomplishment. It’s a dream that thousands of girls don’t get to live. I’m so proud of these girls.”

Photo Credit: DAN BROOD - SLIDING IN -- Tigard/TC's Alexis Klum (right) hits a second-inning triple in the World Series fifth-place game. The Tigard/Tualatin City team went 2-3 in its five Little League World Series games, finishing up on Aug. 13 with a 9-1 loss to Canada regional champion Hampton Little League, from Victoria, British Columbia, in the World Series fifth-place game.

The setback left the Tigard/Tualatin City with the No. 6 placing.

“I thought we did well,” said Tigard/TC catcher Alexis Klum, who tripled and scored the team’s run in the fifth-place contest. “We deserved it.”

“We worked hard to get here,” Gillian Livingston added.

Tigard/Tualatin City, sometimes known as TNT, defeated both Prague, Czech Republic, and Puerto Rico to earn its spot in the World Series fifth-place contest.

And the TNT squad got off to a strong start to the contest.

After a scoreless first inning, Klum led off the top of the second frame with a triple to right-center field, hustling to beat the Canada team’s throw to third base.

“I was excited about that,” Klum said of her triple. “I had been in a slump.”

After Clinton flew out to center field for the first out of the inning. Tigard/TC’s Emily Harms struck out. But, noticing that Canada catcher Hallie Holland dropped the ball on strike three, the alert Harms quickly sprinted toward first base. When Holland made the throw to first to put out Harms, Klum broke to home plate. The speedy Klum beat the throw back to the plate, giving TNT a 1-0 lead.

Photo Credit: DAN BROOD - CAUGHT STEALING -- Tigard/TC shortstop Bella Valdes (left) looks to grab the ball before tagging out Canada's Lauren Thomas. Canada, getting a double from Taylor Chenard and an RBI bunt single from Alexandria Henderson, answered back with three runs in its half of the second inning to claim a 3-1 advantage.

Tigard/TC got a two-out single from Carly Atwood in the top of the third inning, but the local squad couldn’t take advantage of the hit.

Canada, capitalizing on a pair of TNT errors and getting a two-run single by Saleen Burnett, scored five runs in the bottom of the third inning to up its lead to 8-1.

The team from British Columbia got another run in the fourth inning to make the score 9-1. But the Tigard/TC team wasn’t about to give up.

Livingston, taking over the pitching duties after Canada scored its ninth run, threw shutout ball the rest of the way for Tigard/Tualatin City.

The local team, still trailing 9-1, kept its hopes up going into the final frame.

Nicole Box led off that inning, the top of the sixth, with a single to left-center field.

“I really wanted to get a hit,” Box said. “I wanted one more.”

Showing the aggressiveness the team has boasted throughout the World Series, Box wasted no time in stealing second base.

After Redfern drew a walk, Leah Sandoz put down a bunt single to load the bases with no outs in the inning.

Tigard/Tualatin City seemed to have momentum on its side at that point, but the talented Canada team was up to the challenge.

Canada pitcher Kasha Ross coaxed back-to-back fielder’s choice grounders, with Box and Redfern being forced out on close plays at the plate. A fly ball out to shallow right field ended the game, giving Canada a 9-1 win.

“There’s no give up in these girls,” Tigard/TC manager Chris Cordts said of his team.

“We try never to give up,” Atwood said with a smile.

“We kept up the attitude and effort,” Clinton said.

“We try to keep cheering each other on no matter what,” Valdes said.

Photo Credit: DAN BROOD - SMART PLAY -- Tigard/TC's Emily Harms (right) sprints to first base after a dropped third strike in the team's game with Canada. Drawing the throw to first allowed Alexis Klum to score for the Tigard/TC squad.“This was so cool,” Tia Cordts said of the World Series experience. “It was everything I thought it would be, and more.”

Tigard/Tualatin City had four base hits in the World Series fifth-place contest. Klum had her first-inning single, while Atwood, Box and Sandoz each had a single. Redfern drew a walk and Harms, with her her heads-up play on the passed ball on strike three, helped the TNT squad get its run.

Tia Cordts, Elizabeth Hillier and Livingston all pitched for Tigard/Tualatin City in the contest. They combined to strike out four batters while walking five. Five of the Canada runs were earned.

Klum, in addition to her triple and run scored, also shined on defense for Tigard/TC. From her catcher spot, she threw out two Canada base runners on stolen base attempts, one at second and one at third, with Valdes making the tag each time. For the game, Klum had six total chances without an error.

Clinton, at third base, and Harms, at first, also had strong defensive efforts.

Photo Credit: DAN BROOD - FUNDAMENTALS -- Tigard/TC's Leah Sandoz puts down a bunt for a single in the team's game with Canada at the Little League Softball World Series.For Canada, Ross pitched a complete game, striking out six and walking one.

Henderson went 2 for 2 at the plate with two runs scored and two RBIs to help lead the Canada offense. Jessica Strandlund went 2 for 4 with a double, two runs scored and two RBIs.

Members of the Tigard/TC Little League Majors softball team playing at the World Series include Alexis Klum, Kendra Zuckerman, Tia Cordts, Bella Valdes, Elizabeth Hillier, Logan Mentzer, Carly Atwood, Brooke Clinton, Nicole Box, Leah Sandoz, Gillian Livingston, Emily Harms and Jennifer Redfern. Chris Cordts is the team’s manager, with coaches Frank Redfern and Derek Atwood.



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