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Following a two-game sweep of Redmond, the Crook County juniors softball team now advances to the state tournament.

PMG PHOTO: ANDY DIECKHOFF - Crook County pitcher Jolene Bartolotti throws from the circle during the Cowgirls' June 26 district championship win over Redmond.

Crook County teams did well at the Oregon District 5 Little League All-Stars baseball and softball tournaments in Madras, and now, one is moving on to the next stage.

The Crook County juniors softball team won its district tournament after defeating Redmond twice. First, the Cowgirls won 14-4 on Saturday, June 25, and then they followed that up with a 15-8 victory on Sunday, June 26, that gave them a clean sweep in the two-team bracket.

CROOK COUNTY LITTLE LEAGUE FACEBOOK - The Crook County juniors softball team poses with its district trophy and championship banner following a two-game sweep of Redmond at the Oregon District 5 Little League All-Stars Tournament in Madras. The Cowgirls now advance to the state tournament, which will be played at Bowlby Park in Redmond later this month, July 15-17.The Crook County juniors softball team is managed by Tiffany Fewell, with John Riley and Tony Luna as assistant coaches. The team consists of 12 players, including Lindsey Adkins, Jolene Bartolotti, Gretchen Fewell, Kylie Halverson, Kelcie Kensinger, Greyson Kline, Mattalyn Kline, Claire Leseman, Adyson Luna, Aleya Pagan, Moriah Riley and Ellee Schippert.

While this may have been the smallest tournament field out of the seven divisions that showed up for districts, Crook County did its job — and now, the girls and their coaches prepare for what comes next.

Crook County is slated to play in the Little League juniors softball state tournament later this month. The state tournament takes place in Redmond starting Friday, July 15, and going through Sunday, July 17. The games will be played at Bowlby Park, however, the official times and matchups were not yet known at the time of publication.

Should Crook County prevail in the state tournament, the Cowgirls would advance to a regional tournament — with a trip to the World Series on the table. There will be 10 regional tournaments, the winners of which will make up the field for the 2022 Junior League Softball World Series. The JLS World Series will begin July 31 in Kirkland, Washington, with games being played through August 6.

PMG PHOTO: ANDY DIECKHOFF - In addition to the juniors softball team that is advancing to state, three other Crook County squads — the 10-12 majors softball, 9-11 minors baseball and 8-10 minors baseball teams — placed third at the Oregon District 5 tournaments in Madras last week.Though the juniors softball team is the only one advancing to state, a handful of other Crook County teams put in valiant performances at the district tournaments in Madras.

Crook County took third place in the majors softball division, beating out the local teams from Warm Springs Nation and Jefferson County before falling to both Bend teams. The two minors baseball teams out of Prineville — the 8-10 age group, as well as the 9-11 age group — also took third place at districts. The 9-11 minors beat Warm Springs in their opener, but then both Bend North and Redmond beat them out for spots in the final. As for the 8-10 minors team, the Cowboys started things off with a loss to Bend North, then came back for wins against Jefferson County, Bend South and Hood River Valley before falling to Redmond.

All in all, it was a successful season Little League season in Crook County, with plenty of promise being shown on the diamond for softball and baseball alike. And for one team — the juniors softball squad — there is still at least one chapter of the story left to be written.

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