Homer softball takes 5th straight NLC crown

Behind the dominant pitching of Northern Lights Conference most valuable player Zoe Adkins, the Homer softball team stormed to its fifth straight conference tournament title Saturday at the Soldotna Little League fields.

The Mariners, the No. 2 seed, lost to No. 1 seed Kodiak all three times this season going into the tournament, but beat the Bears twice Saturday to take the title. Homer also will go to state for the 21st time in 22 years.

The Mariners started the day with a 7-2 victory over Kodiak in the semifinals.

Adkins worked all seven innings, giving up two unearned runs on five hits while walking five and striking out seven.

At the plate, Ari Davis had two runs, Adkins had two runs, Becca Trowbridge was 3 for 4 with two RBIs and Sophie Ellison was 2 for 4.

After Kodiak defeated Palmer in the playback bracket final to make the championship, Homer had a 14-2 victory in five innings.

Adkins pitched all five, giving up two runs — one earned — on six hits while walking none and striking out five.

Davis had three runs, Anderson had three runs, Delilah Harris had two runs and two RBIs, Trowbridge was 2 for 2 and Julie Guess had two runs.

Palmer 6, Soldotna 4

The Stars, the No. 4 seed, ended their season at 9-13 overall with a loss to No. 3 Palmer early Saturday in the playback bracket.

SoHi jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, but the Moose had a 3-1 lead after one. The Stars came back to tie it with runs in the third and fourth innings, but Palmer scored one in the fifth and two in the sixth for a 6-3 advantage. SoHi had a run in the bottom of the seventh.

Isabelle Cruz pitched all six innings for SoHi, giving up six runs — five earned — on 13 hits while walking eight and striking out one.

Cruz scored two runs for the Stars, while Brook Fischer was 3 for 4 with an RBI and Makynzi Deborski was 2 for 4.

Northern Lights Conference awards

Most Valuable Player — Zoe Adkins, Homer.

Coach of the Year — Tom Bolen, Kodiak.

First team — Zoe Adkins, Homer; Ashlyn Bolen, Kodiak; Shanoah Spear, Kodiak; Kaylin Anderson, Homer; Emily Hinz, Soldotna; Brook Fischer, Soldotna; Camryn Frank, Palmer; Britney Llorente, Kodiak; Rosie Whittington-Evans, Palmer.

Second team — Zoe Patton-Meyer, Palmer; Aubrianne Griffiths, Houston; Kyana Griskevich, Kenai; Maggie Grenier, Kenai; Anna Solomon, Kodiak; Madisen Johnson, Palmer; Annika Weber, Houston; Bailey Conner, Soldotna.

Honorable mention — Emily Owens, Homer; Becca Trowbridge, Homer; Carlie Lee, Kodiak.

Good sportsmanship — Ari Davis, Homer; Erin Jones, Houston; Kailey Stynsberg, Kenai; Jadin Christiansen, Kodiak; Isabella Leaders, Palmer; Isabelle Cruz, Soldotna.