Homer to play for State softball crown

The Homer softball team defeated Kenai Central 20-0 in three innings on Tuesday in Northern Lights Conference action at Kenai.

Homer is 13-3 overall and 6-0 in the NLC, qualifying the Mariners for the small-schools state tournament, which will be June 5-6 in Fairbanks.

The Kardinals finish the season at 2-10 overall and 1-5 in the Northern Lights Conference.

“I would say the majority of their roster is solid in hitting,” Kenai Coach Mark King said of the Mariners. “They’ve got a couple of very solid pitchers. Their defense also is very quick. Very little gets by them.”

Pam Jantzi and McKi Needham combined to hold the Kardinals to three hits. Those hits came from Darcy Blume, Emily Koziczkowski and Kassie Lindsley.

Lindsley and Cierra King could not hold down the Mariners’ lineup. Lindsley pitched two innings and gave up 16 runs — eight earned — on 12 hits. King pitched the last inning and gave up four runs — two earned — on four hits.

For Homer on offense, the leaders were Larsen Fellows at 3 for 3 with two runs and five RBIs, Kayla Stafford at 2 for 3 with two runs, Kyla Pitzman at 2 for 2 with two runs and three RBIs, and Needham at 2 for 4 with two runs and three RBIs.

Also for Homer, Maggie LaRue had three runs, Riley Walls had three runs, Malina Fellows had two runs, Jantzi was 2 for 2 with two RBIs and Isabel Beach was 2 for 4 with three RBIs.

The win against Kenai followed a sweep of Mat-Su teams that began last Thursday.

After taking two games at Colony on May 21, the Homer softball team wrapped up their road trip by defeating Wasilla 11-8 on Friday and Palmer 23-10 on Saturday.

The Friday game against the Warriors featured offense, with Homer pounding out 16 hits to Wasilla’s 11.

Needham pitched all seven innings for the victory for Homer. Five of her runs were earned. She struck out six and did not walk a batter.

Kyla Pitzman had a big day for the Mariners on offense, going 4 for 5 with three RBIs.

Also for Homer, Maggie LaRue was 3 for 5 with two runs, Riley Walls was 2 for 5 with three runs, Needham was 2 for 4 with three RBIs, Larsen Fellows was 2 for 4 with two runs and Mary Hanna Bowe was 2 for 2.

Saturday, Homer scored 23 runs in just four innings to top Palmer.

After Homer scored 10 runs in the top of the first, Palmer came back with eight in the bottom of the first. But Homer scored seven in the top of the second to take control of the game.

Pitzman pitched the first two-thirds of an inning, giving up eight earned runs while walking six. Needham pitched the final 3 1-3 innings, allowing two runs — one earned. Needham walked one while striking out seven.

Everyone contributed for the Mariners on offense: LaRue was 3 for 4 with three runs and four RBIs, Walls had three runs, Needham was 3 for 4 with three runs and three RBIs, Pitzman had three runs and two RBIs, Stafford had two runs and two RBIs, Larsen Fellows was 2 for 2 with two runs and two RBIs, Malina Fellows had three RBIs, Izabelle Hagge had three runs, and Pam Jantzi was 2 for 3 with three runs and two RBIs.