Viera Juniors win District 2 All-Star softball tournament championship

Members o the Viera Suntree Little League All-Star Juniors softball team pose with their championship banner after sweeping Greater West Melbourne in three games earlier this week. The win puts Viera into the sectional tournament, which is set to begin Friday at Rhodes Park.

It was a bit of a challenge at times, but that’s what made it even sweeter.

The Viera Suntree Little League All-Star Juniors softball team won the District 2 championship last week with a three-game sweep of Greater West Melbourne at Rhodes Park.

It was the second straight championship for most of the players, who were part of the VSLL team that won the Majors District 2 and Section titles last season on the way to earning a spot in the state tournament.

Viera will go for a Juniors Section 2 title next week with games scheduled for July 1-2, also at Rhodes Park in West Melbourne.

Viera took the first game of its three-game set with GWMLL by a score of 11-6.

Haley Rogers got Viera off to a fast start with a two-out, two-run home run – the first homer of her career – in the first inning.

Rogers, Kaitlyn Peedin, Valentinna Worden, Lindsey Daley and Molly Peters all had multiple-hit games for Viera, which finished with 12 hits overall. Daly also had two stolen bases while Bella Barrera and three others all stole one base each.

Defensively, Daly helped set the tone with solid play behind the plate. Aleecia Johnson also made several outstanding plays at third base and in left field.

On the mound, Peedin threw seven innings, allowing nine hits and striking out five.

The second game saw Viera pull out a 5-3 victory.

Once again, it was Rogers leading the way on offense with two hits. In fact, it was Rogers – along with Sara Fentress – who helped spark a three-run third inning for Viera which allowed it to take control of the game.

Sophie Reilly and Harlowe Doolittle each stole a base.

Viera did not commit an error on defense, in part due to the solid play of Worden at first base.

Peedin got the victory on the mound, scattering four hits over seven innings.

The back-to-back victories meant Viera had a chance to sweep its way to the title, but Greater West Melbourne made it clear throughout the game that it wasn’t going to be easy.

Viera trailed 4-0 early, then faced another two-run deficit late in the contest before pulling out a 14-10 victory to clinch the district title.

Bella Barrera led Viera with three hits and four RBIs. Addy Maxwell also had a big game with two RBIs. Daly, Doolittle, Peedin, Rogers and Peters all had multiple hits.

Once again, Viera was aggressive on the bases as Daly, Doolittle and Worden all stole a base.

Defensively, Doolittle made several stellar plays at second base while Barrera played an impressive center field and made the game-ending catch on a deep fly ball to secure the championship.

Peedin picked up her third win of the tournament, working out of several jams throughout the game.

“What can I say about this team!” Viera manager Mike Worden wrote in an email. “They’re a group of hard-working, dedicated girls who truly push and cheer for each other. When someone needs it, they pick them up.

“I’ve watched them grow as not just players but as teammates. We faced some adversity and had our backs against the wall a couple of times and the grit and determination of this team was awesome to watch. We played some great defense, had great pitching and offensively we applied pressure on the defense throughout our lineup.

“I’m super proud of our team, but I also remind them we’re not done. I’d also like to mention how blessed we are to have a very supportive group of parents and coaches.”