VSLL Juniors go 1-2 at state All-Star softball tournament

The Viera Suntree Little League Juniors softball team went 1-2 at the state tournament over the weekend.

They may not have done as well as they hoped at the state tournament, but there’s no question their first foray into a new level of competition was a complete success.

After winning the district and section championships, the Viera Suntree Little League All-Stars went 1-2 at the Juniors state softball championship tournament this past weekend.

Viera lost 9-0 to eventual state champion San Mateo Little League from Jacksonville in the opening around. Although Viera had its chances, leaving five runners on base in the first three innings, the VSLL couldn’t overcome a dominating pitching performance by San Mateo.

It didn’t get much better for Viera in its second game as Dr. Phillips had 14 hits and took advantage of five errors by a normally reliable Viera defense on the way to an 18-1 win.

Instead of wallowing in those two losses, however, Viera bounced back to beat Crystal River 17-5 in its final game.

Bella Barrera and Evie Martin combined on a no-hitter for Viera.

Haley Rogers, Kaitlyn Peedin, Molly Peters and Barrera all drove in two runs for Viera, which had 16 hits. Barrera, Lindsey Daly, Peters and Sara Fentress all had multiple hits. Aleecia Johnson, Harlowe Doolittle and Addy Maxwell also had hits for Viera. Valentinna Worden, Daly and Doolittle all stole a base.

Most of Viera’s players were on last year’s Viera Majors team, which also advanced to the state tournament.

“Overall, I’m extremely proud of our team,” Viera manager Mike Worden wrote in an email. “While we didn’t play our best in those first two games, you have to tip your cap to the other teams.

“San Mateo’s pitcher threw a great game. We had our chances early and didn’t come through. Dr. Phillips’ offense put a lot of pressure on our defense and we didn’t execute.

“Our third game was a reflection of how we played the whole year. Offensively, we were more patient at the plate and aggressive on the bases. Our pitching and defense were solid.

“In the end, our team played hard through the final out. They went 22-2 on the season including the All-Star run, not too bad for our first year playing at the Juniors level. It was an honor to coach such a great group of dedicated young ladies. We also appreciate our very supportive parents and families. They represented Viera Suntree Little League very well.”