The Camp Verde Majors All-Stars softball team [ages 11 and 12] needed only four innings Thursday, June 30, to prove it was the better team, defeating the Verde Valley All-Stars in the District 10 Arizona Little League All-Stars Tournament championship, 22-2.
Camp Verde beat Verde Valley in the tournament semifinals June 28, 13-1, but made sure to hold the banner Thursday in a one-sided affair.
“These girls played like they should. It’s a championship game and they played like it was the championship,” Camp Verde Head Coach Henry Smith said in the dugout Thursday after the game. Smith has coached this group since T-Ball, making it his sixth year coaching in Little League.
With the victory, Camp Verde finished the District 10 tournament with a perfect 4-0 record, having beaten the Prescott Valley All-Stars in round one [2-1], and the Williams All-Stars in the quarterfinals, 13-0.
In the four tournament games, Camp Verde outscored its opponents 50-4.
On Thursday, 12-year-old Dusty Dowdle toed the mound looking to shut down Verde Valley’s high-powered attack.
Verde Valley came into Thursday’s championship with a 2-1 record, having beaten Prescott Valley on June 29, 19-12.
Dowdle showed no fear against the Verde Valley lineup, pitching two strong innings while not allowing a run on no hits while striking out three batters.
In the top of the first, Camp Verde tallied four runs to take a 4-0 lead, then scored nine in the top of the second to give itself a commanding 13-0 advantage.
After her two innings, Dowdle gave way to 12-year-old relief pitcher Taya Smith, who went the remaining two innings.
The first two batters Smith faced recorded base hits in the bottom of the third inning, and both scored, but Smith settled down to allow only two runs on three hits while striking out three on the night.
Leading 14-2, Camp Verde scored eight more runs in the top half of the fourth, making it a 22-2 blowout.
In the fourth, Dowdle singled to left field to bring in two runs, which made it 17-2 at the time to put things out of reach for Verde Valley. Dowdle was 3-4 with a double, a triple, three runs scored and three RBIs in the winning effort.
Smith wasn’t half bad herself, going 2-4 with a double and three runs scored.
“If we play at this level, we can be good,” Henry Smith said.
Next up for Camp Verde is the Arizona Little League State Championships, scheduled to take place in Peoria. A date, time and location for Camp Verde’s first-round game in the state tournament was not released by press time.
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