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Murrayhill Juniors fall short, but enjoy their Series

The team wins just two of five games, but makes a lifetime of memories
by: JIM KENCK, EVERYBODY CONGA — Murrayhill’s Kirsten Fahlbusch (left) hams it up during a post-tournament conga line at the Little League Juniors Softball World Series in Kirkland, Wash.

It wasn't all home runs and five-inning routs for the Murrayhill Little League Juniors softball all-stars at the World Series, but the Beaverton players still had the time of their lives.

Murrayhill won two of its five games at the Series, held in Kirkland, Wash., and eventually settled sixth overall after ending their tournament witha 1-0 loss to Elyria, Ohio, last Thursday.

Murrayhill opened its Series with a 4-0 loss to the Asia-Pacific team from the Phillipines, came back to beat Latin America's PuertoRico 5-4, suffered an 11-0 shutout at the hands of South representative Naples, Fla., then closed pool play with a 1-0 loss to Elyria.

Murrayhill came back to beat Kirkland, the host team, 9-1, then saw Elyria deal it its second tournament loss, ending play with a competitive 3-2 defeat.

In the win over Kirkland, Murrayhill blasted out of the gates with a seven-run first highlighted by Nicole Stanford's two-run double, Sarah Atkins' RBI single and Catherine Casey's two-run single.

Murrayhill kept the heat on in the top of the second, too, adding its final two runs on Anna Johnson's two-run hit to centerfield.

The Beaverton stars took their foot off the accelerator after that, and Atkins made sure Kirkland got no closer, holding Kirkland to just three hits in her four innings before giving way to Shelby VandeBergh who carried the win home.

Murrayhill was tough as nails again in its tournament finale, but for the second time at the World Series, Elyria was just a little bit better.

The Beaverton stars broke on top with a 1-0 lead when Lambert singled and later scored on a VandeBergh hit in the third, but saw Elyria come right back to knot the score at 1-1 in the fourth.

Elyria then pushed ahead 2-1 in the fifth and then 3-1 in the sixth, but Murrayhill wasn't quite done yet. Kirsten Fahlbusch worked fora walk in the bottom of the sixth, advanced on a grounder, then scored on a base hitby Johnson to cut the gap to 3-2, but Murrayhill would get no closer.

After shutting Elyria down in the top of the seventh, Murrayhill saw its half of the seventh cut short by the tournament time limit and the Beaverton stars went home with the Series' sixth-place trophy.