Lebanon — The Lebanon 12U Softball All-Stars knew claiming the state championship was going to be tough Tuesday night after needing to use their ace in the semifinals in the afternoon.
And despite their best efforts, the Tigers found out how tough it would be, losing to Riverfield 8-0 in the state championship game.
The loss was the first for the All-Stars throughout the run through the state tournament. Lebanon won both games of the District 3 Tournament before winning their first five contests at the state tournament.
“It has been awesome,” Lebanon head coach Debbie Redman said of the summer. “For these girls to step up, being this young, and to finish second — I am proud of them. Regardless of what happened tonight on the field, these girls did awesome and should be proud of what they did.”
Redman said there wasn’t anything that different with Riverfield compared to some of the other teams Lebanon played during its run. The Tigers just didn’t play their game.
“We just didn’t hit the ball,” Redman said. “Plain and simple. We weren’t able to hit the ball and use of pitching time killed us. We knew it would be tough.”
Lebanon’s ace Payten Redman pitched a complete game in the semifinal earlier in the afternoon and was limited to three innings in the championship game (pitchers can only throw nine innings a day).
The Tigers started Keenon Gibbons in the championship game. Riverfield — who placed fourth at the Little League Softball World Series last year — was able to jump on her early.
A walk, a single and a double steal put runners on second and third with one out for Riverfield in the top of the first. The next batter hit a chopper to short, but the throw home was late to allow a run to score. A single and a wild pitch allowed Riverfield to score two more in the inning and lead 3-0 after a half inning.