Special to the Tribune
The Little League District 10 Tournament of Champions in Cottonwood crowned four winning teams Sunday - all from Prescott Valley and Prescott.
The teams handily won all four championship games, with the closest margin of victory being seven runs, and the largest being 14 runs. Aside from those two games, all contests had another similarity, the winning teams were able to crack the games open and never let up.
Softball Majors Championship
The Prescott Valley Intensity lived up to its name, taking the Verde Valley Wildcats to task and winning 15-4. Neither team was able to assert themselves through the first two innings, but the Wildcats did exploit an overthrown pitch to take a 2-1 lead early in the game.
That would be the last time the Wildcats were on top as they began to unravel defensively, going into the bottom of the fourth down 9-2. Verde Valley was able to stop a surging Intensity team by getting two outs at home after Prescott Valley hit two bases-loaded singles, which sandwiched a run scored from a walk.
In both the fourth and fifth innings, Verde Valley positioned itself to mount a comeback with runners in scoring position, but could not get the runs. A Wildcat in-field home run sparked life into the offense, but it was too little, too late and they still had to deal with the problem they had all game: not being able to overcome Prescott Valley's defense.
"We had a long year this year," Prescott Valley coach Dennis Currier. "We started with a lot of inexperienced players and what I enjoyed the most was their growth as the season went along.
"We had some girls who came ill, we lost one girl during the season and we had a lot of girls playing in-and-out of positions they weren't used too. In this whole tournament we played with nine players, we had to pick a player up late."
He said the girls showed tremendous heart and courage, playing in 108-degree weather.
"They played their hearts out this tournament and I could not be more proud," Currier said.
"This is why I do this, because it's for the girls and seeing the looks on their faces and seeing the excitement, seeing them progress in softball, it makes it all worth it."
Baseball Majors Championship
The Prescott Valley White Sox took advantage of early Prescott Ortho mistakes and never looked back, winning 15-1.
The White Sox went up 5-0 in the first inning, and forced a pitching change for Prescott to close out the inning. Prescott began to shore up its defense, giving up only two runs through two more innings, but could not get their bats connecting enough, tallying only one run.
Prescott Valley put the game well out of reach after the fourth inning by plating nine runs, 10-1, and did not let up the rest if the game.
In the fifth, PV notched five more runs, icing the game. The final score was 15-1.
Softball Minors Championship
The Prescott Valley Sun Devils took control of their game with a five-run inning to beat the Verde Valley Aggies 13-6.
The Aggies were unable to bounce back from the bad defensive play of that early inning, putting them in a 6-2 hole they were not able to dig their way out of.
The Aggies mounted a mid-game comeback in the fourth and brought the score to within one, 7-6, only to see Prescott Valley's girls crack it open, scoring five more runs.
A pop fly and forgotten tag-up resulted in a double play that ended the Sun Devils' last at bat; however, the Prescott Valley Sun Devils won.
"It was an awesome game and I'm proud for all my girls, and they did very good," Sun Devils Coach Robert Ramirez said.
Baseball Minors Championship
The Prescott Brewers started strong with 10 runs through the first two innings and beat Dewey-Humboldt 16-6. If the Brewers weren't swinging, Dewey-Humboldt was rarely getting strikes.
Prescott showed the onlookers that it had a defense as well, limiting the runs scored by Dewey-Humboldt. One example of their defensive clout came after making a throw from behind second to home, barely beating out the runner and ending Dewey-Humboldt's at bat.
"The kids played great. It was a challenge for us (compared to) our regular league, but our kids responded well to that and in a tournament like this, with kids this age, 8- to 9-year-olds, asking them to play back-to-back days, I had some kids that stepped up and did a good job for us," Prescott Coach Dan Streeter said.
"I'm really proud of them."
Cottonwood Verde Independent sports reporter Travis Guy contributed to this article.