The SMLL Marlins of the Minor Division (girls nine and under) faced the Culver City Indians at North Venice Saturday for the District 25 championship and lost a close game 11-12 in extra innings.
The Little League girls softball league plays its regular season at Clover Field and at the end of the season, the Marlins and the Mets were selected to advance to tournament play. The Mets were eliminated in earlier rounds, but the Marlins cemented a finals berth by beating the City of Angels Lions last Wednesday 10-0. The win set the stage for last Saturday’s final.
Santa Monica scored four runs against Culver City in the top of the first, setting up a seesaw contest that ended up tied 9-9 at the end of the regulation six innings. The sixth inning was particularly exciting. In the top of the sixth, the Marlins came to bat leading 8-7. Julie Munoz walked and eventually stole home for an insurance run to lead 9-7. However, the Indians battled back and scored two runs, tying the game 9-9 with two outs. Marlin Nina Bracey relieved pitcher Julie Munoz. With the bases loaded a slow roller came back to Bracey who threw the ball to Marlin catcher Devon Fleiss who recorded the third and final out at home plate to force the game into extra innings.
In the top of the seventh, Marlins Ella Wilson and Makenna Dano scored and with an 11-9 lead, and the championship was within the Marlins’ reach. Unfortunately, Culver City lead off the bottom of the seventh with a home run, followed by two additional runs to win a well played and incredibly exciting contest.“We were three outs from the championship and I am proud of my players, the parents and friends who supported the Marlins,” notes Coach Victor Bracey. The season continues for six Marlins will be named to the All-star tournament: Nina Bracey, Natalie Coutts, Makenna Dano, Jessica Deese, Julie Munoz and Ella Wilson. Marlin team sponsors include Hallmark Cleaners (19th & Wilshire) and the Kinecta Federal Credit Union (Wilshire & Harvard).