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All-Stars set to shine again

Softball: Area Little League athletes eyeing championships and extending seasons.

June 27, 2012|By Charles Rich

Now, the level of competition becomes tougher for an assortment of local Little League District 16 All-Star softball teams.

The lineups and pitching staffs become deeper and the talent level multiplies during the District 16 All-Star Tournament, which will begin today and conclude Sunday or Monday.

"Everything seems to be wide open and there are going to be some real good teams," said Dave Ritchie, the district's volunteer administrator. "In some of these divisions, I have no clue who will win, but the teams are pretty deep and I expect some well-played, clean games."

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Teams from the three divisions — 9-10, 10-11 and Major — are set to compete on the local diamonds with the goal of advancing out of the double-elimination tournament. The winners from each tournament will advance to the Section 2 Tournament, which will begin July 5 at different locations around Southern California.

The Junior All-Star Team, made up of players from Foothill and Crescenta Valley Little League, has already punched its ticket to the Section 2 Tournament on July 14 in Canyon Country.

The Major and 9-10 tournaments start today.

In the three-team Major softball tournament, Foothill, the defending champion, will meet Tujunga at 7:30 p.m. today at Scholl Canyon Ball Fields. Waiting in the wings will be Crescenta Valley in a winner's-bracket contest at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Scholl.

Crescenta Valley Coach Dave Fox said he's eager for his team's first game.

"We have the main core of our team back, but we are going to need some solid pitching and get runners on and advance them," Fox said.

An elimination game will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday. The championship contest will start at 5:30 p.m. Sunday at Scholl and an if-necessary championship game will be held at Scholl on Monday at a time to be determined.

The three-team 9-10 bracket will feature, Crescenta Valley, Burbank and Foothill. Crescenta Valley will face Burbank at 5 p.m. today at Scholl Canyon Ball Fields.

The winner will face Foothill at 5 p.m. Friday at Scholl. An elimination game will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at Scholl. The championship game will take place at 12:30 p.m. Sunday at Scholl and an if-necessary title game will begin at a time to be determined Monday at the same venue.

Crescenta Valley's 9-10 team posted a 6-4 win in the championship game last season against Burbank.

The two-team 10-11 Division will finally begin at 12:30 p.m. Saturday with Vaquero/Jewel City-Jewish War Veterans taking on Crescenta Valley. The championship game will be played at Scholl at 3 p.m. Sunday with an if-necessary title game Monday at the same site at a time to be determined.

Vaquero Coach Christina Cruz said while she's confident with the way her team has been playing, Crescenta Valley will be a stiff test.

"It's going to be hard, but if we stay focused, I have faith that we can win," Cruz said. "We played CV a lot during the regular season and it's going to come down to pitching.

"I can see [the tournament] maybe going the distance."

The Junior team will be coached by Will Thayer, Tyson Howard and Drummond Schaffer. Thayer coached the CV team to a championship last season.

charles.rich@latimes.com

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