The Back Door softball team won the Women’s D state title in tournament play Aug. 18 and 19 at Cartee Fields in Anchorage.
According to coach Beau Manley, it’s the first time a women’s team has brought a state title back to the peninsula since 2001.
There actually isn’t a women’s league on the Peninsula, so women from coed teams came together for the state title. Nine women were from the Back Door’s coed team, while two were from the Duck Inn and one was from Spinal Tap. The winning squad also picked up two players from a rec league in Anchorage.
Back Door won all four games Saturday, but lost to a Fairbanks squad in the first game Sunday. That meant Back Door had to win its final three games Sunday to take state, including the final two against that Fairbanks squad.
“I don’t think they thought we could beat them twice,” Manley said of the Fairbanks squad. “I wasn’t sure we could do it either, but we did it.”
He said the key was defense.
“We really didn’t hit any better than the teams we played, but we played better defense than they did,” Manley said.
Rosie McAulliffe of Back Door was the tourney MVP. She hit .594. All-tourney players from Back Door were Paula Bowman (.448), Dana Cannava (.561) and Lacey Wisnewski (.496). All those players got game MVP T-shirts, along with Angie Brown and Katrina Price.
Unlike in coed play, there is stealing in women’s play. Manley said Bowman did a great job at catcher, while McAulliffe, Cannava and Carly Zipperer did a good job stealing bases. Manley also said Brown came through at pitcher.
He said it was a neat tournament because the whole state was represented. There were two teams from Nome, one from Valdez, one from Fairbanks and one from Anchorage.