Local softball teams win Firecracker tourney

A pair of local teams won the annual “Firecracker” tournament this past weekend. The tournament was hosted by the Kenai Softball Association.

The top division in the tournament, the B Division, drew six teams — one from Kenai, one from the Matanuska-Susitna valleys and four from Anchorage.

Kenai’s The Back Door Lounge came out on top of the tournament with a 5-0 record.

Don’t let that perfect record fool you, though, Back Door had to work overtime to get the title. The dramatic championship game against the Braves from Mat-Su went three extra innings.

Back Door was down by two in the seventh, but battled back to tie. Back Door also battled back to tie in the eighth inning after being down by one and in the ninth inning after being down by five.

In the 10th, Back Door was down two with two outs and two runners on when Brandon Wick made a diving catch in which he injured himself.

In the bottom of the 10th, with two outs and two on, Kirby Houchin hit a walk-off homer to win the game.

Third place went to Work Hard Play Hard from Anchorage.

Tom Brown, Houchin, Rosie McAulliffe and Cassie Boze made the all-star team from The Back Door. The tournament MVPs were Mike Navarre with a .768 batting average and Angie Brown with an .818 batting average.

The C/D Division tournament had 24 teams, including three from the area — the D-team Tobacco Distress, the D-team Pollard E-Line and the C-team The Main Street Tap and Grill. There were also four teams from Homer, four from Mat-Su, five from Anchor Town and eight from Anchorage.

Tobacco Distress won the tournament, losing just to Heat Systems of Anchorage in the semifinals.

Tobacco Distress was able to battle back through the losers bracket, beating the Mat-Su Ravens twice to win the tourney, including a 16-9 win in the championship game. Heat Systems finished third.

On the all-star team from Tobacco Distress were Nate Jester, Luke Oliver, Sarah Herrin and Amanda Cobb.

Tobacco Distress also claimed the MVPs — Luke Mese with an .800 average and Molly Pate with a .739 average.

The Kenai Softball Association thanked the umpires and tourney director Eric Elliott for making the event successful.

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