Village News Reporter
The Warner Softball Tournament which took place Thursday, April 27, in Warner Springs, was the most recent competition for the seven small K-8 elementary schools and middle schools in northern San Diego County and southern Riverside County.
They participate in athletic tournaments with a different school hosting a different sport each month and Vallecitos Elementary School took second in the boys and co-ed divisions.
“We’re happy with second place,” Vallecitos coach Ray Hanbeck said. “I’m just very pleased and pleasantly surprised that we did as well as we did.”
Borrego Springs Middle School, Hamilton School in Anza and Julian Junior High School had both boys and girls teams. Vallecitos, Cottonwood Elementary School in Aguanga and Warner Middle School had co-ed teams which played in the boys division.
Pauma Elementary School did not participate in the Warner Softball Tournament which was played on the Warner Unified School District athletic fields. These fields are across state Route 79 from the elementary school, middle school and high school.
The games lasted four innings or 30 minutes, although the full inning was allowed to be completed if the 30 minutes had elapsed. A team was limited to five runs in their batting half of the inning. The teams pitched to their own batters; schools could either utilize a student or a faculty member as the pitcher. Each team had 10 players on the field.
Because the girls division had only three teams, each school played two games against each opponent. Each of the six boys or co-ed teams played four of the other five opponents. Borrego Springs placed first with a 4-0 record; Vallecitos was second at 3-1 and the Hamilton boys were 2-2 for third place.
Vallecitos brought eight boys and four girls. Three of those players had previous Warner Softball Tournament experience.
“The rest of those 12 players, they’ve never played,” Hanbeck said.
Vallecitos began play with a 4-1 win over Cottonwood. The Vikings then defeated Julian in a 2-1 game. The third Vallecitos game was against Warner and ended as a 1-0 Vikings victory.
Hamliton handed Vallecitos the Vikings’ only loss of the tournament in a 4-3 game.
“I’m really pleased how well we did on defense,” Hanbeck said. “I’m really happy with how they were able to learn as much as they did in five weeks.”
Before the loss, the Vikings had only allowed two runs in their previous three games and even with the four Hamilton runs, Vallecitos only allowed seven tallies during the tournament.
“They did really good defense,” Hanbeck said. “That’s a hard thing to do.”
This academic year’s tournaments concluded Thursday, May 18, with a track and field meet hosted by Julian Junior High School at Julian High School.