Laguna placed second in its group in pool play, which put them into the quarterfinals where they were pitted against the first-place finisher in the D bracket, Diablo of the Bay Area. Laguna came out strong and never looked back and won the game, 10-1.
In a semifinal match, the ladies from Laguna defeated United, 10-4, advancing to the final.
Laguna’s opponent in the final was a team from El Toro, SET.
Laguna kept it close and was only one goal down with 1:50 remaining, but SET had too much and pulled away on two fast-break goals to finish the game with a 9-6 win.
This weekend, Laguna will face off against the best teams in its zone, which includes Riverside, San Bernardino and Orange counties. The top three teams automatically qualify for the national tournament at the end of summer.
Because of Laguna’s success last year, the winner of the qualifier will be seeded No. 1 at the Junior Olympics.
— Scott Baldridge, Community Correspondent
Laguna Beach Little League Majors Division
VFW 8, Hobie 4: VFW kept its first-place hopes alive by defeating Hobie.
VFW starter Nolan Del Toro allowed three runs and struck out five in four innings pitched. He was backed by great fielding plays from first baseman Tommy Ressler, third baseman Nathan Victor, shortstops Dane Olsen and Connor Hauer and catcher Duke Holt.
Michael Shurtleff (second inning) and Tyler Alter (third inning) hit home runs for Hobie. Sawyer Chesley hit in Kenji Lee for the third Hobie run and Drake Butler drove in Alter for the fourth.
Alter also struck out five in the first two innings.
Olsen relieved Del Toro in the fifth and gave up a run with three strikeouts. VFW then put five runs on the board in the bottom of the fifth when Hank Glazer, Jack Dickenson, Ressler, Del Toro and Hauer all scored.
Olsen closed out the sixth to secure an 8-4 win for VFW.