Even after losing their final pool play contest on Thursday, the Nunaka Valley softball team still had reason to celebrate, when the players found out they had qualified for the semifinals of the Junior League Softball World Series on a tiebreaker.
Nunaka Valley lost, 9-5 to Puerto Rico, allowing six runs in the third inning. Taria Page hit her fourth home run of the tournament in the defeat.
The result left Nunaka Valley, Puerto Rico, and West Haven, Connecticut all with 3 and 1 records in pool play, with even head to head marks. Only two teams advance to the semifinals on Friday. A tiebreaker involving runs allowed divided by defensive innings sent Puerto Rico to the semifinals as the number one seed in the pool, while Nunaka Valley grabbed the number two position.
Puerto Rico led the three deadlocked teams in runs allowed percentage, surrendering .607 runs per inning. Once that tie was broken, the tiebreaker system reverted back to head to head competition. Nunaka Valley seized it by virtue of its 8-5 win over West Haven on Tuesday.
The Alaskan team will face an opponent yet to be determined at 4:00 ADT in Friday's semifinals. Semifinal winners play for the Junior League Softball World Series championship for 12 to 14 year olds on Saturday, at 1:00 ADT.