Nisqually Basin 12U All Star Team Wins State Championship, Set to Compete in Idaho Tournament

By Jacob Dimond / jake@yelmonline.com
Posted 7/19/22

The Yelm 12U All Star team recently brought home some hardware after they won the Washington 12U State Championship in the Cal Ripken league.

Now, the Nisqually Basin All-Stars will compete in …

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Nisqually Basin 12U All Star Team Wins State Championship, Set to Compete in Idaho Tournament

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The Yelm 12U All Star team recently brought home some hardware after they won the Washington 12U State Championship in the Cal Ripken league.

Now, the Nisqually Basin All-Stars will compete in Meridian, Idaho for a chance to punch their ticket to the Cal Ripken World Series.

The Nisqually Basin team, which features a roster of 13 players, defeated the Hoquiam All Stars, 11-1, in their first matchup on Friday, July 8. In the team’s next game later that day, the team faced the Black Hills Nationals team. Yelm lost the matchup 11-6, but had a chance to right their wrongs in a win or go home rematch with the Hoquiam All Stars.

The team was able to walk out of the Regional Athletic Complex victorious, defeating Hoquiam again, this time with a score of 5-3.

This gave the Nisqually Basin 12U All Star team an opportunity to learn from their first loss against Black Hills and compete for the victory in the rubber match. The championship rematch was set for 9 a.m. on Saturday, July 9.

Unlike the first game, it was Nisqually Basin’s offense that displayed the fireworks. All the bats were hot and pitching was on point for the team as they defeated Black Hills 13-3 in the state championship.

Following the series of matchups, the team is ready to get back to work following its victory.

“Winning a state championship was great, but the emotions were hard to explain,” team member Blake Fennel said. “Winning it was great, but then you realize there’s more work to do.”

Noah Westfall, an athlete on the team, noted their work is far from over.

“Winning the state championship was exciting, but now we have to go beat the top teams of the region,” Westfall said.

Several other team members said it felt redeeming to defeat Black Hills in the championship after previously losing to them in the tournament.



“Black Hills beat us but we came back and got them in the end. It was a really good experience,” Kaymen Larman said.

Brayden Rodriguez noted the icing on the cake was being able to beat Black Hills.

“They had won every game in the tournament until that point,” Rodriguez said.

A vast majority of the team was grateful they had the opportunity to experience a state championship victory with their teammates.

“It’s lots of fun hanging out with the guys and being successful with them. I hope we get to achieve more success together this season,” Cooper Janson said. “It feels good competing with my best friends against the best team around.”

Ryan Penlesky agreed.

“We’re all buddies out here and it was very exciting to win a state championship,” Penlesky said. “This was my first time winning a championship in anything.”

Jadon Ireland said he felt shocked after they won the championship and said he was very satisfied with the results, something his teammate Logan Hill agreed with.

“We were all very excited after we won,” Hill said. “We put a lot of energy into that game. Hopefully we’ll be able to win some of the games in Idaho too.”

Austin Ryerse, Finn Hanly, Brian Theel, John Will and Tyler Will all noted they’re looking forward to traveling and playing in Idaho. For some of the team, it will be their first time visiting the state.

If the Nisqually Basin 12U All Star team wins its next tournament in Meridian, Idaho, they’ll qualify for the Cal Ripken 12U World Series in Maine. Teams from Washington, Oregon, Montana, Idaho, Alaska and parts of Canada will be represented.

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