ST. THOMAS — St. Croix’s Lew Muckle Elementary School and St. Thomas’ Lockhart Elementary School both won Friday in the opening day of the Virgin Islands Sports, Parks and Recreation Department’s third annual elementary softball tournament.
The Lady Lions opened the tournament with an 8-2 victory over St. Thomas’ Ulla Muller Elementary School, while the Lady Dolphins pulled ahead early in a 15-8 win over St. Thomas’ Leonard Dober Elementary School in the nightcap at the Emile Griffith Ballpark.
The fifth team in the tournament — St. Croix’s Private School Pirates — will open play in the final day of the double-elimination tournament, taking on Muckle Elementary at 9 a.m. The winner of that game will play Lockhart Elementary at 10:30 a.m., with the winner advancing to the tournament’s championship game.
At noon, Muller Elementary will take on Dober Elementary in an elimination-round game, with two more elimination games to follow before the tournament’s championship game, scheduled for 4:30 p.m.
More on Friday’s tournament games:
Lew Muckle Elementary School 8, Ulla Muller Elementary School 2: The Lady Lions got their offense on track in the late innings to overcome an early deficit against the Lady Panthers in the tournament opener.
Muckle Elementary trailed Muller Elementary 2-1 thanks to a pair of bases-loaded walks allowed by starting pitcher Nia Francis in the bottom half of the first inning. The Lady Lions had taken the early lead off Jahniya Allahar’s single and the Lady Panthers’ three-base scoring error in the top of the first.
But Muckle Elementary broke loose for five runs in the top of the fourth inning to regain the lead, and tacked on two more runs in the top of the fifth inning.
Dirajah O’Reily got the win for the Lady Lions, throwing three innings of shutout ball in relief of Francis. She allowed five hits and a walk, with five strikeouts. Francis allowed two runs off one hit and seven walks, with five strikeouts.
Jahniya Williams took the loss for the Lady Panthers, allowing eight runs (six earned) off 10 hits and three walks in 4 1/3 innings, with seven strikeouts.
Francis went 2 for 3 with two RBIs and a run scored for Muckle Elementary.
Three other players — Allahar, Karez Tutein and Kyliz Osorio — also had two hits each, with Allahar scoring three runs.
JoeNeah Clendinen and Harmony Allen drove in one run each for Muller Elementary, with Williams and Keindra Francois scoring the runs.
Lockhart Elementary School 15, Leonard Dober Elementary School 8: The Lady Dolphins took control early against the Lady Bulldogs, but had to overcome a second-inning rally to pull out Friday’s win.
Lockhart Elementary led 5-0 after the first inning, but Dober Elementary scored five runs in the top of the second to even the game. However, the Lady Dolphins put up five runs in the bottom of the second to regain the lead, and added five more runs in the bottom of the third.
Jaimia Cochrane got the win for Lockhart Elementary, allowing eight runs off four hits and nine walks in 2 1/3 innings, with five strikeouts. Mekaela Richardson closed out the game, throwing a one-hit shutout with one walk and a strikeout.
Knyah Molyneaux took the loss for the Lady Bulldogs, giving up 17 hits and two walks, with two strikeouts.
Richardson also went 3 for 3 with two runs scored and two RBIs for Lockhart Elementary.
Three others — Cochrane, Tiannha Todman and Yojani Reynoso — had two hits and two RBIs each, and Rashell Machuca also had two hits.
Leah George went 2 for 2 and scored twice to lead Dober Elementary.
Destiny Este and Timmelle Washington had two RBIs each, and Maleeqa Lett scored twice.
V.I. SPORTS, PARKS AND RECREATION ELEMENTARY SOFTBALL TOURNAMENT
All games at Emile Griffith Ballpark, St. Thomas
Game 1: Lew Muckle Elementary School 8, Ulla Muller Elementary School 2
Game 2: Lockhart Elementary School 15, Leonard Dober Elementary School 8
Game 3: St. Croix Private School Pirates vs. Lew Muckle Elementary School, 9 a.m.
Game 4: Lockhart Elementary School vs. Winner Game 3, 10:30 a.m.
Game 5: Ulla Muller Elementary School vs. Leonard Dober Elementary School, 12 p.m.
Game 6: Loser Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4, 1:30 p.m.
Game 7: Winner Game 5 vs Winner Game 6, 3 p.m.
Championship Game: Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 7, 4:30 p.m.