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Sat, Feb. 22

Williams Little League keeps the bats swinging over summer<br>

The categories include minors baseball, for kids age 7-11 — with two Williams teams: the Astros and the Diamondbacks — majors baseball, for ages 9-12 — with three teams: Astros, Diamondbacks, and the Tigers — and one juniors baseball team, for kids age 13-14. Two other categories are also being played — T-ball, for ages five and six with one team, the Diamondbacks, and softball for girls age 9-12.

The Williams Little League encompasses not only teams from Williams itself, but also teams from Ash Fork, Parks, and Seligman. The Astros, Diamondbacks, and Tigers are from Williams.

Since their season is just starting, no stats on the minors teams have been given, but the Williams majors teams seem, for the most part, to be getting it done in a way that others can’t.

In the majors, the 12-member Tigers are roaring to victory with an 11-4 season so far.

“We’ve got a super-good bunch of kids — they’re playing some good ball,” said Tigers Coach Jim Pettit, who added that his team’s strength mostly comes from solid pitching efforts.

The 12-member Astros majors team is also rocketing to a good season with a 12-2 record.

“My kids hit the ball real well,” said Astros Coach Tiger Grantham. “We also have two good pitchers.”

The Diamondbacks majors team, however, is falling behind with a 5-7 record. The Williams Little League majors category also has three non-Williams based teams — the Seligman Indians, who are 3-10, the Ash Fork Cubs, with a 2-12 record, and the Parks Pirates, who are tipping the scales with seven wins and six losses.

As of early Monday, the 11-member Williams juniors team has gone 3-4. Coach Ken Agee feels his team would’ve done better, however, if the juniors had an available field. Apparently, the one field the team could use in Williams is that of the high school’s. Agee says that due to construction and the extension of the school year, the field has only been available intermittently, cutting out much of the team’s necessary practice time. To add insult to injury, the above reasons also force all of the team’s home games to be played at various fields in Flagstaff.

Obstacles notwithstanding, Agee is still proud of what his team has been able to do.

“We’re coming on strong,” Agee says. “The kids are playing good ball right now, and I’m very proud of them. They’re a very determined bunch of kids.”

No numbers were available for softball, but the girls will have their next contest tonight at 6 p.m. on the Williams softball field against Ash Fork.

The Williams Little League T-ball and minors teams just started their season recently and no stats were available at press time. The next T-ball game is scheduled for tomorrow at 5:30 p.m. at the Williams softball field against Seligman, and the minors Diamondbacks team gets their next shot at victory tonight in Williams against Ash Fork at 6:30 p.m.

As for the juniors, majors and softball, the juniors will play again at Coconino High School’s JV field in Flagstaff tonight at 6 p.m. The only majors regular game left in the season is a contest between the Williams Diamondbacks and the Ash Fork Cubs on Saturday at 9 a.m. in Ash Fork.

After that, majors players from within the whole of Williams Little League will be split into two groups — ages 9 and 10, and ages 11 and 12. Then, 12 players will be selected from each group to play in the upcoming regional All-Star games.

The city of Williams will host the 9 and 10-year-old All-Star games, featuring teams from as far away as Camp Verde, starting on June 16 at 5 p.m. on the Williams Little League field.

Girls softball regional All-Star games will follow the same suit and will begin on the same day in Williams.

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