Solid pitching and defense were the keys as Diné Nation Little League Senior All-Stars swept the Grants Pirates in a crucial doubleheader last Saturday at Office of Diné Youth ball field in Fort Defiance.
Diné Nation, managed by Darrell Smiley, won the best of three games, 2-0, to earn the New Mexico District 10 championship.
Diné Nation outslugged Grants, 13-7, in the opener. Diné Nation completed the sweep, outlasting the Pirates, 16-14, in the nightcap.
Diné Nation advances to the 13-to-16-year-old Senior Division softball state tournament in Isleta, N.M., July 8-10.
Smiley said his all-star squad played heads up softball. He said Diné Nation hurler Rachel Smiley kept Grants batters off balance. He said the team stepped up defensively and made contact at the plate.
“Rachel pitched an outstanding game in the first game,” Smiley said. “Grants had a hard time at the plate. If Grants made contact, our defense was there to make the plays. We put the ball into play with our bats. Overall, we played a good game.”