Local teams place in Native American World Series

D12 Pitcher, Evan Frost, watches the player at first base as he goes back to the mound.
Right fielder, Orion Watts bombs the ball into the infield trying to get the out at 2nd base.
McKean Walton, left, of D12 goes to get a ground ball while playing the Unspoken Heroes on Sunday, Sept. 25 at Valley Regional Softball Complex.
Raphael "Bo" Watts Jr. who played with team Deuce Deuce, pitches the softball to the opposing team.
Orion Watts keeps his eye on the ball, as he gets ready to swing for the fence at the Native American World Series Softball Tournament held in Salt Lake City, UT.
Shortstop, Tyler Young stops the grounder as his teammate RC Lucero (10) watches him make the play. UNC ended up winning this game 15-5.
Jason Carmenoros slides into 3rd base as his opponent 3rd baseman of team Warriors shows that he tagged Carmenoros out.
RC Lucero, pitcher for UNC, is ready to pitch the ball.
D12 3rd baseman, Harvey Frost makes a stunning play as he throws the ball from the ground ultimately getting an out on 2nd base.
UNC still smiles after their heart breaking loss to Sioux Nation in a tough game on Sept. 25.
RC Lucero (10) slides into 2nd base ending up safe against 4 Peaks. UNC ended up losing this game in time limit.
Trennie Collins | The Southern Ute Drum
Trennie Collins | The Southern Ute Drum
Trennie Collins | The Southern Ute Drum
Trennie Collins | The Southern Ute Drum
Trennie Collins | The Southern Ute Drum
Trennie Collins | The Southern Ute Drum
Trennie Collins | The Southern Ute Drum
Trennie Collins | The Southern Ute Drum
Trennie Collins | The Southern Ute Drum
Trennie Collins | The Southern Ute Drum
Trennie Collins | The Southern Ute Drum

For most athletes the need to compete is something that sticks with them for long after high school and college sports come to end. Locally, adult men, women and coed softball teams are known to take competition seriously, playing in top-notch tournaments and winning, a lot of the times.

So it came as no surprise to hear that two local Native softball teams, UNC and D12, would be making their way up to Salt Lake City, Utah to compete in the Native American World Series Softball Tournament September 23-25.

A number of other Native American, Men’s, Women’s and Co-ed teams went to Salt Lake with the same mission: “bring home the top prize”. However, the tournament so many were looking forward to was delayed two days due to weather and field conditions.

Overcoming the delays and agreeing to play shortened game times, UNC and D12 – both teams with players from Ute tribes – took to the still wet and muddy fields on Sunday, September 25, to fiercely battle teams from other tribal nations. Some teams opted to drop out at the last minute leaving the men’s tournament with only 14 teams.

UNC easily won the first three games. Losing game number four to Team 4 Peaks. Trying to climb their way back to the championship game they played hard, but came up short to the to Sioux Nation with a final score being 27-15. However, UNC did end up placing 3rd.

“Attitudes were great and we played as a team,” pitcher for UNC, RC Lucero said. “Proud of the heart that everyone played with … the biggest challenge was playing against the clock with a shortened time limit.”

D12 started out a bit slower, losing the first game, but battling back to win the next three. However, D12 ended up losing to Sioux Nation and placing 4th overall.

It’s hard to say what could’ve been for the two teams if they were able to play the full weekend but regardless, both teams played hard and finished what they started.

Congratulations to both UNC and D12.

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