June 29, 2003 11:00 pm

By Raenelle Kwock

Observer Staff Writer

MILTON-FREEWATER — The La Grande Juniors Little League All-Star softball team lost a tough 10-9 game Sunday at Yantis Park against Baker in the District 3 Little League Softball Girls All-Stars Tournament.

The La Grande All-Stars played the Union County All-Stars at 1:30 today. The loser goes home, while the winner plays at noon Tuesday at Yantis Park.

Baker will play the Milton-Freewater/Athena winner at 3 p.m. Tuesday.

La Grande got off to a quick 3-0 start, but Baker came back with a couple of runs to make it 3-2 heading into the second inning.

In the top of the second, Rachelle Winterton led off with a bunt in front of home plate igniting La Grande.

Baker mistakes enabled La Grande to tack on two runs before Jessica McCall's one-run double made the score 6-2 after two innings of play.

La Grande scored three more runs to take a 9-2 lead heading into the bottom of the fourth.

Baker clawed back with a four-run fourth inning to slice the lead to 9-6.

In the bottom of the fourth, Baker threatened with the bases loaded and two outs. A fly to center ended the threat.

Again in the bottom of the fifth, Baker loaded the bases with two outs but a ground out ended the inning.

In the top of the sixth, La Grande had runners on first and third base but a double play halted the momentum.

Baker crept closer to within 9-8 in the bottom of the sixth and would have tied the game, if not for a play from La Grande's outfield.

McCall bobbled a hit briefly in center field before firing the ball home. Her throw nailed a Baker runner stealing home for the third out.

After a double deep to left field, a missed tag and another double to center, Baker tied the game at 9-9 in the bottom of the seventh.

Another hit to right field advanced the runners to second and third base.

A Baker runner tried to steal home and was tagged for the first out.

Then came a hit that tipped shortstop Cali Wetstein's glove, and dribbled into the outfield scoring Baker's game-winning run.

The Juniors tournament concludes with Thursday's championship game at Yantis Park.