The Skyhawks, composed almost entirely of Baldwin High students, took advantage of two errors, five wild pitches and two passed balls by the SEK Sonic Boom but fell victim to their own physical -- and mental -- mistakes in a 6-5 loss at Clinton Lake Sports Complex.
The Skyhawks scored four runs in the fourth inning to take the lead, but allowed three runs in the bottom of the inning and another in the fifth on a total of four errors.
After falling behind 1-0 through three innings, the Skyhawks tied the game in the fourth when Kari Garrison scored on an error. Kayla Pringle scored three batters later on a wild pitch and Suzie Weege crossed the plate when the catcher's throw back to the plate bounced off the pitcher's foot and rolled up the third base line.
"We're pretty aggressive once we get on," coach Ginny Honomichl said. "We keep putting the pressure on. I'd rather be out trying than standing and watching."
Tarin Troth scored the third run of the inning on the next pitch when Polly Sheridan's pitch got past the catcher and no one covered home.
Sonic Boom tied the game in the next half inning, scoring three runs with two outs, and took a 5-4 lead with three consecutive singles in the fifth.
Most of the Skyhawks played on either last year's U-18 squad which placed third in the State Games of America in St. Louis or the U-16 team that finished second in the ASA state tournament.
They showed that tournament experience Saturday with two outs in the sixth inning, fighting back to tie the game at 5-5.
They did receive some help from Sonic Boom pitcher Kelly Briggs' three straight wild pitches, which allowed Kristen Wessel to score from first.
Sonic Boom won the game, which was on a one-hour time limit, in the sixth inning though, when catcher Hayden Hubbel, who replaced Wessel behind the plate early in the game, tagged home instead of Briggs when there was no force in effect at home.
Saturday's loss meant little in terms of standings though as the teams were guaranteed to play again today in a semifinal at 9 a.m. on CLSC Field No. 4, and Honomichl said she felt the loss wouldn't affect the team mentally either.
"We've played enough of these tournaments that we realize Saturday is a day of its own and Sunday's the day you really have to come to play," she said. "It'll just be another game. It's a Sunday and we'll look a little different tomorrow than what they saw us tonight."
Sunflower started the day being no-hit by Topeka's Chaos, 8-0.
"We were ugly first game," Honomichl said. "There wasn't a single one of us that wasn't ugly. I think we just figured everyone has to be ugly -- just get it over with in one game."
The Skyhawks got rid of quite a bit of ugly from their system, bouncing back to win, 8-1, against the Stillwell Stars.
"We recovered and played well," Honomichl said. "That's the kind of kids these are. They'll have some bad stuff, but they always come back. They're competitors but they have fun, too. That's the kind of team you want to coach."
Chaos (4-0) will face the Stars at 9 a.m. on CLSC Field No. 3 in the other semifinal. The championship game is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. on Field 3.