Advertisement

Archive for Sunday, July 22, 2007

Braves ousted after two losses

Other area teams fare no better in tournament’s closing contests

July 22, 2007

Advertisement

The final day of the American Fastpitch Association "B" National Championship Tournament was short lived for Amie Riddle and the Tonganoxie Braves.

Ashlee Lohman of the Tonganoxie Braves is overcome with frustration Saturday as her team trails Scott Fort 3-0.

Ashlee Lohman of the Tonganoxie Braves is overcome with frustration Saturday as her team trails Scott Fort 3-0.

Tonganoxie Braves shortstop Amanda Darrow tags out Fort Scott baserunner Saturday during Tonganoxie's 3-0 loss at the AFA Fastpitch Nationals at Clinton Lake Softball Complex.

Tonganoxie Braves shortstop Amanda Darrow tags out Fort Scott baserunner Saturday during Tonganoxie's 3-0 loss at the AFA Fastpitch Nationals at Clinton Lake Softball Complex.

After losing their first game of the day, 3-0 to the Fort Scott Tigers, Riddle decided to leave the team to head to her college dance camp.

"It (stinks)," said Riddle just before she left Clinton Lake Softball Complex. "This has been a part of my life for the last eight years, and it's just over for me now. It definitely (stinks)."

Tongie's next game was against the Flames of Nebraska-Red Hot, who got a little revenge against the Braves.

The Nebraska squad, which was knocked out of the winner's bracket by the Braves on Thursday, knocked Tonganoxie out of the tournament with a 2-0 victory.

"We could have played better," said Amanda Albert, who pitched Game 2 in the absence of Riddle. "We weren't hitting a whole lot this tournament. ... Sixth place is not where I want to be. But we did pretty well in this tournament."

The Braves had gone undefeated in the tournament until Saturday, but after scoring nine runs in the tourney opener, Tongie scored nine points combined in their final six games.

"If I thought we were going to end up in the middle of the pack, then sixth place is excellent," Braves coach Craig Lohman said. "But we're in the top three teams, by far. But when we stink it up, we're going home. And that's what happened.

"You can see it in the girls' eyes, too. That's what's disheartening. Because they know they're better than what they got."

Prior to the Flames' second crack at the Braves, they started the day with an 8-5 win over the Lawrence Phenix-Rusk.

"It kind of sucks because we know we could beat that team, but we just played bad each time we played them," said Phenix-Rusk player Callie Craig, whose team lost to the Flames during pool-play.

Phenix-Rusk had the game tied in the third inning after having given up three runs in the first. Then in the top of the fourth, Craig hit an inside-the-park home run that also plated Kalli McClure to give them a two-run lead.

"The fence was pretty long, though," Craig said, "so it helped."

The momentum didn't carry over to the bottom half of the fourth as the Flames squad put up five runs to clinch the win.

The Ottawa Sabotage was in the same situation as Phenix-Rusk going into Saturday. And just like the Lawrence team, the Sabotage ended up losing 3-2 to the Amity (Mo.) Trojanettes.

The Sabotage's two runs came in the final frame, but they had multiple chances early on to score runs having left six runners on base.

"It just wasn't meant to be for them," Sabotage coach Ned Moore said. "It was there for us. Not only did we strand six batters, but they were stranded on second and third base."

Sabotage starting pitcher Ashlee Moore didn't give up a hit in her 4 1/3 innings of work. She was replaced by Kelsey Graham when the Trojanettes had loaded the bases thanks to two errors and a batter being hit.

The South Dakota Seven: The Dakota Fury was aiming for a rematch with the Tonganoxie Braves on the final day of the American Fastpitch Association "B" National Championship Tournament after the Braves had beaten them Friday night and landing them in the loser's bracket.

Unfortunately, the Flames of Nebraska-Red Hot got revenge of their own against the Braves, first.

But the Fury's "consolation prize" made their trip from Salem, South Dakota all worth while: the 18U National Championship.

"It's just an unbelievable feat, I'm just about speechless," said Fury coach Tony Laetsch, following his team's 3-2 win over the Fort Scott Tigers in the title game. "This is a credit to the kids and their character and what they're able to accomplish as a group. It's just been a fantastic bunch to work with."

In order to claim the crown, the Fury team had to play in seven games on Saturday, starting at 8 a.m. with the last game ending around 9:30 p.m.

"We all just came together when we needed to and everybody was there for each other," said Rebecca Wright, who scored two runs and knocked in another in the finale. "And I think that was the biggest thing for us. ... I'm just so happy for us and so glad that everybody came to play today."

Coming through the loser's bracket, made it necessary for the Fury to beat and undefeated Fort Scott team, twice to earn the title.

In the first game, the Fury squad out-dueled the Tigers in a nine-inning affair, 3-1, to force a second game.

"This makes everything great," Wright said. "I'm actually the oldest one on the team and the only one that doesn't have another shot at this, so it feels really good to go out on top."

Comments

mpusek 7 years, 7 months ago

This is Morgan #9 from the Flames of Nebraska Softball Team and I just wanted to say thanks for covering our games and mentioning us in the paper. I only wish you would have interviewed the team a little bit, at least the girl that pitched all 11 games in nationals.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.