Hawks finish ninth
The 18-and-under Sunflower Skyhawks traveled to Adair Park in Kansas City this weekend to compete in the 27 team USSSA Mid-American Regional. The Hawks faced teams from St. Louis, Omaha, and Kansas City and came home with a 2-2 record and a tie for ninth place.
"I was really pleased with our play," said coach Bob Martin. "We played some outstanding teams and in both of our losses we had chances to win, but didn't get the key hits."
In game one of the double-elimination tournament the Skyhawks battled the St. Louis Gateway Storm. The Storm struck early with tree runs in the first and one in the third to take a 4-0 lead.
In the fifth inning Deanna Barden started things with a single, and then two Hawks walked to load the bases. Barden scored on a passed ball but the Skyhawks failed to score anymore runs and left the bases loaded with the score 4-1.
The Storm got a run back in the top of the sixth to take a 5-1 lead.
The Skyhawks had one more rally in the bottom of the sixth when Jill Dorsey and Kristen Wessel walked and Barden, the offensive bright spot in the game, singled to score Dorsey. The Skyhawks failed to continue the rally by stranding runners on second and third, and losing the game to the eventual tournament champions 5-2.
A trip through the loser's bracket was next for the Hawks and in their first game they faced the Omaha Lazers. The Skyhawks scored single runs in the second and third innings, and rallied for two in the sixth. Barden continued to hit the ball well as she led off all three innings in which the Skyhawks scored with hits. She also scored three of the team's four runs. Lindsey Roecker gave up 10 hits but held the Lazers scoreless, and the Hawks moved on in the tournament after a 4-0 win.
Next up for the Skyhawks were the St. Louis Royal Sports. The Hawks took the lead in the second with another run scored by Barden. With the game tied at ones in the fifth, Satinne Maring and Katie Martin scored on a double by Dorsey to give the Hawks a 3-1 lead.
Maring held the Sports scoreless for the remainder of the game and finished with a four hit, complete game victory.
Moving on the Hawks faced the KC Rally in their fourth game of the tournament. The Rally broke a scoreless tie in the fifth when an error, a walk and a bloop single scored a run. The Hawks rallied in the sixth to load the bases with no outs, but they failed to convert the situation into any runs. They threatened in the seventh with two base runners, but were unable to score again. The Skyhawks lost their seventh 1-0 game of the summer, and were finished for the tournament.
Barden went 7-for-13 during the tournament and either scored or batted in six of the team's nine runs. Maring struck out 17 batters in 17 innings but went home with a 1-2 record. Roecker allowed only one run in 11 innings pitched and picked up a win during the tournament.
"Give the girls a lot of credit for fighting back in the loser's bracket," said coach Martin. "It's a tough road when you drop into the loser's bracket, but the girls came back to win a couple of games before dropping another close one."
The team is competing in the USSA World Series in Hutchinson this week.