Baldwin Skyhawks finish third
Emporia After struggling a bit during the first part of the season, the Baldwin Skyhawk 16-and-under team put their best run of the season together here over the weekend and finished third in the Twin Rivers Summer Slam Softball Tournament.
The Skyhawks won their first two games Saturday and their first on Sunday to reach the semi-finals in the 16-team field. That's where the string ran out as they lost the next two games to finish third.
"We had improved team play and made fewer mental errors," said coach Ginny Honomichl. "We also had solid hitting and that helps a lot."
The Skyhawks opened the tourney with an 8-0 shutout over the Eureka Merchants. Kyrstan Hubbel limited the Merchants to a single hit, didn't walk a batter and notched six strikeouts to pick up the pitching win. Kari Garrison provided the offensive punch with a fifth-inning home run and a single. Emily Brown had a triple and Erica Ogle had three singles.
The second game was a 13-2 win over Emporia Sweet Justice. The Skyhawks pounded out 16 hits, with Garrison leading the way with three, including a triple. Kayla Pringle also had three hits, one a double. Those with two hits were Hubbel (including a double), Ogle, Angie Bacon and Anna Skaggs. The game was close until the Skyhawks scored three runs in the fifth inning and followed that with seven runs in the sixth.
Hubbel was the winning pitcher, allowing six hits and two walks while striking out three. It wasn't all good news for the Skyhawks, however, as first baseman Liz Burks suffered a knee injury and was lost for the rest of the tournament.
From there, the competition got tougher in the straight double-elimination format. The Skyhawks topped the Topeka Blaze 9-8 to open Sunday's play. After jumping to a 7-0 lead in the fourth inning, the Skyhawks saw the Blaze tie it up with six runs in the fourth and another in the fifth. The Skyhawks scored two in the seventh and the Blaze could come up with just one in the bottom of the inning.
The Skyhawks had 12 hits with Garrison leading the way again with a double and triple. Also with two hits were Skaggs (both doubles), Hubbel (one double), A. Bacon and Jodie Bacon. Hubbel again got the win, allowing 12 hits and a walk while striking out four.
In the semi-finals, the Skyhawks fell 6-3 to the Ricochet. After falling behind 3-0, the Skyhawks tied it with three runs in the third inning. The Ricochet scored once in the fourth and twice in the seventh to take the win.
J. Bacon had two hits, including a double. Pringle had a pair of singles. Hubbel took the loss on the mound.
In the consolation game, the Skyhawks fell 6-5. They had a 5-3 lead in the second, but the KC Slammers scored once in the third and twice in the fifth inning to win.
Brown had three hits, including a double, and J. Bacon had three singles. Hubbel was the losing pitcher.
"In the last two games we played against better teams and they took advantage of almost every little opening we provided them," said Honomichl.
She was pleased with how the team showed improvement and was happy with how the battery of Kyrstan to Haydon Hubbel performed.
"Kyrstan and Haydon pitched and caught every inning," said Honomichl. "They had to because of Liz's injury and I'm concerned about that in jury."
The extent of the injury was unknown Monday. She may be back in time for this weekend's tournament at Emporia. It's a Kansas State USSSA "B" qualifying tournament.