Sunflower Skyhawks finish second
Kansas City, Mo. By allowing just seven runs throughout the entire tournament, the Sunflower Skyhawks 18-and-under team came away with a second-place finish in the Adair Park Tournament here over the weekend.
And the title game proved to be a heart-breaker, too, as the Skyhawks fell 1-0 to the Kearney, Neb., Flames. It was the second of such losses to the Nebraska team.
"Even though we lost to the Kearney Flames in the championship game and winner's bracket finals, they were both great games," said coach Bob Martin. "We had chances in both, but couldn't find a way to get the runs scored."
In the title game, the Flames scored in the bottom of the sixth inning when their runner at third beat a throw home after a ground out. The Skyhawks had runners in scoring position in the first, second, fourth and fifth innings but couldn't come up with a key hit to score a run.
Lindsey Rocker took the loss, but allowed just four hits and a walk while striking out five. Kathy Patton, Suzie Weege and Jill Dorsey had hits for the Skyhawks.
The Skyhawks opened the tourney with a 4-2 win over the KC Gators Saturday. They scored twice in the first and second innings. Dorsey knocked in Weege with the first run and Deanna Barden drove Dorsey home. In the second inning a single by Dorsey scored Tarin Troth and Katie Martin. Roecker was the winning pitcher, giving up four hits. Dorsey had three runs batted in.
The Skyhawks then unleashed the bats for a 9-1 win over the Lexington, Mo., Attack. Barden broke a scoreless tie with a single in the third that scored Martin and Weege. The Skyhawks scored six times in the fourth behind a two-run double by Martin and a two-run single by Satinne Maring. Maring was the winning pitcher, allowing just two hits while striking out six. Martin had three hits and three RBIs.
Maring then threw a 6-0 shutout at the Blue Springs, Mo., Explosion. Again she allowed just two hits while striking out five in six innings of work. The Skyhawks backed her up with at least one run in every inning.
In the winner's bracket semi-finals, the Skyhawks beat the Lexington Attack 4-1. The game was scoreless until the fifth inning when Weege's bases-loaded double scored Mary Martin and Patton. Dorsey added a two-run single in the seventh that scored Weege and K. Martin. Roecker was the winning pitcher, giving up just the single run on seven hits.
The string ran out in the first game against Kearney in the winner's bracket finals. The Skyhawks fell 2-0. They had runners in scoring position in the first, fourth and fifth innings, but didn't score. Maring took the loss, but allowed just three hits. K. Martin, Barden and Maring each had two hits.
The Skyhawks returned to their winning ways in the next game with a 2-0 win over the KC Broncos to advance to the championship game. The game was scoreless until the top of the fourth when Kristen Wessel opened with a walk, Barden singled and both runners advanced on a ground out. M. Martin then singled to plate both runners. Maring got the win with another shutout. Barden and M. Martin both had two hits.
That set up the finale, where the Flames won 1-0.
"We played some excellent softball this weekend," said coach Martin. "The defense and pitching were outstanding and our bats are starting to come around.
"If you give up only seven runs in seven games, you will have some success," he said.
Offensively, Barden led the way in the tourney with eight hits. Weege had seven hits and scored five runs. K. Martin had six hits, eight walks, four runs and four RBIs. Maring went 3-1 in 23 innings of work, allowing 13 hits and just three earned runs while striking out 19. Roecker went 2-1 in 20 innings, allowing 15 hits and four earned runs.
Next action for the Skyhawks will be Saturday and Sunday at the Hutchinson USSSA World Series Qualifier Tournament.