Skyhawks finish thrid in tourney
It was brutally hot over the weekend as the Baldwin Skyhawks played in the 18-and-under USSSA Kansas State North Tournament at the Johnson County Girls' Athletic Association Complex.
But, when the dust and sweat settled, the Skyhawks came away with a third-place showing for their efforts. They did it without a couple of their regulars who were unable to attend the tourney, too.
"This was a challenging tournament for us for several reasons: having enough players to field a team and playing in such extreme heat, especially playing back to back on both Saturday and Sunday at 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.," said coach Ginny Honomichl.
"We competed much better on Sunday than we did on Saturday," said Honomichl. "That's a tribute to these young ladies."
In Sunday's single-elimination tournament, the Skyhawks topped the Topeka Jazz 5-4. Baldwin opened with two runs in both the first and second inning for a 4-0 lead. The Jazz countered with single runs in the third and fourth innings, then put a pair together in the fifth to tie it at 4-4. The Skyhawks scored a run in the bottom half of the fifth to take the win.
Kristen Wessel had a pair of singles. Kari Garrison and Kalie Harris had doubles. Suzie Weege, Tarin Troth, Lauren Gilges, Kayla Pringle and Harris each drove in a run. Satinne Maring picked up the win in relief of Kyrstan Hubbel.
The Skyhawk's run wouldn't last through the semifinals, however, and the K.C. Slammers topped them 8-5 in comeback fashion. Baldwin went up 5-2 in the first inning. That was it as the Slammers scored twice in the third inning and four times in the fourth to take the win and leave Baldwin in third place.
Weege, Wessel and Maring all had runs batted in. Troth had a pair of RBI to lead the way. Maring took the loss, again in relief.
Saturday's pool play in the tourney was up and down. Baldwin won its opener 3-2 over the Topeka Jazz behind RBI by Hubbel, Mary Martin and Pringle. Those three and Troth all had doubles. Garrison had a pair of singles. Maring was the winning pitcher.
The next two games were quite different. The Skyhawks were pounded by the Coffeyville Diamonds 13-0 in a run-rule shortened game and then fell to the Slammers 10-1. A porous defense didn't help.
"We played poor team defense too many errors," said Honomichl. "There were too many runs scored against us in the early innings. They had good hitters and we had sloppy defense."
Baldwin also picked up a 7-0 forfeit win over the Lightning to finish 2-2 in pool play.
The Skyhawks will close out the season with their annual appearance in the Sunflower State Games. Those games will be played Sunday through Tuesday at Lawrence's Clinton Parkway Fields. They will be entered in the 18-and-under division.