Phenix team finishes second
The Lawrence Phenix 12-and-under softball team, which includes players and coaches from Baldwin, finished second in the ASA Mid-American Region 12 tournament in Topeka July 9-12.
"The Phenix took second place out of 27 teams in the tournament, beating three different 2004 state championship teams along the way," said coach Bill Finucane, of Baldwin. "This is no small feat."
After fighting their way through the loser's bracket, the Phenix made it to the championship game where they needed two victories over the Tipton (Mo.) Tigers, the 2004 Missouri state champions.
The Phenix got the first win, 5-4, and were then primed for the title game, which would be their fifth of the day. However, the Phenix fell short and lost 4-3 to finish second.
"This team battled together through each game of this tournament," said Finucane. "They played together as a group and overall executed the basics of the game very well. We were able to defeat three state champions during this tournament and that doesn't happen very often.
"Even though we came up a bit short in this tournament, we never gave up and played each game to the best of our ability," he said.
In Saturday pool play, the Phenix raced to a 3-0 record with wins over Lee Summit, Mo., 12-4, Elkhorn, Neb., 10-5 and South Metro Omaha, Neb., 8-5. A 12-9 loss to Marysville put the Phenix in the loser's bracket.
The Phenix went on a roll Sunday in the loser's bracket and beat Derby 4-0, Freemont, Neb., 4-3 and Marysville 8-6 to qualify for the tournament championship game.
Baldwin players on the team are Alex Zordel and Haley Finucane. Zordel, a pitcher, threw all but six innings in the Phenix's eight games.
The second-place finish qualified the Phenix for the American Softball Association national championships, which it will not play in because of a prior commitment to the American Fastball Association national championships July 26 to Aug. 1 in Mustang, Okla.