Vermillion Blaze captures 12 & under championship The Vermillion Blaze girls softball team won the 12 and under championship at the Vermillion Modified Pitch Tournament June 12 and 13.
All weekend the Blaze relied on a high-powered hitting attack to post a 4-1 record. In pool play on Saturday, the Blaze defeated Elk Point-Jefferson 9-8. Ashley Ouellette had two hits and scored twice. Also scoring two runs were Brianna Brinkman, Kayla Munger and Erica Johnson.
In the second game the Blaze defeated Platte 11-10. Leading hitters were Ouellette, Molly Larson, Brinkman, and Jenny Bye. Scoring twice were Ouellette, Bye and Megan Bottolfson.
In their third game of the day, the Blaze fell 9-6 to the Madison Flash. Brinkman, Bye and Chelsea Houska were the leading hitters. Bye and Ouellette each scored twice.
During Sunday's elimination play the Blaze defeated Elk Point-Jefferson by a score of 11-6 to advance to the championship game. Brinkman went 3-for-3, and Houska 2-for-2 to lead the offense.
In the finals the Blaze defeated Platte 19-13. Johnson, Bye and Munger each recorded two hits. Brinkman scored four times and Munger three.
Highlights of other Blaze games this year are as follows:
Brandon Early Bird
The Blaze opened their season by going 3-2 and finishing in fourth place at the Brandon Early Bird Tournament. The first day of competition was highlighted by two no-hit pitching performances. The first by Bye and the other by Brinkman.
In the first game, the Blaze defeated the 3A Aces 20-0 in a game shortened to three innings. Bye struck out four batters and walked none. The Blaze played flawless defense behind her with five putouts keeping the perfect game intact. Donica Crichton, Ouellette and Munger all scored three runs.
In the second game the Blaze defeated the Racers 14-2 in a game that was also shortened to three innings. Brinkman struck out four and walked two while allowing no hits. Houska was the leading hitter and Brinkman scored three runs while Molly LeCates and Bye each scored two runs.
On the second day the Blaze lost to Dakotaland Homes by a score of 14-7. The Blaze gave up 12 first-inning runs as Dakotaland Homes capitalized on nine walks. Ouellette, Brinkman and Bye each had two hits and Houska scored three runs.
The Blaze bounced back to defeat the 3A Aces again by a score of 19-7. Crichton and Houska each scored three runs.
In the final game the Blaze lost 7-6 to ACE Ready Mix. The Blaze gave up six first inning runs and had to battle back the rest of the game. Ouellette was 3-for-3 to lead the offense.
The Blaze have been participating in the 12 & Under Tournament Team Division of the Sioux Empire Fastpitch Softball Association in Sioux Falls. At the half-way mark, the Blaze are 3-3 in league play. After their 12-game league schedule is complete, the Blaze will participate in the league tournament in July. The league features fastpitch teams from the Sioux Falls and Brandon areas.