Vermillion Blaze finish 4th at 12U state fastpitch tourney The Vermillion Blaze 12 & Under girls fastpitch softball team finished their season by taking fourth place at the state tournament held in Sioux Falls July, 16, 17 and 18.
Yankton Fury 9 – Blaze 2
The Blaze lost their tournament opener to a tough Yankton Fury team who eventually finished second in the tournament. The game was close through the first four innings with the Fury holding a 3-0 advantage before they scored six runs in the fifth to break the game open.
Recording base hits for the Blaze were Donica Crichton, Kayla Munger, pick-up player Christina Engeman and Chelsea Houska. Houska and Brianna Brinkman scored Vermillion's only two runs. Jenny Bye struck out eight while taking the loss.
Blaze 11 – Rapid City Lightning Boltz 6
The Blaze posted their first win of the tournament by defeating the Rapid City Lightning Boltz behind the pitching of Houska. Houska struck out nine and allowed only four hits in a five-inning complete game performance. Erica Johnson and Bye led the offense with two hits each. Also recording base hits were Crichton, Houska and Brinkman.
Blaze 11 – Brandon Speed 10
The Blaze then defeated the Brandon Speed in dramatic fashion by scoring twice in the bottom of the last inning to advance into the final four of the tournament. The inning started with back-to-back singles by Johnson and pick-up player Kristina DeMarais.
Bye then singled in the tying run and Crichton singled in the winning run. Johnson led the offense going 3-for-3 and scoring three runs. Bye, Munger and Engeman each had two hits. Also recording hits were Houska, Brinkman and Ashley Ouellette.
DeMarais also made the defensive play of the game catching a deep line-drive in center field to prevent a Brandon run from scoring. Brinkman got the win in relief of Bye.
Sioux Falls Attack 7 – Blaze 2
The Blaze were then eliminated from the tournament by the Sioux Falls Attack in a 7-2 loss. Recording base hits were Bye, Crichton, Brinkman and Ashley Ouellette. Brinkman struck out 10 in the five inning game.
The Blaze finished its season with a 20-15 record.