Matt Brandhagen, Vermillion's coach, is very proud on how well Vermillion hit the ball, and the pitching performances were awesome.� "As a team we batted an average of 486 and gave up only 13 runs and we scored 43 runs in four games," he said. "On the mound we struck out 40 with Jennifer Bye striking out 33 in three games. I was happy with both our hitting and our defense. Our senior Brittany Campbell went 7-9.�
"I am sad that I am losing my only senior which I have coached for three years," said coach Brandhagen. "She is our spark to our team and makes everyone better. Besides Brittany we have one junior, four sophomores and the rest are all freshmen and eighth graders."
For the first game, Vermillion took on Lennox and was ready for the seven inning 19 run game, beating Lennox 19-4.�Brianna Brinkman pitched a 0 hit 1 walk 7 strikeouts game and only gave up one run.
Jennifer Bye went 4-5 with a home run while Brittany Bye also went 4-5 at the plate.�Alicia Brown was 2-2, Krista Froke went 2-4, and Kayla Munger went 1-1.� �
In the second game, Vermillion played the Tea Titans.� Vermillion was again on top with an 11-4 win. Jennifer Bye was unstoppable, striking out 10 with only three hits.
"Jennifer had one bad inning where she walked five and then settled back down to strike out the last three batters," said coach Brandhagen.� At batting Donica Crichton went 1-3, Mary Anne Bierle went 1-2, Brittany Campbell 1-2, and four other players were also 1-2.
Vermillion needed a victory in the third game against a tough West Central team to advance to the state championship.
"I gave the starting pitching job to eighth-grader Jennifer Bye, knowing if we did win we might have to face West Central again," coach Brandhagen said. "She knew she might have to pitch two games and I knew she could and, boy, she did. She was untouchable."
In the first game, Vermillion beat West Central 6-2.� Jennifer Bye struck out 12 in seven innings. She gave up four walks and two hits.� At the plate Brianna Brinkman was 2-4, Chelsea Houska 3-4, Jennifer Bye 2-3, Katie Kashas 2-3, and Brittany Campbell went 2-3.� "Our hitting was the best I have seen all year! Brittany Bye and Brittany Campbell, with the help of the rest of the team, were on fire with the bats this week-end," said Brandhagen.�
Vermillion had to wait until the winner from the loser's bracket had to fight their way to play Vermillion in the championship.�West Central was the winner and had to face the Tanagers again for the title.
"I gave the ball to our number-one pitcher Jennifer Bye and told her, ?This is what you have wanted all year, a chance to help our team win a title,'" said coach Brandhagen.�
Jennifer was up for the task, striking out 11 and giving up six hits with three walks.�
"I was very proud of my catcher, Chelsea Houska, who stopped everything and called a great game," he said. "I had Chelsea catch every game in our summer league but have not used her much in fall ball because we have two other catchers.�She came in and did a great job.�
"Jennifer and Chelsea make a great team and work well together," said coach Brandhagen.�
Vermillion beat West Central 7-3.�For the Tanagers Brittany Bye went 2-3, Chelsea Houska 2-4, Alicia Brown 2-2, Katie Kashas 2-3, and Brittany Campbell was 3-3.�
Vermillion is the 2005 State B Fast Pitch Softball Champion! This is Vermillion's first high school championship, placing fourth, third, fourth, and third in the past four years.�
"I was very proud of the team I had this year. We practiced a lot and it paid off as we were 10-0 scoring an amazing 120 runs and giving up only 30 runs. That was due to great hitting, amazing pitching, and awesome defense," coach Brandhagen said. "I was also very happy with our attitudes and how for each game we were fired up and ready to play.
"I would also like to thank my assistant coach, Shelly Bye, for all the time she puts in and to all the parents for driving to Sioux Falls every Sunday to cheer on Vermillion. Without all of you we would not be able to play at all," he said. "I am proud of my team for all the hard work, pitching practices and hitting practices that we have done to become better. The girls put the time in and that is why we were able to win the championship," said coach Brandhagen.