U-16 Fireballz are league champions

U-16 Fireballz are league champions
The U-16 Vermillion Fireballz traveled to Elk Point to take part in their year end league tournament July 7 and 8.

In game one Friday night the Vermillion Fireballz were facing the host Elk Point-Jefferson Huskies. Vermillion fell behind early 5-0, but key hits by Sara Kjose and Nicky Huth in the third inning got the Fireballz on the board. The fourth inning saw another RBI from Huth and a two run homer by Brittney Bye to finally give the Fireballz the lead for the first time 7-6.

An insurance run later it was 8-6 going into the bottom of the last inning where EPJ scratched out two runs to tie the game and force extra innings.

The next inning started out with a bang as Bye hit another two run homer over the fence in deep left center field and the hits just kept rolling along after that. RBI doubles by Katie Kashas, Jessica Jurgensen, Stacy Bottolfson, and Bye helped put 13 more runs on the board, when EPJ could only muster one run in their half of the inning.

The final score was Fireballz 21, EPJ 9. Bye, Huth and Hannah Korcuska shared the pitching duties with Kashas catching the game.

Game two Saturday had the Fireballz facing the Yankton Angels in a low scoring affair. The Angels came with their "A" game and shut the Fireballz down on just three hits for the game. Excellent defense by Kashas behind the plate, Bottolfson at second and Bye at shortstop kept the game close heading into the bottom of the last inning trailing 3-2.

A dropped third strike allowed the tying run to score and then with Alex Walker on third and two outs Huth hit a line drive at the first basemen she couldn't field cleanly and by the time she recovered, a head first slide into first by Huth allowed Walker to score and the Fireballz to win the game 4-3 and advance to the championship game. Huth pitched a complete game and Kashas caught.

The championship game saw the Fireballz facing the Angels again. A 1-2-3 top of the first brought the Fireballz up to bat, two passed balls, a RBI single by Kashas and Chelsea Allen's two RBI single got the scoring going.

A run by the Angels in the top of the second was quickly countered the bottom of the second by a RBI double by Huth and Bye's RBI triple made the score 7 to 1. Good defense by MeagAnn LeCates and Kjose kept the Angels at bay and the Fireballz tacked on two more runs to make it 9-1.

In the fifth inning the Angels then managed to load the bases with no one out, enter Korcuska who skillfully only gave up one run while striking out three of the four batters she faced to keep the big lead.

A lead off single by LeCates, a stolen base and the final RBI single of the game by Kjose gave the Fireballz all the runs they would need winning the game 10-2 and becoming the Dakota Fastpitch League Champions.

This brings the Fireballz season record to 16-11 with their final games of the year this weekend at the state tournament in Sioux Falls.

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