Vermillion Stingers win national qualifier

Vermillion Stingers win national qualifier
The Vermillion Stingers started off their season with a record of 5-0 and qualify for the 2007 AFA U16 National Softball Tournament in Broken Arrow, OK. The first three games were pool play on Saturday and single elimination on Sunday.

First Pool Game: Vermillion Stingers 2, Suburban Pride Black 0

In the first game, Vermillion did not let a runner past second base and shut out the Pride in a six-inning game. Vermillion only had two hits but managed to score on both of the hits for Vermillion's only runs. Megan Chickering went 1-2, and Raychel Soyland was also 1-2. Freshman pitcher Jenny Bye pitched a complete game shutout registering 15 strike outs on 21 at bats, and at one time she struck out 13 in a row. She was two walks away from a complete game.

"I was very pleased with the way we started the season we didn't hit the ball very well but when a pitcher only puts two base runners on, the chance of winning becomes better," said coach Matt Brandhagen.

Second Pool Game: Vermillion Stingers 15, Bellevue Shockers Grey 0

In the second game, Vermillion's bats started to work with 18 hits and the defense was errorless to beat the Shockers in four innings. Jenny Bye went 3-3 with two singles and a double, Raychel Soyland was 4-4 with three singles and a double, Brittany Bye was 1-4, Ali Truhe went 3-4 with a home run, Molly Lecates went 2-3, and Erica Johnson was 2-2. Vermillion's pitcher, Mandy Wright, pitched a complete game shut out giving up only one hit and Vermilion's defense let the only hit be theironly base runner.

"Finally we started to play some offense. We have been working on hitting since January and you could tell by the way the bats were working. I was also proud of how well our defense worked and the movement when we throw different pitches," said Coach Brandhagen.

Third Pool Game: Vermillion Stingers 3, Underwood TNT 0

In the third game, Vermillion had a tough battle to put them in the top seed in the single elimination tournament with a win. Jenny Bye went 1-3, Raycel Soyland was 1-2, Brittany Bye went 2-3 with a two-run homer and a single, Molly Lecates went 1-3, and Megan Chickering went 1-2. Once again, Vermillion's defense was flawless as they had no errors and no base runners past second base.

Jenny Bye pitched a two-hit shut out registering nine strike outs and one walk.

"When you don't make any errors and your team is hitting with your pitcher on, it is tough to lose games," said Brandhagen. This win put Vermillion in the top seed of the single elimination on Sunday.

First Game Single Elimination: Vermillion Stingers 1, Lincoln, NE Rockets 0

In the fourth game, the Stingers had a battle on their hands with mustering up only three hits and scoring only one run, which was the game-winning run as Jenny Bye hit a home run in the fourth to give the Stingers their only run. Donica Crichton went 1-3, Jenny Bye went 1-3 with a home run, and Molly Lecates went 1-2 with a single. Jenny Bye was the winning pitcher, giving up only three hits and striking out seven.

"Once again, my defense was awesome with no errors and runners on third with no outs and second with no outs," said Brandhagen. The win puts the Stingers in the championship against the Suburban Pride Black, whom they beat earlier in the tournament.

Championship Game: Vermillion Stingers 9 Suburban Pride Black 0

In the final game, Vermillion was ready to play with an errorless game and 10 hits. Donica Crichton went 1-2, Jenny Bye went 1-3, Raychel Soyland went 3-4, Brittany Bye went 2-4 with two triples, Ali Truhe went 1-3, Molly Lecates went 1-4, and Megan Chickering went 1-2 with a double. Jenny Bye pitched a three-hit shutout with 10 strikeouts and no walks.

"Jenny was awesome this weekend, facing some of the best teams from the Omaha area and not letting a single run score, due to the pitching and defense. I was also proud of how my girls stayed fired up and never got down on themselves, which is how you win games.

"We have a long season ahead of us, so hopefully we keep playing as well as we are and it should be a fun year," said Coach Brandhagen.

The tournament win qualifies the team for AFA Nationals.

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