Stingers claim Yankton tourney title The Vermillion Stingers claimed another U 16 ASA softball championship the weekend of June 14-15 and in Yankton. The tournament was highlighted by a dramatic 1-0 eight inning victory over the Yankton Fury. GAME ONE The Stingers got off to a good start in the tournament with a 7-2 victory over Mitchell. Chelsea Houska pitched the complete game, going five innings and giving up only three hits while striking out six Mitchell batters. The offense was led by Ali Truhe who collected a single, double and triple along with four RBIs in the contest. Jenny Bye also collected one hit and two RBIs, while Bri Brinkman, Erica Johnson and Jana Bye had one hit each. Brinkman and Donica Crichton each scored two runs for the victorious Stingers. GAME TWO The Stingers continued their winning ways in game two, knocking out a 6-3 win over the Dakota Edge, a team comprised of players from the Sioux Falls area. Jenny Bye patrolled the pitcherâ�?�?s circle for the winners, giving up six hits, while striking out four and allowing no walks. Brinkman was the offensive hero for the Stingers, collecting two singles and a double, scoring two runs and knocking in one. Every other player for the winning Stingers collected one hit in the game. Ashley Ouellette collected two RBIs in the contest. Crichton scored another two runs for the winners, while Jenny Bye and Johnson scored once each. GAME THREE Game three proved to be the only loss for the Stingers in the tournament, a 7-0 loss to the Yankton Fury. Houska suffered the loss, going five innings and striking out four Fury hitters. The Stingers defense was uncharacteristically sloppy, committing three errors to help the Fury cause. The offense was equally stagnant, collecting no hits during the shutout. GAME FOUR The Sunday single elimination portion of the tournament began with the Stingers claiming a convincing 12-0 four inning thrashing of the team from Mitchell. Jenny Bye was overpowering in the pitchers circle, facing the minimum 12 batters in the contest shortened by the 12 run mercy rule. Byeâ�?�?s perfect game was highlighted by striking out 10 of the 12 batters she faced. She was also the offensive hero of the contest, collecting three hits, a single, double and a triple along with four RBIs. Brinkman and Ouellette also had two hits each, while Molly LeCates, Truhe, Houska and Megan Chickering each had one. Brinkman, Houska, Ouellette and Chickering also had one RBI each. Every Stingers player scored at least one run in the blowout win. CHAMPIONSHIP GAME The championship contest provided the Stingers with a chance for revenge, taking on the Yankton Fury. The game quickly turned in to a pitchers duel, with Jenny Bye and Yanktonâ�?�?s Kayla Salonen going toe to toe. Through six innings, the Stingers had only one hit, a single by Ouellette. Similarly, Bye only allowed three hits through six innings. The Fury mounted a serious scoring threat in the seventh inning, loading the bases with nobody out. After a strike out, Bye induced the next two batters to pop out to end the threat. Using the international rules for extra innings, a runner started at second base for each team in the eighth inning. The Fury could not score in their half of the eighth inning, setting up the dramatic bottom half of the inning for the Stingers. Houska was placed at second base to begin the inning. After a pop out and a strike out, Erica Johnson became the hero for the winning Stingers, lacing a two out double to score Houska and earn the Stingers the championship trophy. Johnson ended the contest with two of the four hits collected by the Stingers. Bye and Ouellette each had one single. â�?�?This was just an awesome tournament win for these girls. Other than the last game on Saturday, where I think the girls were just worn out from being in the 90 degree heat all day, they played great, offensively and defensively,â�? said coach Dave Chickering. â�?�?I am so happy for Erica (Johnson). Sheâ�?�?s one of those quiet kids who does not get enough recognition for her contributions to this team. She is part of our great defensive outfield (along with LeCates and Chickering), but her offensive contributions while batting in the ninth spot in the order are sometimes overlooked. â�?�?For her to get two of our four hits, including the game winning double, against a very good pitcher is just very satisfying for a coach to see. Chelsea and Jenny both pitched well. Unfortunately, Chelsea had to pitch the late game on Saturday when she (and everyone) was dead tired, but it allowed us to pitch Jenny twice on Sunday which worked out to our advantage,â�? the coach said. â�?�?Jenny was absolutely amazing on Sunday. She struck out 20 of the 41 batters she faced on Sunday (in two games) while allowing no walks. â�?�?Defensively, we did not commit an error on Sunday either. Bri made a couple of great plays at shortstop, Ashley made a great catch at first base on a high throw and Molly had two unbelievable catches in center field, all during the final game. The girls are playing with a lot of confidence right now, so hopefully we can carry that over to our next tournaments,â�? coach Chickering said. â�?�?The Stingers next contest is a home double header against Yankton on the 24th of June, starting at 6:30 p.m. at the USD softball complex.â�?
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