The Optimist Bullets 12-and-under fastpitch softball team was one game away from playing for the championship when severe weather forced the cancellation of the USSSA “Bringin the Heat” tournament at Lake Shawnee in Topeka this past weekend.
The Bullets’ record stood at 2-0-1. They were to meet the leader of the opposing pool in a winner’s bracket semifinal that had a 3-0 record for the event.
The tie would end up being the deciding factor even though the Bullets led in every other statistic for the tournament, and the team was awarded second place in the shortened event.
Bullets pitchers Rachel Duer and Rachel Allen worked from the circle in a 2-2 tie against the VooDoo Dolls in the first game of pool play. Alex Hoelscher singled, followed by a sacrifice by Saige Van Sickle to score the first run for the Bullets. Allen hit a solo home run to tie the game. Both runs for the Dolls were unearned and the game was stopped after time expired.
The Bullets offense and defense rebounded in the second game to defeat the Kansas Titans 12-0. Hoelscher pitched for the win, striking out eight and allowing one hit.
Hailey Franson, Allen, Duer, and Alex would score two runs each in the game. In the winners bracket, the Bullets stayed on top, besting the Cyclones 4-3.
The match for Sunday between the Bullets and the No. 1 seed of the opposing pool was not to be, as severe storms in the area forced the tournament to cancel.
Bullets are Mady Trujillo, Allen, Van Sickle, Duer, Ashlynn Bledsoe, Franson, Giselle Thirakul, Lauren Campuzano, Hoelscher, Breanna Schroeder and Gabrielle Nelms.
The record for the Bullets stands at 10-0-1 on the season. They’ll play in a four-day event in Kansas City this Memorial Day weekend.