The Optimist 12-and-under Bullets traveled to Kansas City to compete in the USSSA Memorial Day NIT tournament this past weekend. It was the biggest fastpitch event in the Midwest so far this season, drawing teams from all over Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Kansas.
In the first pool game, the Bullets got off to a rocky start, and were unable to protect a two-run lead in the final inning against the St. Jo Rockers. A couple of defensive errors would allow three runs to score and hand the Bullets their first loss on the season, 5-4.
The team responded to this loss by going 3-0 in its remaining pool games. The Bullets defeated the Kansas Titans 13-1, followed by a 13-2 win over the Diamond Gems II, and then added another win against the Fire and Ice Chill, 10-2.
Against the Chill, Bullet captains Rachel Allen and Mady Trujillo both had solo home runs.
Two consecutive losses in bracket play would eliminate the Bullets from a higher finish in the tournament. The Bullets lost to Swat/Bryan (Columbia, Mo.) by a score of 6-0. The Bullets were next shutout 5-0 by the Megan Willis Crunch from Olathe. The Swat would go on to finish runner-up in the championship game.
The Bullets finished 17th out of the 46 teams in the field. Lauren Campuzano and Saige Van Sickle led the team with three doubles apiece. Breanna Schroeder scored six runs. Rachel Duer, Van Sickle and Allen followed with five runs apiece.
The rest of the Bullets include Ashlynn Bledsoe, Hailey Franson, Giselle Thirakul, Alex Hoelscher and Gabrielle Nelms.
The team record now stands at 13-3-1 on the season, with the Bullets taking this weekend off from tournament play.