The Optimist Bullets gave an early gift to team mothers by winning the ASA Mother’s Day Spring Fling in Manhattan last Saturday. The team went a perfect 5-0 to finish the day as event champions.
The first win came in pool play against the ThunderStyx. Rachel Duer dominated from the circle, striking out six batters. Sarah Roberts drove in the winning run for the Bullets, making the score 2-1. Alex Hoelscher’s game-saving play at shortstop halted a ThunderStyx rally and ended the game.
The next match resulted in a 3-1 win over the Topeka Magic. Hoelscher was the winning pitcher for the Bullets and Savannah Cavanaugh would help offensively by scoring a run and logging two RBIs.
The Bullets finished pool play as the number one seed by defeating the Emporia Energy, 8-0. Duer pitched the shutout, and Hoelscher went 3 for 3 from the plate while adding three RBIs to her team-leading five for the day.
In bracket play, the team met the Energy again. Ashlynn Bledsoe went 2 for 2 from the plate and added an RBI in a tense 7-7 tie. In the bottom of the final inning, Bullet Gabi Nelms hit a leadoff single, and then stole second. Cavanaugh launched a line drive to right, scoring Nelms for an 8-7 win and a berth in the championship game.
Twelve hours after they started the event, the Bullets would put it all together in a 10-0 shutout of the ThunderStyx to win the championship. Duer continued to puzzle her opponents from the circle. Allie Jo Hiatt and Nelms would add two runs each, with Duer adding two RBIs of her own.
In the event, Bledsoe, Hoelscher, and Nelms would lead the team in batting averages. Nelms scored six runs and logged three RBIs. Cavanaugh had five RBIs and added three runs.
The Optimist Bullets are Mady Trujillo, Rachel Duer, Ashlynn Bledsoe, Malary Tajchman, Allie Jo Hiatt, Giselle Thirakul, Sarah Roberts, Alex Hoelscher, Savanna Cavanaugh, and Gabrielle Nelms.
The Bullets record for the season currently stands at 14-4.