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Lady Indians second at Hawaiian Hitfest

By The Mercury

The Manhattan Optimist Lady Indians 12-and-under softball team placed second at the 19-team, Class B Hawaiian Hitfest tournament, held at two locations near Kansas City over the weekend.

The squad’s record was 5-2 for the weekend, winning three bracket games on Sunday before falling to the Winfield Ripits 5-1 in the championship game.

The weekend was filled with highlights, including Amber Hildebrand’s two-hit pitching gem in a 3-1 pool-play win over the Blue Springs Blitz on Saturday.

Hana Tamura then shut down the Topeka Fury, allowing just two hits in a 5-0 pool play win. The Ripits won Pool A by beating the Indians 8-2.

Sunday, Chelsey Henry pitched strong as the Optimist Lady Indians downed the Smithville (Mo.) Sting, 6-5 in an opening-round bracket game.

Abby Whitney’s three-run double that one-hopped the outfield fence was the key hit in the game. Hildebrand then got the pitching win in the quarterfinals as the squad pounded the KC Freedom 14-1.

In the semifinals, Tamura pitched three strong innings, and Henry and Hildebrand tossed one each as the team beat the Ottawa After Shock 8-7. Kenzie Smith’s leaping grab of a soft liner ended the After Shock’s last-inning comeback.

Other members of the Optimist Lady Indians include Ayanna Gamble and Josie Hilgers. The squad’s coaches are Pat Melgares, Kim Harper and Dave Hildebrand.

The Optimist Lady Indians are now 12-3 for the season.

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