The Manhattan Optimist Monarchs 12-and-under softball team went 2-3 over the weekend to finish seventh out of fifteen teams in the USSSA West “C” State Tournament in Derby.
The Monarchs opened against the Garden City Envy, the eventual tournament champions. With the score tied 2-2 in the final inning, the Envy had a late rally to pull out the 7-2 victory.
Grayce Morrison led the Monarchs in hitting, while Kelsey Coonrod and Lindsey Wilson’s perfectly executed bunts were the key to the team’s two-run rally.
The Monarchs next squared off against the Manhattan Optimist Doubleplay, losing 5-2. Morrison belted a triple and Clara Carter added two singles to pace the offense. Wilson, Ellie Hacker, and McKenzie Davis also hit safely in the game.
The Monarchs got on the winning track in the next game. Fueled by hits from Carter, Wilson, and Hacker, the Monarchs jumped out to an early 4-1 lead against the Augusta Impact. The Impact rallied late to tie the game, but Carter’s single and Wilson’s long double powered the Monarchs back into the lead and a 6-4 victory.
The Monarchs advanced to play the Wichita Hot Shots. Carter and Morrison had multi-hit games to lead the offense, with Abigail Chainey, Morgan Wesley, and Wilson adding hits as well. It was the short-game execution that proved the key to the win, as Mckale Stockebrand and Taylor Ryker squeezed in runs with bunts and Abby Faulkner scored another on a slap hit. Wilson earned her second consecutive pitching victory in the 8-5 win.
Monarch bats fell silent in the next game, however, as the team fell 11-0 to the Ark City Knockouts, the eventual tourney runner-up.
The season record now stands at 4-22.