Optimist Bullets are Council Grove Champs

By The Mercury

The Optimist Bullets 12-and-under fastpitch softball team opened its season by going 4-0 in the USSSA “Break Out the Bats” tournament in Council Grove this past weekend.

The Bullets won the championship by scoring 56 runs and allowing only four defensive runs on the day.

In pool play, the Bullets defeated the Flint Hills Wind 24-1.  The game was called on time limit after only two innings of play. Rachel Duer picked up the win for the Bullets, striking out six of the eight batters she faced. 

Ashlynn Bledsoe went 4 for 4 at the plate, scoring four runs with two RBIs.  Hailey Franson was 3 for 4, scoring three runs and driving in four more. The Bullets lineup would bat twice before the completion of the first inning.

The Bullets went undefeated in pool play by winning their next game against the Clay Center B’s 10-1.  Bullets pitcher Rachel Allen dominated the B’s by striking out 11 of the 16 batters she faced.  Saige Van Sickle, Giselle Thirakul, and Lauren Campuzano scored two runs each with Giselle and Saige driving in another two Bullets runs.

In single-elimination bracket play, the Bullets would again face the Clay Center team. Bullets pitcher Alex Hoelscher got the win in the circle, striking out eight of 16 batters in the 10-2 victory over the B’s. Breanna Schroeder scored two runs by going 2 for 2 at the plate.  Key hits by Ashlynn, Hailey, and Rachel Allen were enough to guarantee the Bullets a trip to the championship game.

The Bullets would compete against the Wamego Lady ThunderStyx for the tournament championship. Duer would shut out the ThunderStyx and collect her second win on the day.  Duer struck out 12 of 19 batters and allowed only one hit in the 12-0 victory.

The Optimist Bullets include Mady Trujillo, Rachel Allen,Saige Van Sickle, Rachel Duer, Ashlynn Bledsoe, Hailey Franson, Giselle Thirakul, Lauren Campuzano, Alex Hoelscher, Breanna Schroeder and Gabrielle Nelms.

The Bullets are 4-0 on the season. The next tournament for the Bullets will be in Manhattan April 27-28.

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