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Optimist Bullets win tournament

By The Mercury

The Optimist Bullets 12-and-under fastpitch softball team won its second straight championship of the season by going 4-0 in the Twin Oaks Open at Anneberg Park this past weekend.

Alex Hoelscher, Rachel Allen, and Rachel Duer each collected game MVP medals for their pitching performances.  Breanna Schroeder was awarded the tournament MVP medal during the championship ceremony.

The Bullets won their first game 15-0 against the Diamond Divas. Ashlynn Bledsoe, Lauren Campuzano, Hailey Franson, Allen and Hoelscher would score two runs each.  Hoelscher was the winning pitcher, striking out seven Diva batters and allowing only one walk.

The Bullets next victory came against the Emporia Energy 12. Breanna went 2 for 2 at the plate, scoring one run and one RBI.  Hailey singled in two RBIs and added a run to help on offense.  Allen silenced Emporia by striking out 10 batters and allowing only one hit.

In the semifinal, the Bullets sent the Abilene Attack home, winning 5-0. Duer pitched the game for the Bullets, retiring 10 Attack batters.

The championship game matched the Topeka Pink Thunder against the Bullets. Hoelscher started for the Bullets and was able to hold the Topeka team scoreless at the end of three innings. Allen came in as relief pitcher for Hoelscher in the fourth.

Bullet catcher Saige Van Sickle and outfielder Schroeder would contribute key defensive plays in the game. On a relay throw from Allen, Van Sickle tagged out a Topeka runner at the plate to end the fourth in a scoreless tie.  Schroeder made a stunning catch of a deep shot to right field late in the sixth inning to stop a Topeka rally.

With the game still scoreless in the bottom of the seventh inning, the Bullets had two outs with Schroeder at third and Alex at the plate.  Schroeder would take home on a passed ball, sealing the 1-0 championship win for the Bullets.

The Optimist Bullets are 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 stand at 8-0 on the season and will next play at the Lake Shawnee tournament May 18-19.

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