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Optimist Lady Indians win Salina tourney

By The Mercury

The Manhattan Optimist Lady Indians 14-and-under softball team played well in all three phases of the game en route to winning the Salina Downtown Lions tournament Saturday at Bill Burke Park.

Kenzie Smith’s inside-the-park home run staked the squad to an early 1-0 lead against the Salina Scrappers in the tournament championship. Smith then drove in two more in an eight-run fourth as the Lady Indians defeated the Scrappers, 9-1.

Earlier, the Lady Indians won their pool with wins over the Rossville Rampage (9-1), Salina Heat (11-0) and Clifton-Clyde Full Throttle (7-2).

Ayanna Gamble slammed a home run against the Heat, and had a game-breaking two-run hit against the Throttle to highlight pool play. Maddi Shaneyfelt had a three-run triple against Full Throttle, and Josie Hilgers had a home run against the Scrappers.

Hana Tamura pitched four innings to beat the Rampage, while Chelsey Henry shut down the Heat in four. Amber Hildebrand came on to down Full Throttle and clinch the pool-play win, then went five strong in beating the Scrappers.

Defensively, the Lady Indians committed just four errors in four games.

Members of the team include Morgan Bettencourt, Gamble, Haleigh Harper, Henry, Hildebrand, Hilgers, Cara Melgares, Shaneyfelt, Smith, Tamura and Abby Whitney.

The Lady Indians are 11-0 for the season and will play next at this weekend’s Twin Oaks Open at Anneberg Park.

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