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Optimist Lasers go 1-3 in Topeka

By The Mercury

The Manhattan Optimist Lasers softball team recorded one win and three losses in the Father’s Day NIT this past weekend in Topeka.

The Lasers opened pool play with a 12-0 loss to the Clay Center B’s. Mariah Stringfield and Paige Divine had the only hits for the Lasers.

The Lasers next dropped a hard-fought 3-1 game to the KC Bombers, the eventual tournament champions. Suzanna Gevock and Kylie Smith had singles for the Lasers, while Aubrey Jung doubled and scored the team’s lone run.

Heavy rains late on Saturday changed the format from double-elimination to single-elimination bracket play for Sunday’s games.

The Lasers began Sunday against the Manhattan Optimist Sting, winning 6-5. Bre Foster, Jung, and Divine all hit safely in the first inning to stake the Lasers to the early lead. After the Sting rallied to go up by two, Smith and Jung belted consecutive doubles as part of a two-run rally to tie the game 4-4 in the third.

The Sting took the lead on a Lasers’ error, and it appeared that lead would hold up as the first two Lasers were retired quickly to start the last inning. But Smith singled sharply to center to cap a nine-pitch at-bat and keep Lasers’ hopes alive.

Smith stole second, and Jung recorded her third hit and third RBI of the game to tie the game at five. After Divine legged out an infield hit, Blair Campbell walked to load the bases. Carly Gassman ended the contest by working the pitcher for a bases-loaded walk and a 6-5 win.

The Lasers could not keep the momentum going, as they lost to the Topeka Ice Storm, 7-2, and were eliminated.

Megan Thompson, Stringfield, Gassman, Campbell, Smith, and Foster had hits in the game.

Jung and Campbell handled all the pitching for the weekend, and Gassman and Bri Womack shared the catching duties.

The Lasers are now 12-7 on the season and will compete in Kansas City this weekend.

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