The Manhattan Optimist Moxie traveled to Lincoln, Neb., for the 4th of July Firecracker NIT.
Moxie ended up going 1-2 in pool play and winning the lower-division championship going 3-0 in bracket play on Sunday.
In the opening game of the tournament, Moxie fell 5-4 to the eventual tournament champion Driven Academy Locos 99. Abbie Plummer hit a three-run home run, driving in teammates Miranda Hemmert, who singled, and Alexis McCormick, who doubled. Lorren Williams went 2-3 in the game. Brynn Hammett had an RBI single. Blair Campbell pitched.
Moxie won game two against Wahoo (Neb) Elite. Moxie belted out 12 hits in four innings, winning 11-3 behind an eight-run third inning. Hammett went 2-3 and earned the win from the mound, striking out four and allowing five hits. Campbell went 2-3 with two RBIs. Williams went 2-3. Ten Moxie players contributed a hit in the game.
In the final pool-play contest, Moxie played Blair (Neb) Eclipse and fell 10-5. Hammett and Campbell each pitched in the loss. Moxie managed only seven hits and had five defensive errors that led to the loss. Campbell was perfect at the plate, going 3-3, while Plummer had a two-RBI single, and Shannon Caffrey had an RBI single as well.
Moxie opened up bracket play against Quaker White 18’s. Moxie led 3-0 until the bottom of the sixth, when Quaker scored three to knot up the game. With time expired, Moxie was able to plate a run. Hemmert drew a walk that scored the game-winning run, Megan Blake came up big with a single, as did Mariah Kinderknecht. With the bases loaded and one out, Hammett ripped a single to left to end the game. In addition, Hammett pitched for the win striking out 10.
In the semifinals against the South Dakota Stomp, Moxie won the game 11-1. Campbell pitched for the win allowing only three hits, striking out four in the four-inning game. Linsey Kramer came up big with a double and triple in the game. Campbell and Hemmert each went 2-3 as well. Caffrey, Plummer and Kinderknecht each added RBI singles.
Moxie advanced to the championship game against Wahoo (Neb.) Elite winning 4-1, despite trailing 1-0 through the first four innings. Moxie came up big with a three-run inning, Kinderknecht started it off with a lead off single, McCormick sacrificed her to second, Hammett reached on a hard hit error and with two outs - Abbie Plummer came up with a huge single that scored Kinderknecht and Hammett. Caffrey followed up with an opposite-field double to score Plummer. Moxie added another insurance run in the fifth via Williams’ single and a Hemmert RBI single up the middle. Hammett and Campbell shared the pitching duties in the championship game and did a tremendous job throughout the tournament pitching. Kinderknecht deserves a nod for her six games catching in the 100-degree weather for the weekend.
Moxie players for the weekend were Brynn Hammett, Blair Campbell, Abbie Plummer, Shannon Caffrey, Kayla Boltz, Linsey Kramer, Miranda Hemmert, Mariah Kinderknecht and guest players from Clay Center — Lorren Williams and Megan Blake. Moxie is now 18-9-2 on the summer and will complete their season next weekend in Kansas City at the USSSA State Tournament.