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Optimist Sting earns first place

By The Mercury

The Manhattan Optimist Sting placed first in the “Bite Out of the Lil’ Apple” softball tournament’s 18-and-under B division this past weekend. 

After rain postponed the tournament on Saturday, play resumed Sunday morning for a shortened one-day tournament in Wamego.

The Sting began pool play against the Topeka Heat with Sydney Bannister pitching a 5-4 win with four strikeouts, two walks and allowing six hits.

Caitlyn Claussen led the way on offense with a double and a single and Lindsey Hageman, Jordan Ummel, Alex Perez and Aubrey Jung each recording a single.

The second game in pool play became a defensive dual against the Manhattan Optimist Moxie.

Ummel pitched the 0-0 tie throwing eight strikeouts, one walk, allowing no hits in seven innings. Ummel, Perez, and Madi Fief each recorded a single.

Bracket play started with another thriller between the Sting and the Moxie resulting in a 4-3 victory for the Sting.

Bannister and Ummel shared the pitching duties with four strikeouts, one walk, and allowing seven hits.

Leading the hitting was Jung with a pair of singles. Adding singles were Kerrigan Simons, Jennifer Griffitt, Katelin Hoefler, Abby Whitney, Taylor Prockish, Bannister, Fief, and Perez.

In the championship game against the Grand Island (Neb.) Scorpions, Bannister got the 7-5 win with Ummel coming in to close the game. They combined for four strikeouts, nine hits and one walk. Griffitt led the way on offense with a double and a single. Hageman, Simons, Perez, Bannister and Hoefler each hit a single. 

The Sting is coached by Greg Fief, Grant Bannister, Russ Simons and Ron Hageman. The Sting will travel to Lincoln, Neb., next weekend to play in the Summer Slugfest.

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