The Manhattan Optimist 12U Diamonds won the Battle of the Plains Softball Tournament in Hays last weekend.
The Diamonds beat the Hays Thunder 4-2 in the Championship game held Sunday evening. The Thunder opened an early lead with one run in the first inning. The Diamonds came back and took the lead for good with two runs in the third inning. Gracyn Neitzel doubled on a 1-2 count, driving in the go-ahead run. The Thunder threatened in the fourth inning but two spectacular catches by second baseman Sophia Peabody ended the inning. Samantha Thompson pitched a complete game allowing one earned run on five hits while striking out four.
The Diamonds beat the Thunder Elite 3-0 in the semifinals. The Diamonds’ defense was outstanding in the game, only allowing one hit. The offense got started in the bottom of the second as Kami Spencer sacrifice bunted, scoring a run. The Diamonds’ defense shone again in the top of the fourth. With bases loaded and one out, Preslee Colby snagged a line drive at third base and tagged a runner, which ended the inning with an unassisted double play. Spencer laid down another sacrifice bunt in the bottom of the fourth, scoring a third run. Thompson pitched a complete game while striking out two.
The quarterfinal game saw the Diamonds win 9-1 over the Garden City Redhawks. Solveig Chase pitched 2 1/3 innings for the Diamonds, allowing no runs, and striking out five. Neitzel earned the save with three strikeouts in 1 2/3 innings. The Diamonds’ offense was paced by Thompson and Josie Alesana, who had two RBI’s each. Mallory Pacenka led the team with four steals while Neitzel and Kaimey Evans each had three.
Pool play began on Friday in hot and windy conditions. The Diamonds’ opening game against Redhawk-Black resulted in an easy 15-0 victory. Chase earned the win on the mound with Spencer picking up the save. Evans, Neitzel, Chase, Colby, and Tierra Young each had two RBI’s.
The second game on Friday was a narrow 3-2 victory over the Thunder Elite, a preview of the semi-final game on Sunday. The Thunder Elite held a 1-0 lead untilthe top of the fourth, when the Diamonds had a clutch two-out rally. Neitzel singled followed by walks of Thompson and Chase to load the bases. Colby drew a walk to plate the tying run. Then Alesana hit a fly ball down the right field line that plated two runs. Thompson pitched a complete game and struck out five batters in the victory.
Manhattan tied the Pratt Diamonds 9-9 in pool play and won its final pool play game, 5-3, over the Hays Hustle.
Manhattan Optimist Prime finishes 2nd at final
Manhattan Optimist Prime finished second at the NCS state tournament in Salina, its final tournament of the summer.
The Beloit Blaze beat Prime 9-4 in the championship game. Maggie Brummett pitched and Hannah Benoit played catcher. Hayley Fobes, Benoit and Gracie Scofield singled. Allison Adams had two singles and Keylee Schartz had two doubles.
On Sunday, Prime faced Topeka Storm Derecho and came away with a 12-0 win. Brummett pitched, allowing only 2 hits, and Benoit was behind the plate. Benoit, Isabelle Peabody, Kylie Shivers, Maddie Fobes and Hayley Fobes all had two singles. Brummett had a double in the win.
Beloit Blaze was up next in bracket play. After being down 10-0 in the first, Prime fought back but fell short, 19-17. Brummett pitched and Adams caught. Peabody, Shivers, Adams, Brummett, Zoe Moor and Addison Prater all singled. Maddie Fobes had two singles and her sister, Hayley, had three singles.
In bracket play, Prime eked out a 15-12 win over the Flint Hills Storm. Prater was the starting pitcher with Benoit behind the plate. Brummett pitched in relief after one inning and Adams caught. Peabody and Shivers singled; Hayley Fobes had three singles; Brummett offered up two singles and a double. Benoit had a single and a double and Gracie Scofield doubled. Schartz had a big two-run home run in the third inning.
In the second pool play game, Top Gun beat Prime 8-4. The same battery of Brummett and Adams took the loss. Hayley Fobes singled in the first inning and Adams doubled to score her. Brummett singled to score Adams. In the second inning, Maddie Fobes singled home Addison Prater. In the third, Brummett singled again to score Schartz.
Lack of hitting in the opening pool play game came with a loss, 3-1, to the Kansas Heat from Hoisington. Maggie Brummett pitched and Allison Adams handled the catching duties. Kylie Shivers and Maddie Fobes each singled and Hannah Benoit added a double.
Manhattan Moxie 18U competes in Midwest Showcase
Manhattan Optimist Moxie competed in the Midwest Showcase USSSA Tournament at the Genesis Complex in Goddard last weekend.
In the final game of the tournament, Manhattan lost 8-5 to Oklahoma Force 18U Elite. Manhattan notched four runs in the second inning, when Kinley Ebert, Morghan Owens, and Lexi DeWeese all contributed RBIs. Sophia Haverkamp took the loss. The right-hander surrendered two runs on three hits and no walks over 1 innings,. Ali Jones, who started the game, surrendered six runs on eight hits over 2 innings.
Manhattan racked up eight hits. Ebert, Jenna Weers (2 doubles) and Haverkamp each collected multiple hits.
Moxie lost 4-3 to the eventual tournament champion, Midwest Power 18A, in their second-to-last bracket game. Lexi DeWeese continued to excel at the plate, going 2-for-3 with two RBIs. Haverkamp took the loss after allowing seven hits and striking out three batters.
Manhattan also lost to Renegades Gold 4-1 in bracket play. Sophia Haverkamp took the loss after allowing three hits and four runs while striking out four batters in four innings. Laney Marple notched Manhattan’s lone hits of the game and finished 2-for-3.
In its first bracket game, Moxie beat the Kansas Blue Sox 6-5. Moxie got on the board in the first inning with a Lexi DeWeese RBI single. Ali Jones earned the win after throwing three innings, allowing five runs on four hits and striking out two batters. Haverkamp recorded the last three outs to earn the save. She also reached twice after being hit by a pitch, and Blue Sox pitchers walked six batters during the game. Morghan Owens, Emma Morris and DeWeese each singled.
Moxie committed no errors.
Moxie opened the tournament with a 9-0 loss against Synergy. Ali Jones took the loss for Moxie, allowing seven hits while striking out four. Weers, Haylee Hafenstein, and Haverkamp each singled.
Moxie will compete in the Western National Tournament in Hays July 13-17 to complete their 2021 summer season. It is 20-7-1 on the season.