The Vermillion U18 Flamez softball team played in the Ringneck Tournament this past weekend in Sioux Falls. They ended the tournament 4-1.
“We all had the same goal going into this tournament,” said second baseman Kennedy Goblirsch. “We had a solid defense, and the whole line-up contributed to our wins.”
The Flamez played the Billings Bombers in their first game last Friday and won 11-1.
Vermillion had a 5-1 lead after the first inning. The score remained the same until the Flamez scored six runs in the fourth to end the game early, 11-1.
The Flamez had 11 hits and no errors in game 1. The Billings Bombers had two hits and four errors.
On offense, Goblirsch recorded five RBIs, and Emily Stockwell had three hits.
Stockwell pitched the game for Vermillion and tallied seven strikeouts.
Saturday morning, the Flamez went on to defeat the Millard Fury Jeffery’s 10-1.
Vermillion had consistent scoring throughout the 5-inning game. They scored one run in the first and second innings to take a 2-0 lead.
The Flamez scored two more in the fourth, and the Millard Fury Jeffery’s responded with their one run in the bottom of the fourth.
Vermillion scored six in the fifth to win the game 10-1.
The Flamez had 11 hits and one error in game 2. The opponents had three hits and seven errors.
At bat, Rylee Olson had four RBIs and two hits for the Flamez. Alisha Leber tallied two hits and two RBIs.
Stockwell pitched the second game and recorded six strikeouts.
The Flamez beat Northwest Illusion 7-6 in a close game that afternoon.
Vermillion started with a 2-0 lead after the second inning. Northwest Illusion got on the scoreboard with four runs in the third.
The Flamez scored one run in the third, followed by the opponents scoring another in the top of the fourth. Vermillion was down 3-5 going into the sixth and final inning.
The opponents scored one run in the top to increase their lead to three. The Flamez came back with four runs in the bottom to win 7-6.
“We had two outs and bases loaded with Emily Stockwell up to bat,” said head coach Stacey Baedke. “Our winning run was on first base. Emily hit a base-clearing triple to right center (that bounced and hit the fence) to win the game. It was the best game they have played all season.”
Vermillion had 12 hits and five errors. Northwest Illusion had 10 hits and one error.
At the plate, Stockwell had three RBIs and four hits in game 3.
From the circle, Olson pitched 3.1 innings and Stockwell threw for 2.2. Each recorded one strikeout.
On Sunday, the Flamez topped the Fremont Avalanche 7-0 in game 4 of the Ringneck Tournament.
Vermillion scored one run in the third, fifth, and sixth innings while holding the competition to zero.
The Flamez continued to score four in the seventh inning to win the game 7-0.
“The team hit very well to score 7+ runs to win three games,” said coach Baedke. “They always say, ‘hitting is contagious,’ and for this group, that is more than true. Along with hitting well, they played the best defense I have seen them play all season.”
Vermillion had 15 hits and two errors in game 4. The Fremont Avalanche had four hits and one error.
On offense, Leber, Bizzy Wood, and Regan Weisbeck were three of the seven to record RBIs. Payten Halverson had three hits.
In the circle, Stockwell pitched the game and tallied four strikeouts.
The Flamez fell to Sioux Falls Steel 0-12 in their fifth and final game Sunday afternoon.
“I think that every play better prepared us for a possible meeting at the state tournament this weekend,” said Goblirsch.
The opponents scored three runs in the first and two in the second to take a decent lead on Vermillion.
The Sioux Falls Steel scored seven runs in the fifth while keeping the Flamez scoreless and ending the game in five. Vermillion lost their last game 0-12.
The Flamez had two hits and two errors in game 5. The Steel had 14 hits, no errors, and went on to win the tournament.
“We know they are a solid team defensively and offensively,” said coach Baedke. “And we know that they win a lot of tournaments.”
The Flamez have played the Sioux Falls Steel twice prior, going 1-1.
“I honestly think we know too much about them as we let that knowledge get the best of us,” said coach Baedke. “We have a good possibility of playing them this coming weekend in the state tournament, and if we play our game like we did in the four games leading up to them, we will put ourselves in a good position of winning.”
Their record is 19-9-1 going into the state softball tournament.
“I am looking forward to playing together for our last appearance at the state tournament,” said Goblirsch. “With knowing that only six teams are in our bracket, I believe that we have a good shot for another state title.”
The Flamez will compete at state in the A division this weekend in Sioux Falls. Their first game is Friday against Diamond Fury at 5 p.m. in Sertoma Park.
“We are playing really good ball right now,” said coach Baedke. “It is fun to see the girls' hard work paying off and to see them having fun. It is a compliment to the girls' success being put in the A division. We look forward to seeing them continue that success this weekend.”