On April 20, at the Kansas USA Softball Little Apple Shootout in Manhattan, the 10U fastpitch softball team of the Manhattan Optimist Jaguars successfully defended their home pitch by winning a championship.

Bright and early at 8 a.m., the Jaguars defeated the Kansas City-based Crushers 10U team 5-0 in the first pool play match. As part of her two-hit performance, Erin Luce singled to score a run in the top of the first inning, helping the Jags take an early lead.

The Jags scored three more runs in the top of the third inning to put the game out of reach. Audrey Henderson opened with triple, and then Luce and Audrey Bowen both walked. Lennon Zeka walked, Addie Koch scored an RBI, and Trinity Meader singled to bring the score to within one run with the bases loaded. In the top of the fourth inning, Ella Powers completed the scoring with an inside-the-park home run after hitting deep ball to centre. From the circle, Bowen was dominant, giving up just one hit while striking out thirteen.

The Jags really got their bats going in the following group play match, defeating the Kansas Power 10U 15-1. Among the seventeen hits for the team, Henderson, Luce, Meader, Zeka, Kaitlyn Vilkanskas, and Powers each had multiple hits. Bowen also added a home run inside the park, and Maggie Klein pitched a strong game, giving up only one run on three hits. She walked two hitters and struck out seven.

Playoff action got underway with a 14-0 victory over the Twisters 10U squad. Starting in the circle, Koch was dominant for three innings, giving up no hits, striking out eight, and only allowing three walks. With two hits, one RBI, and two runs scored during the game, Vivian Hutchinson contributed to the Jags’ offensive success. During the game, Hutchinson and Bowen each hit inside-the-park home runs.

The Jags faced the Topeka Terror 10U in the semifinal match. Once more, Klein pitched brilliantly, allowing just two hits and one run in five innings of work to secure an 8-1 victory. She walked just two and struck out eleven.

In the top of the second, a sacrifice bunt allowed the Terror to take the lead with a run from third. In order to regain the lead and win the game, the Jags responded with four of their own in the bottom half of the inning. Hutchinson drove in Koch after Powers, Koch, and Vilkanskas each singled to score Zeka, Powers, and Klein. During the game, the Jags scored four additional runs thanks to RBIs from Powers, Koch, Luce, and Klein.

The day culminated in the final game, where the Crushers 10U and the Jaguars squared off under the lights at approximately 10 p.m. The Jags took an early lead and never looked back on route to an 11-0 triumph.

After Henderson reached on a hit by pitch, Luce singled to bring the score to one in the first inning. Bowen, Luce, and Meader were scored when Klein blasted a triple down the first base line with two outs. With six runs in the third inning, the Jags put the game out of reach. Vilkanskas, Hutchinson, and Bowen all had excellent plate discipline after Powers’ RBI single, resulting in three runs scored by walk. Luce then extended her impressive performance by scoring her third hit and increasing her RBI total to four. In yet another outstanding outing, Bowen pitched the entire game from the mound, giving up no hits and striking out eight.

TJ Vilkanskas, Bret Henderson, and Pamela Schlodder are the Jaguars’ coaches.


Topics #champion #Jaguars triumph #Little Apple Shootout