RAPID CITY, S.D. — After going 0-3 in pool play, the Gering Logoz 18 and under softball team rebounded to claim the Division 2 title at the Mount Rushmore Classic softball tournament on Sunday, June 28.
During pool play on Saturday, Gering fell 3-1 to the Rapid City Stars in their first game of the tournament, followed by an 11-5 loss to the Dickenson Diamonds, and a 3-0 loss to Cheyenne Extreme.
“(Pool play) is when we get things figured out — how the team is clicking, how the team’s working,” coach Tim Gonzales said. “We played some outstanding teams in Saturday. We lost all of our pool games.”
Gonzales said pool play is used to determine a team’s ranking going into bracket play on Sunday. Gering Logoz landed in the Division 2 bracket. Gonzales said his team played well in pool play as they played in three very competitive games.
“(We lost the first two games) by a few runs,” he said. “In the third game, we came bout and played the Cheyenne Extreme. They’re a top notch team. They always go to nationals, and do well at nationals. We lost those games by a few runs. We just couldn’t find a way to win on Saturday.”
Gonzales teams are guaranteed just four games in the tournament.
“They guarantee you four games, three in pool play and one tournament game,” he said.
Gonzales said he told his team they could pack it up after the first day, if they wanted to.
“I told the girls, ‘Hey, if you want to go home, just don’t show up, but I just felt they were ready to play that day,” he said. “They came out and played some amazing teams.”
Luckily, Gonzales’ team showed up. they swept their way through tournament play.
In their first game in bracket play, Gering exploded on offense to claim the 17-2 win. Gering scored 16 of its runs in the first two innings. Gering scored one more run in the third. The Minot Storm tried to stage a rally,but only managed two runs in the bottom of the third. The game was called at the end of three on the 10-run rule.
Hannah Splattstoeser led Gering with four RBIs on two hits including a two-run inside the park home run. Brylee Dean and Jessie Brown also knocked in two runs for Gering.
Madi Wiese picked up the win on the mound for Gering, pitching 1.2 inning and striking out three batters.
In the second game on Sunday, Gering downed The Assault 5-1.
In the bottom of the third, Gering’s Faith Smith drove in Talera Kinsey on a fly ball to centerfield. On the next at bat, Maci Schlothauer scored on a Wiese single. to put Gering up 2-1. Brylee Dean drove in Jada Schlothauer and Gianni Aguilar to give Gering the 4-1 lead going into the fourth inning. With the bases loaded, Weise is hit by a pitch scoring Destiny Gonzales, giving Gering the 5-1 win.
Wiese annd Dean both drive in two runs to lead Gering.
In the third game, Gering held on to an early 5 run lead for a 5-3 win over United WF. In the top of the second inning, Gering still wielded the hot bat scoring three runs. Gering added two more in the third inning.
Maci Schlothauer drove in two runs, while Kinsey and Gonzales each recorded an RBI.
In the fifth inning, United WF staged a rally, picking up three runs, before falling short in a 5-3 loss.
Gering picked up a 5-1 win against Arsenal with Wiese again getting the win against Arsenal, her fourth of the of the day.
Maci Schlothauer knocked in two more runs for Gering. Jessie Brown and Dean added an RBI each.
Gonzales said he was especially impressed by Wiese who pitched in six games for Gering.
“She pitched in six out of the seven games that we played,” he said. “She had 45 strikeouts. She dominated the mound like crazy. She did on Saturday, too. We just didn’t have anything to back her up.”
That all changed during bracket play on Sunday, Gonzales said.
“On the second day, bats came alive and we were just getting all kinds of hits,” he said.
The Gering Logoz team qualified for nationals with the tournament win. They have their pick of three cities, Gonzales said.
“I don’t know if we’ll even go to a national tournament, but we are definitely excited that we qualified.” he said.