Tricounty News

Kimball 14U team championship



By Mary Libbesmeier, coach

The Kimball 14U Fastpitch team participated in the Crow River 14U Tier 2 State Qualifier tournament this weekend held in Hutchinson. The top six placing teams advance to the State tournament next weekend. The top three finishers will go to Class D State and 4th-6th place advance to REC State. Kimball entered this tournament as the number one seed with a league record of 20-0 on the season.

Kimball received a first round bye and started in the afternoon facing #8 seed Delano 2. Kimball came out hitting the ball and taking advantage of walks and errors and offensively dominated the game and securing a first round win 18-3. Emily Utecht and Hedy Robben both pitched this game. Kimball moved on the play #5 seed Winsted in the next round. Again, the bats were hot and everyone on the team contributed by being on base at some point in the game. Kimball found the gaps in the outfield for some legitimate hits and also showed some great baserunning plays. Kimball started a little rough on defense giving up three runs on errors but quickly made the adjustment and did not surrender another run the rest of the game to secure the win 11-3. Lauren Libbesmeier pitched all 5 innings for Kimball. The team now advanced to Sunday morning in the winners bracket to face #6 seed BOLD. Kimball jumped out and scored a quick three runs in the first inning. Kimball threatened every inning with runners on base however could not get the hit to score them leaving nine runners stranded on the bases. Our defense was solid, making the routine plays and great seven-inning pitching performance by Emily Utecht allowed Kimball to earn the victory 3-1.

This victory sent Kimball to the championship round as the only remaining undefeated team in the tournament to face #2 seed Brownton. This match-up has been a back and forth battle between these two teams with good games and solid competition. Kimball came out and scored one run in the second inning and was the only run they could put across the plate leaving seven runners stranded throughout the game. Brownton scored one run in the fourth inning to tie the game at 1-1. Brownton scored three more runs in the sixth inning to secure the win by a score of 4-1. Madison Libbesmeier took the loss in the seven inning game. In this tournament, the rules to determine the champion were to play a sudden death extra inning game. Each team submits new line-ups and the game is played inning by inning to determine the winner. Kimball came out in the first inning and hammered the ball with 5 solid singles and well executed bunts to quickly spot 4 runs. Kimball's pitching, Madison Libbesmeier, and defense was able to hold Brownton in their half of the inning to secure the team championship by a score of 4-0. Kimball now advances to the Class D State Tournament in Buffalo next weekend.