Sunday, June 30, the Kimball Cubs 12U Fastpitch team participated in the Own the Zone Tournament held in Kimball. Six teams participated in the double-elimination tournament.
In the first game, the Cubs faced a tough Maple Lake team. Kimball came out strong, scoring five runs in the first inning and three more in the second inning off of a three RBI triple from Dani Lyrek. Pitching was split between Rachel Utecht and Dani Lyrek, with Rachel recording four strike-outs in the first two innings. Kimball held the lead the whole game and came out on top with an eight to five win.
In the second game, Kimball’s bats cooled off and they lost to a solid Willmar team six to three which sent them to the losers bracket and would require them to win the next four games in order to play in the championship game.
Kimball faced off against rival Eden Valley-Watkins in the third game. Kimball again came out swinging with Haley Robben hitting a double and Ashley Schindele going 2-2. Kaitli Wicker and Madi Gustafson provided key hits in Kimball’s 11 to 4 win.
The fourth game against Alexandria put Kimball up against some of the fastest pitching they have seen so far this year. The Cubs responded with patience at the plate and some key bunts. They came out on top with a 14 to 5 win.
The Cubs faced Willmar a second time in the fifth game. This time the results would be different. Kimball held the lead the whole game behind some very impressive defense and consistent pitching through five innings from Dani Lyrek. Rachel Merten provided some key outs from her position at short-stop. Tori
Harren completed a double play catching a fly ball in left field and throwing out a runner at first base. The outfield stepped up with some key catches by Erin O’Brien and Krista Loch. Rachel Utecht came in to pitch the sixth inning, shutting down Willmar with three strike-outs. Dani Lyrek lead the offense with two runs and a double. The final score was 4 to 3, putting Kimball into the championship game.
The championship game pitted the Cubs against Delano. Delano jumped out on top in the first inning with two runs, but the Cubs answered with two of their own. The score would remain tied at two until the bottom of the third when Kimball busted out with five runs and a three RBI double off of the bat of Erin O’Brien. Bree Gehrke drew an impressive fifth walk for the day. The Cubs would hold on to the lead and came out on top with a 7 to 5 win. Emily Tadych would provide some key outs from third base and Justice Boyer kept the base runners honest from behind the plate. Rachel Utecht pitched a solid game against some very patient Delano hitters and recorded six strike-outs over five innings.
All of the player’s contributed the success of their team, and represented Kimball well with good sportsmanship, hard work and solid teamwork. Each and every player earned their first place medals, and can wear them with pride!