Laramie Wins Two Titles At Fastpitch Softball State Tournament
Five Laramie Girls Softball teams competed at the fastpitch softball state tournament last weekend in Casper and two won state championships.
The Laramie 8U All-Stars team captured the first-ever state tournament for their age group, while the Laramie 10U All-Stars team won the Rec division crown.
Laramie 8U dominated their competition with their closest game being 10 runs. They went 2-0 in pool play on July 13. Laramie defeated the Lady Lobos of Wheatland 16-1 and the Lander Legends 16-5. In bracket play, Laramie rolled past Gillette 17-7 before a victory over the Lady Lobos in the semifinals 18-2. It was a third meeting with the Lady Lobos in the championship and Laramie won by shutout, 17-0.
Manager Nick Hauser admitted it was exciting to be part of the first state title team for that age group.
“I thought that the girls played as well as they absolutely could have. They went above and beyond, really, any expectations that we had going into the tournament. Everything that we worked on prior to the tournament, as far as practice goes, and just getting a lot of game-play in, they really were able to translate onto the field, so I just couldn’t be prouder of the girl’s and the way that they responded.”
He added that the results speak to how hard they prepared for the state tournament.
Hauser added their key was defense, “Really working on getting outs and minimizing our own errors to not allow the other teams to really run the bases.”
This year’s 8U team featured these team members Lauren Chamberlain, Krista Christensen, Sloane Claude, Blaire Hauser, Emma Hungerford, Kaitlynn Jacobson, Bella Juarez, Ellie Oakey, Kynlee Pearson, Brooklyn Rusch, Delaney Suloff and Adelaide Vasek.
The rest of the coaching staff that assisted Coach Hauser was Chris Chamberlain, Jerod Juarez, Rachel Sisneros and Jeff Suloff.
The Laramie 10U squad was nearly as dominant. They won four of their five games by 10 runs or more. Laramie defeated Buffalo 16-1 and Lander 17-3 in pool play July 13. In bracket play last Saturday and Sunday, they beat Casper 15-5, the Lady Lobos 15-11 and topped Lander in the championship game July 15, 16-3.
Manager Jerry Dodd said the biggest piece that carried them to the title was their defense.
“Pitching and catching we were very solid for us. Put the defense behind them to do what they needed to do. I think we came together on the base paths. We were able to base, hitting-wise, and find ways to get on base. I think putting pressure on the defense was huge for us in that regard.”
Dodd also attributed their success to their teamwork.
“Understanding our roles on the team, doing what we needed to do to get the job done, take care of the little things on the field and just paying attention. I think that was huge. Just as far as how we approach, being aggressive was our No. 1 thing.”
The team was comprised of Calli Cass, Tessa Dodd, Madalyn Doser, Alexa Hauser, Amanda Kricken, Raegan Johnson, Shaylee Lucero, Cielo Lujan, Carson Milam, Mireya Pearson, Devani Romero and Ashtyn Witte.
Dodd was assisted by Todd Pearson, Gabe Lucero, and Cy Cass.
Kricken hit 1.000 for the tournament. She had seven total hits, including a home run, drew six walks and had eight RBI’s. Tessa Dodd tossed a no-hitter in the championship game. She threw four innings, walked six and struck out 12. Lujan hit two home runs in the five games played. As a team, Laramie 10U had a batting average of .444.
Three other Laramie Girls Softball teams played at the state tournament.
The 12U squad competed in the ‘B’ competitive division and placed third. Laramie went 1-1 in pool play. They lost their first bracket game but won three straight before losing to the Blue Jays for third place. Jason Pacheco was the head coach.
The 14U Laramie team coached by Randy Welniak also took third place in the 14U Rec division. They went 2-0 in pool play before a 3-2 mark in bracket action. Both losses came to the Lander Legends, which included a defeat in an elimination semifinal that resulted in third place.
The Laramie 18U squad coached by Jeff Gruver had a tough weekend. They went 0-2 in pool play and then lost both their games in bracket play to the Green River Chaos.