Spirit Softball earn second place at league tournament

Broken Bow’s Kelsie Myers recently returned from a mission trip toHaiti where she worked as a medical helper in a tent that cared forthe needy. The Spirit were glad to have her back, as Myers gave the team theright dose of strong hitting they needed to finish a strong secondplace in the league tournament. Spalding ended the team’s run with an 8-3 victory over the Spirit inthe championship game July 7th. Myers batted 8-14 in the tournament, which is good for a .571 batting average. In the team’s opening game against the Ord Greenies, Myers went 3-3with two triples and a double and tallying six RBI’s in the Spirit’s19-7 victory. “She played really well,” coach Mike Holcomb said. “She was on fireagainst Ord both games. She’s done well.” Possessing great speed and a strong arm, Myers also helped out theSpirit defensively in different spots when they needed it. She played both shortstop and left field throughout the tournamentdepending on who the opponent was. Being able to move the players around to different spots speaks tothe teams depth. “That’s the nice part about these girls, is that you can interchangethem,” Holcomb said. “I’ve got them to the point where it doesn’tbother them where they are playing. They are buying into that andthat’s important.” Spalding accounted for both of the Spirit’s losses in the doubleelimination tournament. They featured a disciplined squad that didn’t give the Spirit a lotof chances to capitalize. “They don’t make very many mistakes,” Holcomb said. “If you make amistake, it’s going to cost you. You have to minimize their mistakesand capitalize on the few that they do give you.” In the championship game, the Spirit couldn’t get much momentumgoing against arguably the tournament’s toughest pitcher. Thirdbasemen Tressa Ripp went 1-3 with a single while catcher MorganHueftle and pitcher Hannah Evans each finished the game with a single. Broken Bow earned a spot in the championship game with a win overtheOrd Greenies. After beating the same team 19-7 earlier in the tournament, they hadto withstand a furious rally by Ord in the 7th inning to hang on. The Spirit entered the 7th inning with an 11-4 lead, but Ord foundtheir bats in that inning and were helped out by some breakdowns inconcentration from the Spirit. They cut the score to 11-10 before Sydney Holcomb reigned in a ballin center field with runners on second and third to help the team hangon for the victory. Shortstop Kassie Russell finished the game with four singles and anRBI as part of a strong team hitting performance. Kelsie Myers finished the game with two RBI’s to go with her singleand double in that game. Pitcher Hannah Evans also recorded two RBI’s on a couple of sacrifice hits. Broken Bow also played the Ord Greenies in the opening round game ofthe tournament. Myers used the Greenies as her personal pinata. She finished the game with two triples and a double and tallied six RBI’s. It was a strong performance from top top to bottom offensively for the Spirit. The first four batters in the lineup each crossed the plate four times. Ripp, Russell, Sydney Holcomb and Myers combined to go 11-18 over thecourse of five innings. The Spirit also earned a victory over Sargent/Burwell during theleague tournament. Catcher Morgan Hueftle kept the speedy S/B team atbay with two pickoff throws to second base. The second was for the game winning out that sealed a 6-4 victory. Evans was strong on the mound as well, striking out six batters inher full seven innings of work. Holcomb, Myers, Evans and Hanna Lane finished the game with at leastone RBI each. With the state tournament two weeks away, the Spirit seemed to havefound their groove offensively. Having Myers back in the states and on the field is certainly goingto bolster the team’s hitting strengths. “We’ve been joking around at practice that it was the beans and ricethat did it for me,” Myers said of what is fueling her offensiveprowess. While the team was happy with how they finished, they know there arestill some improvements they have to make in order to make a deep runin the state tournament. “We need to do a better job of sticking together as a team andcheering each other on,” Russell said. “We need to not get each otherdown and just keep working hard because we know we can do it.”