By Mike Deak
NORTH WEBSTER – It was a fast six weeks in nearly every sense of the word. And the leads for the two championship teams in Wawasee Summer League’s two finals Tuesday night were just as swift.
Bandits 11, Thunder 1
As it had done for much of its undefeated season, the Bandits jumped out early on its opponent and didn’t let up.
The top seed in the softball tournament scored five runs in its home half of the first inning, using an RBI double from Kirra Alvarez and run-scoring single by Izzy Beers among its damage.
Marley Mast and Sophia Baskerville later added RBI hits, and Isabel Griffith added a bases-clearing double to put the game out of reach in the third.
In all, the Bandits rapped 10 hits and had eight different players score at least a run.
“From top to bottom, we saw progress with all of our girls,” said Bandits coach Wayne McCoy. “The girls put in the time and never gave up. Their focus was always there.”
The Thunder got its lone tally in the top of the second. In answering the Bandits’ big first inning, Kaleigh Corn led off with a single, then came around when big sister, Ashlynn Corn, drove her in with a solid single up the middle.
Mast would limit the damage to just one run on three hits, striking out nine despite spurts of control issues in the circle.
“It’s the championship and you just hope to get their best,” McCoy said. “We tried to keep the pressure on them and force them into some mistakes. We’ve been fortunate to do that for most of the season. Just feel good for the girls today, they played well all season.”
Astros 10, Red Sox 3
Much like the softball game across the way, the baseball final saw a big first inning make a huge difference in the outcome.
The Astros scored four runs in the first without the benefit of a hit, utilizing seven walks, a handful of wild pitches and a fielder’s choice. Three more walks and three more wild pitches brought in three more runs in the second for the eventual champions.
Finally getting the bat on the ball in the third, Davis Everingham drove in a run with a single, then came home on a JD Stoffel triple.
“We had kids step up big time tonight,” started Astros coach Ben Guy. “Our lineup is pretty stacked at the top, but we had kids taking walks at the bottom of the order and we had some good baserunning that also helped us early on.”
Zack Kryder made the early runs stand up, working four innings on the hill. After getting the Red Sox to leave two on in the first after a pair of strikeouts, Kryder settled in to fan 10 in his appearance. The Sox collected just four hits on Kryder, one a triple by Micah Wilson. Mason Bright and Derek Morrison had RBIs for the Sox.
“We just kept the kids playing,” Guy said. “As coaches, we liked to get out and sweat with them, run around. They responded well to it, all of us really taking on that team aspect.”