The Mineral Area 12-and-under Babe Ruth League softball team completed a perfect run through pool play, and has established itself as frontrunner in the Midwest Plains Regional Tournament.
Leadoff batter Gracie Wright tripled and doubled while scoring three times, and the Bandits handled Colorado state representative Sante Fe 16-0 on Friday evening.
Kaelin Hedgcorth also finished 2-for-2 overall, and Jenna Simily doubled early as Mineral Area clinched the No. 1 seed for double-elimination bracket play, which begins on Saturday.
A.J. Agers pitched a clean first inning in the circle while making her second start of the day, thanks to a sliding catch by right fielder Chloe Coppedge for the third out.
Dori McRaven finished up the combined no-hitter after loading the bases on three walks in the third inning. The game was then called due to the predetermined time limit.
Mineral Area built a 5-0 lead in the opening frame, then surged again for 11 runs in the second as Cottonwood Valley committed three errors and issued seven walks.
The second scoring rally ended after 15 batters when Sante Fe left fielder Kailene Black made an excellent catch on the run.
Jacy Tongay singled in her lone plate appearance, and Alivia Simily crossed the plate twice two runs for the Bandits, who have outscored opponents 51-7 so far in the tournament.
Mineral Area 6, Independence (Kan.) 2
The Bandits scored four times in the fourth inning, and withstood their toughest test in pool play Friday morning with a 6-2 victory over Independence.
Dori McRaven finished 2-for-2 with a double and Kaelin Hedgcorth singled twice for the Mineral Area, which outhit the opposition 8-6 overall.
Four hits comprised the winning rally, and Aubree Eaton’s RBI triple became the eventual game-winner after McRaven began the bottom of the fourth with a single.
Alivia Simily singled to make it 4-2, and Claire Stevens capped the scoring for Mineral Area with a 2-RBI single with two outs.
A.J. Agers pitched five innings for the complete-game win, allowing two runs on six hits. She struck out eight and retired her final seven batters faced.
Three consecutive hits by Jessica Hulsey, Hedgcorth and McRaven spotted the Bandits a 2-0. A runner was thrown out at home after Gracie Wright doubled in the third.
Taygan Claar went 2-for-2 and Piper Marquez added two singles for Independence, which pulled even at 2-2 in the third inning when Allison Wilson tripled and Jenna Eytcheson drove her in.
Mineral Area turned a double play to diminish any further threat.
Mineral Area 18, Cottonwood Valley (Kan.) 4
Six different Mineral Area players collected two hits piece, and the Bandits erupted for nine runs in the opening frame to dispatch Cottonwood Valley 18-4 in their third game of pool play.
A.J. Agers went 2-for-2 and reached base four times, and Claire Stevens doubled twice in the victory. Jenna Simily, Gracie Wright and Dori McRaven each provided a single and double.
Cottonwood Valley plated all four of its tallies in the third inning against winning pitcher Chloe Coppedge. Wright threw a scoreless fourth.
Jessica Hulsey had two hits and Kaelin Hedgcorth scored two runs while Alivia Simily and Aubree Eaton chipped in singles for the Bandits.