The Hartford Sparx 18U softball team won the silver bracket of the Lowell Rang Memorial Tournament in Mitchell. The tournament was held Friday, June 11th through Sunday, June 13th.
The Sparx won their first pool play game on Friday against Parkston by a score of 4-0. Hartford scored a run in the fourth and three in the fifth while holding Parkston to just three hits in the game.
Avery Evans had three hits. Grace Harden, Brooke Opitz, and Kaylee Olson all had hits and an RBI. McKenna Sichmeller had a double. Taylor Kunzweiler also had a hit. Harden pitched all seven innings allowing just three hits with eight strikeouts.
Hartford played their final two pool play games on Saturday, dropping both of them. In the first game, Metro Select Nationals scored two runs in the first and two in the second for a 4-0 lead. The Sparx rallied for three in the bottom of the seventh on a three-run double by Caitlyn Maa, but she was left on second base as the tying run as the game ended.
Harden had two hits. Maa had a double and three RBIs. Jenna Lueth, Opitz, Addy Kramer, Olivia Brown, and Olson all had hits. Kunzweiler pitched six innings allowing four runs, three earned, on nine hits with one walk and six strikeouts.
The Sparx then lost their final pool play game after giving up three runs to Fusion Heat to fall by a score of 6-5. Harden and Kramer both had two hits and an RBI. Brown and Kunzweiler both had a single and an RBI. Evans and Sichmeller both had a double in the game. Riley Morrison also had a hit. Harden pitched six innings allowing six earned runs on 11 hits with two walks and three strikeouts.
After going 1-2 in pool play, Hartford was set as the #2 seed in the silver division, single-elimination tournament on Sunday.
In the first game, the Sparx blanked Diamonds Elite 8-0 by only allowing two hits. Sichmeller finished with a triple and two RBIs. Harden had two hits, including a double, and an RBI. Lueth had a hit and two RBIs. Maa, Evans, and Brown all had a hit. Olson pitched five innings allowing just two hits and had five strikeouts.
Hartford had another shutout in their second game beating the Rebels 4-0. The Sparx scored all four runs in the bottom of the third. Maa had two more hits, including a double, with two RBIs. Kramer had a hit and an RBI. Harden, Sichmeller, and Lueth all had singles. Kunzweiler pitched three innings allowing three hits with three walks and two strikeouts. Harden also pitched three innings allowing a hit while striking out three batters.
The Sparx then took the championship game 6-1 over Mitchell Adrenaline. Hartford scored five times in the top of the third, while Mitchell’s lone run came in the bottom of the inning. Hartford added one more in the top of the sixth.
Brown had two hits, one home run and one double, with three RBIs. Knuzweiler and Sichmeller both had a hit and an RBI. Riley Morrison had two hits. Opitz, Harden, Kramer, and Evans all had singles. Harden pitched six innings allowing one earned run on six hits with five strikeouts.