The Hartford Sparx won the 2021 South Dakota 18U B Division Fastpitch State Tournament championship held at Sherman Park in Sioux Falls Friday, July 9th through Sunday, July 11th.
The Sparx opened the tournament with a 12-3 win over the Rebels on Friday. Hartford scored in every inning, including eight in the fourth, for the win. Addy Kramer had three hits, two doubles and a home run, with four RBIs. Grace Harden had three hits and three RBIs. Olivia Brown had three hits, including a home run and a double, with two RBIs. Caitlyn Maa had two hits and an RBI. Avery Evans had two hits, one a double. Riley Morrison had two hits. Brooke Opitz had a double and an RBI. McKenna Sichmeller had a hit, and Jenna Lueth had an RBI. Taylor Kunzweiler pitched five innings allowing three earned runs on five hits with two walks and three strikeouts.
Hartford won their second game on Friday against Fusion Heat 4-0. The Sparx got a run in the first, two more in the fifth, and another in the sixth while holding Fusion Heat to just three hits. Maa had a double and two RBIs. Kunzweiler had two hits. Morrison had a hit and an RBI. Opitz and Harden both had singles. Kramer also had an RBI. Harden pitched seven innings allowing just three hits with three walks and six strikeouts.
In the semifinals of the winner’s bracket, the Sparx defeated Mitchell Adrenaline 11-2 to advance to the championship game undefeated. Hartford again scored in every inning while pulling away from Mitchell for the win. Opitz had three hits, including a home run and double, with three RBIs. Maa had two hits and five RBIs. Lueth finished with two hits. Harden had a hit and two RBIs. Evans and Morrison both had a hit as well. Harden pitched four innings allowing two runs, both unearned, on four hits with three strikeouts.
Hartford met Fusion Heat in the championship game. The scoreless game was broken in the bottom of the third when Fusion Heat got a home run. It was just one of their three hits, but was the difference in the game as Fusion Heat beat the Sparx 1-0 to force a second championship game. Evens had two hits for Hartford. Opitz, Harden, Kunzweiler, and Sichmelleer all had singles. Harden pitched five innings allowing one earned run on three hits with three strikeouts.
With each team now having one loss, the Sparx and Fusion Heat played one more time to determine the championship. This time the Sparx used a pair of four run innings to take the title with an 8-3 win. Fusion Heat scored three runs in the top of the second, but Hartford had a four-run bottom of second inning and four-run third inning for the win.
Harden had three hits, including a double, and three RBIs. Opitz had two hits and an RBI. Sichmeller had a double and two RBIs. Kramer had a solo home run. Morrison had a single and RBI. Evans also had a hit. Harden pitched four innings allowing three earned runs on six hits with four strikeouts.