By Jan Schultz
The Imperial Republican
Offense just didn’t produce for the Imperial junior girls’ softball team in the league tournament Saturday, forcing them to settle for the second place trophy.
However, Coach Heidi Wheeler said she was very proud of the team because they never gave up and fought until the end in the 8-1 loss to Sutherland.
The tournament was played in 100-degree temperatures Saturday in Wallace. Imperial entered as the No. 1 seed, while Sutherland was No. 2.
She said even suffering their first loss of the season in the championship game, the girls held onto positive attitudes and played as a team.
“But, our hitting was not on” that day, she said.
Wheeler said they new Sutherland was going to be a tough team to beat, and were not looking past them.
“We just couldn’t get any momentum. They blooped several hits right over our infield and found every hole we had in our defense,” she said.
A couple of errors contributed to Sutherland’s 4-0 lead in the third inning.
Imperial adjusted its defense but just couldn’t get hits to drop when they came to bat.
Imperial put up its only run of the game in the fourth, but Sutherland responded with four more in the fifth, ending the game at 8-1.
Imperial had just six hits in the game—two doubles from Kadyn Milner, a pair of singles from Sarah Allen and one single each from Katelyn Wheeler and Peyton Fiedler.
Milner had four strikeouts from the mound, while Wheeler recorded one K.
In a shortened three-inning game due to the run-rule, Imperial defeated Grant in their tournament opener 23-2.
Coach Wheeler said the team had a goal to get the game over in three innings due to the heat.
That looked like it would be possible when Destiny Reinke stepped to the plate and hit a homerun on the first pitch in the bottom of the first.
Each of Imperial’s players scored at least once in the first inning and all but one scored again in the second.
The game was called after three due to the 12-run rule.
In addition to her homer, Reinke also doubled in the game.
Others earning hits were Sarah Allen, triple, single; Katelyn Wheeler, triple, two singles; Kelly Christensen, triple, single; Josie Peterson, double and single; Brittanie Benge, double; and Megan Engbrecht, single.
Katelyn Wheeler pitched all three innings and tallied three strikeouts.