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Southern Plains 10U Softball Tem Advances to Midwest Regional Tournament

It is that time of year where the local ball players who have been named to the all-star teams begin their tournament trail activities.  The girls were the first ones up as the Southern Plains 10U All-Star team, consisting of players from Eads, Holly, and Cheyenne Wells, competed in the Babe Ruth 10U Colorado State Tournament in Elizabeth over the weekend.  Southern Plains played through four tough games and were invited to advance to the Babe Ruth Midwest Regional 10U Softball Tournament in Harper, Kansas as the #2 Colorado team.

Bailey Sierra slides in safe at home during 10U state softball action in Elizabeth over the weekend. (Photo credit: Jessica Sierra)
There were 7 teams competing in this year’s 10U tournament and all were from the metro area except for Southern Plains.  In addition, the metro teams have been playing for a few months together as a team so they had a distinct advantage over the girls from Southern Plains.  As they do each year, the SP team is pulled together before the state tournament with players from the league teams.  They hope to be able to play together for a couple of weeks before competing at state, but because the state tournaments for softball were so early this year, they only had 9 days to get their team together.  The state commissioner and tournament officials were amazed at how much improvement SP made throughout the tournament.  The team went 1-3 through the three days of competition.

First up was three games of pool play where four teams were placed in a pool and everyone plays each other once.  Records are kept for pool play, and then teams are then seeded into the single elimination bracket depending on their pool performance.  Southern Plains was 1-2 in pool play. 

In their opening game of the pool play, Southern Plains took on the EC Coyotes and lost 17-8.  Kennedy Gyurman got the nod in the circle for the SP crew.  She started out great striking out the first two batters in the inning.  However, the third batter got a single that may have rattled the SP defense.  Numerous walks ensued, and the EC group came away with 5 runs.  Only the one-hole batter for SP, Savanna Brown, would score in the first inning.  Brown walked to start the at-bat.  Tailee Johnson, in the four-hole, hit her in off a strong single.  But that was all the offense could produce.  Gyurman continued to struggle on the mound resulting in a call to the bullpen for Aubry Carroll.  However, the EC team was very patient and there was no run-rule, so it became a very long inning for Southern Plains who allowed 9 runs to score.  Despite the fact that their first outing was all but lost, the SP girls continued to battle as Bailey Sierra walked and Gracie Morlan then hit a single in the second inning.  Serenity Worley would hit both in with a single of her own.  Southern Plains had good production in their final at-bat with Carroll, Gyurman, Johnson, Evan Scheimer, and Lexi Holdren all scoring.

Southern Plains turned it around in Game 2 of the Pool Play as they grabbed a nice win over Parker Orange, 8-5.  In this game, Bailey Sierra was in the circle and managed to battle through most of the game keeping her opponents off balance with her speed from the mound.  Parker would score two in the first inning off of Sierra’s walks, but soon she collected herself forcing a groundout at second and then mowing down two batters by herself.  SP came to the plate and was not afraid to attack as they scored four in the first inning.  Brown started them out with a hit, followed by another hit by Carroll.  The big hitters, Gyurman and Johnson, then brought their team mates home on singles of their own.  Both would eventually move around the bases and score on passed balls at the plate.  Sierra continued to pitch well, and by the third with a little help from Carroll, got the win for SP.  Carroll, Idaly Rodriguez, Sierra and Scheimer all scored to help the SP cause.

Southern Plains then took on the best team of the tournament in their third game of pool play as Centennial Legacy is a high-octane team with strong pitching.  Against this team the SP group could not find a way to attack the strong Legacy pitcher striking out six in a row before getting something going.  Finally, a few effective bunts against the Legacy group got Southern Plains on base a couple of times.  Sierra started SP out in the last at-bat with a bunt single.  Brown followed with one of her own.  Carroll then hit a double that scored both Sierra and Brown.  But the rest of the order struck out stranding Carroll.  Aureonna Diaz was on the mound for SP and struggled with her control giving up five runs in the first inning.  Southern Plains also used Gyurman and Carroll a little bit, but the Legacy group were strong hitters and also patiently waited for strikes, which, at times were hard to come by.  They would lose their final pool game, 10-2.

10U SOUTHERN PLAINS ALL-STAR team placed in the runner-up position at the 10U Babe Ruth Tournament in Elizabeth, Colorado over the weekend.  They will now advance to the 10U Midwest Regional Tournament in Harper, Kansas.  (Back row) Coach Scott Gyurman, Lexi Holdren, Aureonna Diaz, Evan Scheimer, Serenity Worley, Millie Giron, Tailee Johnson, Kennedy Gyurman, Coach Polly Gyurman, Coach Mike Lozano (front row) Bailey Sierra, Savanna Brown, Idaly Rodriguez, Graci Morlan, Aubry Carroll, Zoie Arnold-Kraft (Photo credit: Polly Gyurman)On Sunday morning, Southern Plains was pitted against Legacy again and would be eliminated from the tournament, 18-8.  In this game, Gyurman was in the circle and did a decent job allowing three runs in the first and another three in the second.  However, the problem was the SP offense who struggled to get anything going against the tough Legacy pitchers.  Brown continued to have a good tournament for SP as she got on base right away with a walk and would come around and score, again, off a Johnson single.  Sierra and Morlan both scored in the second inning when Sierra pulled a walk and Morlan arrived on a sac bunt hit.  Worley hit them in for two runs.  In the final period, Southern Plains left it all on the field getting 5 runs including production from Carroll, Gyurman, Johnson, Scheimer, and Holdren.

Because Southern Plains had a consistent and competitive tournament they were invited to advance to the Midwest Regional tournament and accepted.  According to team manager Polly Gyurman, “The girls made incredible growth and played in positions they weren’t used to for the good of our ‘little family.’  The coaches were very proud of what they accomplished in such a short time.  We look forward to seeing more growth and friendships developing.”

Southern Plains will travel to Harper, Kansas to the Midwest Regional 10U tournament to be held the first weekend in July.  They are coached by Scott Gyurman (Eads) and Mike Lozano (Holly).


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