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Southern Plains 10U Softball Finishes Season in Midwest Regionals

The Southern Plains 10U Softball All-Stars traveled to Harper, Kansas over the weekend to the site of the 2018 Babe Ruth Midwest Regional Softball finals.  They were short-handed missing a couple of players but made the best of their opportunity by competing well against teams from Colorado, Kansas, and Missouri.  When the sun had set on the tournament, Southern Plains had made plenty of noise defeating the Colorado state champions, a team that had beaten them in Denver, 21-3.  They also came close to pulling a major upset on the host team.  Lexi Holdren from Eads on the mound for the Southern Plains 10U All-Stars at the Midwest Regional Tournament in Kansas.  (Photo credit: Briana Shotton)

Head Coach Scott Gyurman stated, “We started off a little unsure of ourselves and scared of the bigger stage and lost the first game.  By the second game we got our footing and went to work.”

The first game was difficult for the young and inexperienced team from Colorado as they were defeated by SEMO South (Missouri state runner-up), 17-5.  Kennedy Gyurman started in the circle and then handed the ball over to Aureonna Diaz.  However, neither pitcher could control the strong bats from SEMO.  They would score pretty much at will by getting five runs in the second, eight runs in third, and three more runs in the fourth, and final inning.  The SP group depended on the short game against a tough SEMO pitcher.  Aubry Carroll started them off with a bunt and would come around and score for the only run in the first inning.  Diaz would score in the second.  Southern Plains then added three runs in their last at bat from Zoie Arnold-Kraft, Idaly Rodriguez, and Lexi Holdren.

SP then took on the Colorado #1 team Pioneer.  Aureonna Diaz stayed in the circle the whole time and put in a very effective game against Pioneer keeping them scoreless through three innings.  While Diaz held down the defense, the SP offense exploded in every inning for runs.  Arnold-Kraft would score in the first inning after arriving with a slap single.  The next two batters would strike out but not before Arnold-Kraft would come around and score on a passed ball at home.  Rodriguez scored one run in the second after she was hit by the pitch.  In the third, SP scored three runs with Arnold-Kraft, Graci Morlan, and Holdren touching homeplate.  SP was in control 5-0 going into the final inning.  In that inning Rodriguez had a little trouble finding the strike zone giving up four runs before getting two strike outs and a ground out.  In the bottom of the fourth, Southern Plains came to the plate holding onto a slim 5-4 lead.  But in that inning the local girls blew the lid off the game scoring five runs coming from Carroll, Serenity Worley, Gyurman, Evan Scheimer, and Millie Giron.  SP won their second game, 10-4.

Then came the game that was the make or break moment for the SP team.  Unfortunately, they would lose this game to hosts Harper, Kansas, 10-9, in the last at-bat.  Carroll got the nod in the circle for SP and did a great job throughout the game battling back at difficult points.  Harper started out with 4 runs in the top of first inning, but Carroll held them scoreless in the second.  Southern Plains was scoreless for two innings leaving the score at 4-0 midway through the game.  Harper would extend their lead to 7-0 after their at-bat in the top of the third inning.  But then Southern Plains came alive in the bottom of the third scoring seven runs of their own and knotting the game at 7-all.  In the top of the fourth inning, Harper scored three more runs putting SP into a tight spot with just one at-bat left.  They used their short game to score two runs from Carroll and Arnold-Kraft, but it would not be enough, and SP had lost a heartbreaker.
10U Southern Plains Softball AllStars
The local girls had one more game left and it was with the eventual Regional champions, Sikeston from Missouri.  Gyurman stated, “Their pitching was very strong.  We were the only team that was ahead of them for two innings during the entire tournament.  We had a late rally but ran out of steam after our emotional loss to Harper.”  Southern Plains did jump on the pitchers from Sikeston chasing their ace off the mound scoring three runs in the first inning.  Carroll started SP with a single and would get around and score.  Morlan and Holdren were both hit by the pitch from the wild risers thrown by Sikeston.  They, too, would come around and score.  Gyurman was on the mound for Southern Plains and gave up two runs in the first inning.  SP held a slim 4-2 lead.  But from the second inning on it was all Sikeston as their strong hitting resulted in seven runs in the second inning and seven runs in the third.  Worley would get across in the second inning and Rodriguez, Worley, and Scheimer scored in the fourth inning.  Southern Plains would lose their final game of the tournament, 16-7.

Gyurman wrapped up the season by stating, “The girls grew as players, people, and friends which will help shape their future.  We walked away from this seeing how much work and flexibility it takes to play anywhere if you want to be a great player.  The coaches were so proud of the growth achieved in such a short time.  Sikeston coaches were so impressed that we had only been together for a few weeks and were so fundamentally sound with their skills and abilities to play small.  This was a huge compliment from a team that consistently makes it to the World Series.”
 
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