It was batter up in the first annual Wood River Mountain Classic Girls’ Fast Pitch softball tournament hosted by the Wood River Baseball and Softball Association, June 14-15.
Held in Hailey, the tournament attracted 12 teams from Meridian, Boise, Twin Falls, Buhl, Kuna, Caldwell, Gooding, Rupert and Salt Lake City, Utah. Wood River fielded teams in two of the tourney’s three divisions; 12U and 14U. There was also a 16U bracket won by Snake River over Rupert.
“It was a huge success,” tournament co-director Julie Flolo said. “We had positive feedback from the teams and parents and great umping. Overall, it went really well.”
Wood River’s 14U team, coached by Melanie Blacker and Ashley Adams went the distance, playing their way to the championship game against the Rose Park Aztecs. Based in Salt Lake, the Aztecs capped a 5-0 run with an 11-4 victory over the hometown club.
“The girls played really well, overall, and I was super pleased with the outcome of the tournament,” Adams remarked. “Even in our losses, they competed well. Two of our three games against the Aztecs were really tight until the last inning. Unfortunately, the Aztecs just outhit us in those two games, but the girls kept a solid defense and held their own, never giving up. I was really happy with the girls mental toughness this tournament.”
Wood River (3-3) opened pool play Friday with a 15-2 romp over Buhl and fell to Rose Park 17-2 and went 2-2 through the remainder of the draw, defeating the Kuna All Stars 10-3 and Buhl Indians 10-5. Losses to Rose Park were by scores of 6-5 and 11-4 in the final.
“It was an exciting finish, especially with this being our first home tournament and we’re looking forward to more success in our upcoming tournaments as well,” Adams said.
The pitching trio of Jette Ward, Maddie Hothem and Bella Hadam combined for 18 strikeouts. The team’s offense was paced by Hadam (2 doubles/triple) and Olivia Adams (7 singles), both batting .500 with nine hits apiece. Hothem ripped eight hits, Ayla Humphreys knocked seven times with two doubles, and Kacie Flolo belted six hits with a double and triple.
The 12U squad (0-4) coached by Nathan Adams and John Ewing gained valuable experience in games against Twin Falls, Meridian and eventual champion Boise, and played Boise to a 10-9 decision in the opening round. One of the highlights of the tournament was a grand slam walloped by Emmi Nilsen. In all, Wood River plated 26 runs – the most they have scored all season.
“They’re a young team with a lot of beginning players, but I am seeing improvement all the time in their fielding and hitting,” Adams said. “
Wood River’s squads will return to the diamond this weekend at the Magic Valley Madness Tournament in Twin Falls.