Jul 13, 2012 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorAfter a 14-6 victory over the Gillette Blue Jays in the first game of bracket play at the state girls fastpitch tournament, the Riverton Under-14 girls squad lost a pair of close games to be eliminated Saturday in Rock Springs.
The Rock Springs Storm slipped past Riverton 8-6. In a must-win game, the Cody Pride won 3-2. The state bracket was a double-elimination format.
Katelyn Jennings, Kendra Miller, Kelsie Wells, Alyssa Hoaglen, Sierra Hernandez, Mia Buranamontri, Natalie Lymburner, Brynne Ogg, Andrea Roseno, Sadie Posey and Nancy Webb played for Riverton in the double-elimination tournament.
"The girls stepped up and played great," Riverton manager Sarah Jennings said. "We have never played that close with Rock Springs and Cody. We have never played into seven innings before."
Riverton's infield had very few errors in bracket play to keep the games within distance.
"The infield was solid," Jennings said. "We didn't have very many balls get past them. We had some really good catches in the outfield that I didn't they could make."
Jennings said Lymburner was a key offensive hitter in the state tournament.
"If Natalie was told to bunt then she would get the bunt down," Jennings said. "She was hitting well."
The group of girls will move up to U16 next season.
Wells pitched for Riverton in the eight-run victory vs. Gillette.
"We played really well against Gillette," Jennings said. "Kelsie is throwing really good for us."
In the two-run loss to Rock Springs, Riverton pitched Hoaglen.
The game went extra innings before the Storm pulled out the win.
"Alyssa has been having arm problems, so she can't throw overhand, but she can throw underhand," Jennings said.
Rock Springs and Riverton were tied for a couple of innings. The teams played an international tiebreaker to break the tie.
The tiebreaker is where the inning starts with a runner on second base.
Riverton had a couple of runners on base in its final at-bat, but couldn't get them home to advance farther into the winners bracket.
"It was a really good game," Jennings said. "It was one of the best games that we played all year,
Wells pitched in the 3-2 to loss to the Cody Pride.
"Kelsie is pretty consistent at throwing strikes," Jennings said. "You don't have to worry about her.
She has a couple of changeup, which helped her out."
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