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Riverton splits first two on softball field
Jun 17, 2013 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports Editor
The U18 girls have a shot at the tournament semifinals on Sunday.
Two games against two different Gillette fastpitch teams resulted in a 1-1 record for the Riverton U.S. Energy squad Saturday in its home tournament.
The Riverton girls lost to the Gillette Blue Jays 11-4 in its first game of the two-day tournament in the Under-18 division.
U.S. Energy bounced back to blank the Gillette Camels 8-0 in the afternoon.
Riverton has fielded one team for its home tournament. Other divisions in the tournament are U14, U12 and U10.
"We came out pretty flat against Gillette," Riverton manager Mark Stone said. "Gillette came out fired up, and they wanted it a little more. Our girls were a little flat because we handled them (Gillette) last week."
Riverton beat the Gillette Blue Jays 9-2 in a tournament last weekend in Cheyenne.
"The two games were just the opposite for the other teams," Stone said. "Gillette came out and hit the ball and played better than us."
Riverton played the Rock Springs Storm in the final game of pool play on Saturday night.
The U.S. Energy tournament continued Sunday morning with single-elimination bracket play.
The semifinals of the U18 division are planned for 9:30 a.m. The title game is slated for 2 p.m.
Stone believes Riverton will play the Rock Springs Storm in the first game on Sunday.
"Rock Springs is a good team," Stone said. "They have a good pitcher. She will keep them in the game.
They will bunt the ball a lot. They will play small ball. They will play solid defense."
The Blue Jays took a 2-1 lead in the first inning against Riverton. In the third inning, Gillette scored four more runs.
"That hurt us," Stone said.
Jordan Love pitched for the Riverton squad in the first game.
"She pitched well," Stone said. "We had three balls over the outfielder's head that should have been caught. There were a few other errors that killed us. You just can't do that against a good team."
In the second game with the Camels, McKinley Earnest started on the mound, going the first three innings.
Maddison Nipper pitched the last two innings.
"We take the sport real serious," Gillette U18 coach Danny Gojkovich said. "We play in Colorado. We go to Montana and Rapid City, S.D."
Gillette is heading to nationals in Minnesota in August.
"We typically start in April," Gojkovich said.
The Blue Jays finished fourth last weekend in a Cheyenne tournament.
"We just played better Saturday morning against Riverton," Gojkovich said. "We made a lot of errors last weekend. We had a lot of girls hurt."