Jun 18, 2013 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorRiverton will now play this Saturday and Sunday in a nine-team U18 tournament in Rapid City, S.D.
The Riverton U.S. Energy girls fastpitch softball team lost to the Gillette Camels 8-0 on Sunday in the Under-18 title game at its home tournament.
Riverton advanced to the championship game of the annual U.S. Energy tournament with a 7-3 victory Sunday morning over the Rock Springs Storm.
Riverton fell to the Camels 11-4 Saturday in the first game of pool play.
"I wasn't happy with the way that we played against the Gillette Camels," Riverton manager Mark Stone said. "We beat them handily in Cheyenne the week before. Gillette had more players that wanted to win the game than we did. Gillette's whole goal was to beat us at our home tournament. Gillette was more prepared to beat us."
Riverton knocked off the Storm 5-1 on Saturday night in the final game of pool play.
"We were pretty much in control of that game," Stone said.
McKinley Earnest picked up the victory with five strikeouts on the mound.
Riverton plays this Saturday and Sunday in a nine-team U18 tournament in Rapid City, S.D.
The first day will be for pool play. The second day is bracket play.
"I want to see a little bit more desire to win and make the big plays," Stone said.
Things became intense in the semifinal game between Rock Springs and Riverton with a spot in the championship game on the line.
"We faced the ace from Rock Springs," Stone said.
Rock Springs went up 2-0 on a couple of unearned runs against Earnest.
Earnest struck out three batters to keep it close for Riverton.
Caroline Dewit had an RBI single in the first inning to close it to 2-1.
In the next inning, the Rock Springs coach was ejected from the game on a close call at third base.
"He is the heart and soul of that team," Stone said. "That hurt them."
Riverton went up 3-2 when Christina Martinsen scored for the home team.
In the bottom of the fourth, Riverton's Kendal Krumland and Freddie Armajo reached on base with hits and scored.
Katelyn Jennings added another base hit and crossed home plate for U.S. Energy.
Brianna Siebert scored the final run of the inning after reaching with a base hit for a commanding 7-2 lead.
In the top of the fifth, Rock Springs scored a run to pull within 7-3.
Rock Springs thought it had an inside-the-park- home run, but the batter missed touching first base.
Stone appealed the play and the umpire ruled the runner out.
"The fans were not happy about that," Stone said.
"That was the best game that we had played all year. McKinley kept them off balance."
Riverton couldn't keep the momentum going.
"I really thought that we were ready to play going into that game," Stone said.
Jordan Love started on the mound for Riverton.
Gillette pulled away in the second inning with a 3-0 advantage.
In the next inning, Gillette smacked the ball around against Riverton for five more runs.
In the U12 title game, Vernal, Utah, beat Green River 5-4 in seven innings.
"That was a great championship by both teams," Stone said.
"That was maybe one of the best U12 games I have seen in my life. Both teams played their hearts out."
The Cody Pride won the U14 championship game after a 13-3 decision over the Rock Springs Storm.
"Cody played pretty well," Stone said.
Green River won the U10 title.
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