Niles Nitro 16U wins Rochester InvitePublished 12:23am Thursday, June 23, 2011
The Niles Nitro 16U softball team traveled to Rochester, Ind. June 12 and came away victorious in round robin tournament format.
In its first 16U game Nitro Beat Rochester Rockets 5-1. Tala Gentry got the win as she pitched all seven innings allowing six hits one walk and striking out six. She also led at the plate with two hits, a double and two run homer. Rachel Bonek added two singles while Olivia Jordan, Morgan Richer, Kelly Harper, Abby McKeel, Larkin Carey and Courtney Ankrapp added singles. Ankrapp drove in two runs while Harper drove in one.
In game two Nitro came out flat and lost to Fort Wayne Cougars 13-1. Megan McKeel suffered the loss while Gentry came in for relief. Nitro only managed three hits by Jordan, Carey and Maureen Craig who had the only run batted in.
In the final game Nitro defeated Fort Wayne Force 8-5 in a come from behind effort. Tala Gentry recorded the win pitching five innings allowing five hits, two walks and five strikeouts. Only one of the five runs was earned. Nitro had to come from behind in the final game to get the win. After trailing 4-0 after the top half of the first, Ankrapp started a two out rally by singling sharply to left field, Gentry followed with another single to left, a walk to Bonek loaded the bases. Abby McKeel delivered a bases clearing double to bring Nitro within one at 4-3. In the second inning Nitro scored four more times. Megan McKeel was hit by a pitch, a walk to Harper and Craig loaded the bases. Jordan’s sacrifice fly to center field scored McKeel to tie the game. After a walk to Richer and Ankrapp reaching on error scoring two runs, Gentry singled to drive in the fourth run giving Nitro the lead at 7-4. Force narrowed the gap to 7-5 with a run in the fourth. Nitro responded with one run of its own in the fourth. After holding the Force scoreless in the fifth the game was called due to time. Gentry led with two hits and two RBI’s, while Abby McKeel doubled and had three RBI’s. Ankrapp added the other single. Jordan Rank who currently has a broken finger was only allowed to pinch run during this tournament and stole three bases and scored once.
The win gave the Nitro 2-1 record and because they defeated the Rochester Rockets head to head were awarded the tournament champions.
“This was a great way to start our first tournament together. This team is basically a 14U team with a few new 16U players sprinkled in and we are competing against older girls We actually played two other exhibition games against 18U teams and competed losing 8-2 and 4-2 respectively, so overall we were very pleased,” said Manager Rick McKeel.
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