The Ritzville Adams County Journal - Eastern Adams County's Only Independent Voice Since 1887

By Al Stover 

Lady Broncos finish season at State Softball Tournament


Last updated 5/31/2018 at Noon

The Lind-Ritzville/Sprague Broncos concluded their season at the 2B State Softball Tournament on May 25 in Yakima.

After a day of practice, the Lady Broncos opened up the State Tournament on Friday morning with a 12-2 loss to No. 1 seed Kittitas.

Head Coach Todd O’Brien acknowledged Kittitas as a good ball club and knew LRS would be facing a tough challenge against the Lady Coyotes.

After a scoreless first inning, Kittitias scored eight runs on seven hits in the second. The Lady Broncos scored one run in both the fourth and fifth innings. The Lady Coyotes added insurance runs in the fifth inning to force the 10-run mercy rule.

O’Brien explained one reason LRS struggled against Kittitas was not being prepared for the increased speed from a top-ranked team like the Lady Coyotes. He said this caused the LRS defense to make mental mistakes and not take advantage of opportunities to get a runner out on base.

O’Brien also noted the speed and aggressiveness of the Lady Coyotes’ base runners, as well as the strength of the team’s bullpen.

Lacey Miller led the Lady Broncos at the plate with three hits, including a double.

Although LRS had base runners in scoring position, they struggled to bring them to home plate.

In their final game of the tournament, LRS lost to Dayton-Waitsburg (DW), 18-2.

O’Brien said LRS managed to keep the game close through the first five innings.

In the sixth inning, DW scored five runs for a 10-2 lead, then added eight more insurance runs in the seventh.

At the plate, Emma Aldrich and Emily Rosen had two hits while Tamera Wolf hit a double.

Cailey Vallone-Boettcher took the pitching loss in both games.

Tessa O’Brien received the Sportsmanship Award for the Kittitas game. Miller was given the Sportsmanship Award for the DW game. Both Miller and Tessa O’Brien were named to the Northeast 2B League All-Opponents team during the NE 2B District Tournament.

O’Brien said he was pleased with how LRS continued to compete until the last inning.

The 2B State Tournament was the end of what became a roller coaster season for the Lady Broncos. LRS finished with an overall record of 13-13, including wins over conference rivals Reardan and Tekoa-Rosalia, and victories against nonconference opponents Davenport, Springdale and Wilbur-Creston.

O’Brien said he was pleased with how LRS continued to battle throughout the season, which led to accomplishing the team’s goal of qualifying for the State Tournament.

The team loses 10 seniors and two exchange students next season, including six starters. O’Brien said he was proud of them and their contributions to the softball program.

“I told them to leave the program better than when you started it and they have done that,” O’Brien said.

He said next season will be a “rebuilding year,” for the team and there will be several open positions, which could be filled if the team continues to have strong numbers. He is also pleased with how underclassmen and JV athletes have developed their skills this year.

O’Brien noted there are varsity players with experience who are expected to return next year, including Miller, Hannah Brittain, Mercedes Miller and Vallone-Boettcher.

He is also looking forward to seeing the return of underclassmen like Wolf and Kelcee Carlson, who were earned some varsity experience at the end of the season.


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