Xplosion takes 3rd in nationals
Photo: The Kane County Xplosion 16U softball team battled for a series of come-from-behind wins for the Class A Northern National Tournament. The team included Coach Don Miller (back, center); Coach Wally Spagnola (standing, left to right), Lauren Zick, Denise Gombar, Samantha Phelps, Kaylee Hayton, Allison Miller and Coach Mike Kuefler; Paige Kuefler (kneeling) and Stephanie Prentice; Emma Spagnola (sitting, left to right), Madeline Avery, McKenzie Bretag and Amanda Lack. Courtesy Photo
Kane County 16U softball team takes talents to Nebraska
North platte, neb.—With a never-say-die attitude, the Kane County Xplosion 16U softball team earned several come-from-behind victories to earn a third-place finish in the Class A Northern National Tournament in North Platte, Neb.
In game one of Pool Play, the girls beat the Echoes Adrenaline from Omaha, Neb., 6-4. Offensively, Lauren Zick and Emma Spagnola each had two hits and accounted for three of the runs, while Amanda Lack had a triple and Samantha Phelps added a double. Stephanie Prentice got the win with five strikeouts. Lauren Zick turned in the defensive play of the game with a diving catch in center field.
Game two saw the girls win 14-5 over the JR. Phoenix from Wisconsin. After falling behind 5-1, the girls put up 10 runs in the top of the fourth to blow the game wide open. Madeline Avery and Allison Miller were both 3-for-4, with Avery knocking in three runs in the fifth with her first homer of the tournament. Kaylee Hayton got the win.
The Orland Park A’s were the first opponent of Bracket Play, and after spotting them four runs in the first inning, the girls shut them out the rest of the way for a 7-4 win. McKenzie Bretag was 4-for-4 and Avery 3-for-4 to lead the team offensively, with Prentice notching the win. Kuefler was stellar at third base on defense.
Next up were the Wisconsin Bandit’s Black, and in a hard-fought game the girls came out on top with a 7-6 win. After jumping out to a quick lead, the girls found themselves behind 5-4 in the fifth. The girls were able to score two in the top of the seventh inning to come from behind for the win. Avery added her second home run of the tournament and was 3-for-4, while Kuefler and Phelps were 2-for-4.
Next up were the Bridgeview Redbirds, and once again the girls fell behind early. Kane County was down 4-0 after three innings before the bats came alive, scoring six runs in the last three innings for another come-from-behind win, 6-5. Phelps led the charge, going 3-for-3.
On Sunday, the girls came out flat for the first game and lost to the eventual champion. Kuefler notched her first home run of the tournament, and Lack went head over heels for a diving fly ball. After dropping to the loser’s bracket with three teams remaining, the girls once again faced the Bandits Black and came up one run short in the bottom of the seventh inning.
The girls finished the season at 40-15-2.
Tryouts for the Kane County Xplosion are this week; interested girls should check www.kcxplosion.com for details.