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Monday, May 2, 2016

Monett Teams Do Well In State Softball Tournaments

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

In Saturday action at the Babe Ruth State Tournament in Monett, Monett's Paige Wiseman slid into home plate to score in the top of the sixth inning against Aurora in a 10-and-under tournament game. The score put Monett up 6-3 and sealed the win. The Monett team advanced to the semi-finals undefeated before settling for third place in the tournament. [Times Photo by Murray Bishoff]
Monett girls teams in all age groups performed well and advanced in the 2009 Babe Ruth State Tournaments held recently in Monett.

A total of 24 teams converged on Monett for the event from across the state. Teams traveled from Aurora, Boonville, Heartland, Mineral Area, Mt. Vernon, Sikeston and Washington. Games began at 10 a.m. on Friday, July 26 and continued through to Sunday, July 28 providing state and runner-up champions.

The 10-and-under division, played in a double elimination bracket format, was won by the undefeated Mineral Area team, including an eight-inning thriller against Heartland American.

An undefeated Monett team went up against Mineral Area on the final day and lost 9-6. According the Tournament Coordinator Kirk Verhoff, Monett was not able to come back against Boonville's pitching ace in the loser's bracket.

The tournament's largest division was the 12-and-under contest, with nine teams playing double elimination on two fields.

"This division was a battle between Washington, Heartland, Monett and Mineral Area," said Verhoff. "All four teams brought plenty of fire power and great pitching to battle against each other." Monett was defeated by Washington in the first round, which forced Monett to battle back through the loser's bracket. The Monett girls beat Mt Vernon and Boonville to force a game with Mineral Area late Saturday night. Outstanding pitching and defense led to a 7-5 victory, setting up a matchup with Heartland. Despite having the tying run on third with one out in the last inning, a key hit was not to come and Monett lost 2-1.

Washington lost to Heartland and battled back to defend its title from last year in the championship. Heartland went into the final contest playing its fourth game in a row and ultimately bowed to Washington.

"Our Monett team, being made up mostly of girls 11 years old and under, played very well against teams with older girls. This being said we have high hopes for this team to make a good run at the championships next year," Verhoff said.

"Kirby Krueger, the head coach, assisted by Bobby Upchurch and Jeff English, had a very competitive team," Verhoff said. "They knew they would have their work cut out for them but also knew they have a group of players that love to compete and will be ready next year," Verhoff said.

The 16-and-under division was made up of three teams, down from the original five that had been scheduled. The local team was the Tri City All Stars, comprised of players from Monett, Mt. Vernon, Aurora and Sarcoxie.

Each team played each other and then was seeded into a double elimination bracket. Monett's Tri City team logged two wins, beating Sikeston 6-4 and 12-5, but then lost to Sikeston in the third game 4-3

Union City went through the entire tournament undefeated, beating Sikeston 6-2, 6-2 and 9-1 in the championship game.

The Tri City All Stars were managed by head coaches Tammy Henderson, of Mt. Vernon, and Kirk Verhoff, of Monett. Assisting coaches on the team were Brent Dangerfield, of Monett, and Curtis Greathouse of Sarcoxie.

"This endeavor has never been done before in our area but is common in other leagues," Verhoff said.

Playing on the team from Mt. Vernon were Tamiaya Henderson, Ashley Gold, Ina May Gottlesben, Ashley Snook and Shawnya Wethington. Aurora players were Caitlin Damrill, Rebecca Wilson and Megan Clark. The three Monett players, Kayla Vesco, Chelsea Batson and Kris Swinford, all had previous tournament experience, Verhoff said.

Monett's 14-and-under team competed in pool play with three other teams. Monett beat Heartland 7-6 and 8-6, downed Washington 7-5 and defeated Boonville 7-0.

In the second round of games, the Washington Wildfire team topped Monett 5-2. Behind solid pitching from both Carleigh Hall and McKenzie Moreland, the Monett team came back in the final game to beat Washington 1-0.

"Jeff Franke's 14-and-under team will now head to Wiley, Colo., for regional play starting on July 23," Verhoff said. "We wish them luck on their upcoming tournament. This trip will be very costly, and they are appealing to possible donors to assist them in this upcoming trip.

"Overall the tournament was a huge success," Verhoff said. "We received multiple compliments again on our facility as well as how the tournament was run. All teams winning first and second place are now to go on to regional play in the states of Colorado and Kansas. We wish them luck and hope that they represent the State of Missouri with class and dignity."

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