Mitchell Venom claim state fastpitch titleSIOUX FALLS — The Mitchell Venom 18-and-under fastpitch softball team captured a state championship Sunday, winning four straight weekend games in a double-elimination tournament at Sherman Park in Sioux Falls.
SIOUX FALLS — The Mitchell Venom 18-and-under fastpitch softball team captured a state championship Sunday, winning four straight weekend games in a double-elimination tournament at Sherman Park in Sioux Falls.
The Venom finished the season 30-9 overall and defeated the Sioux Falls Velocity 8-7 in the championship game of the B Division of the tournament, which is sanctioned by the Amateur Softball Association.
Head coach Jeff McEntee helped lead the team to the title. He’s coached many of the same girls since they’ve been a 12-and-under team. This is the first time they’ve won a state title.
“It was a very successful tournament,” said McEntee, whose team recorded 54 hits and 49 runs in four tournament games. “It would have been real easy for a letdown in the championship game after scoring so many runs in the first three games. It was a true team effort in the championship game, and really, throughout the entire tournament.”
Krista Huber pitched in the championship game for the Venom. She threw a complete game, gave up 11 hits, struck out two and allowed four earned runs.
The Velocity scored two runs in the first inning and Mitchell scored one in the bottom of the first to trail by one after an inning. Mitchell trailed 3-1 entering the bottom of the second inning, when Katy Lazenby hit a three-run triple. Lazenby eventually scored on a sacrifice fly by Chelsea Berg to take a 5-3 lead. The Venom plated two runs in the bottom of the third for a 7-3 lead and the team never trailed from there. Huber and Courtney Hellman led off the third with back-to-back singles. Emily Sudbeck, who was running for Huber, scored on Hellman’s single, and in the next at-bat Hellman scored on a Karlie McEntee sacrifice fly.
The Velocity scored three in the fourth to pull within one, but Mitchell added one insurance run in the fourth, scoring Dana Misiaszek on an error. In the top of the seventh, the Venom got three of four batters out, including a strikeout to end the game.
At the plate for the Venom, McEntee was 2-for-3 with two singles and a scored a run, Misiaszek was 3-for-4 with three runs scored and three stolen bases and Lazenby had one hit with a triple and had three RBIs.
“Velocity came to play,” McEntee said. “I’m proud of our girls for staying in a tough game, keeping their composure and seeing it through to the end.”
The state tournament opened Friday. The Venom picked up a 13-1 mercy-rule victory over Watertown and a 11-2 mercy-rule win over the same Velocity team that ended up in the championship game.
Against Watertown, Ashley Larson threw a complete-game four-hitter. She gave up one unearned run, one walk and she struck out one batter.
Offensively, Katy Lazenby was 3-for-4 with a double and two RBIs, Sudbeck was 2-for-3 with three RBIs and Larson was 3-for-3 with a double and an RBI.
“We had outstanding defense against Watertown,” McEntee said.
Krista Huber picked up the win against the Velocity in the teams’ first meeting, allowing 11 hits and striking out three.
Hellman was 3-for-4 with a triple and three RBIs, Huber was 2-for-4 with two doubles and four RBIs and Kaleigh Rolle had two hits with a double and two RBIs. Sudbeck had two hits, including a three-run homer.
“It was our only home run of the tournament,” McEntee said.
Saturday, Mitchell knocked off Rapid City Voodoo 17-1 in three innings by the mercy rule. Huber and Larson combined for a no-hitter. Huber started, throwing two innings and striking out five. Larson pitched the final inning, striking out one. Rapid City’s first hitter in the bottom of the third walked. She eventually scored on a groundout to the shortstop.
Offensively for Mitchell, Berg was 3-for-3 with two singles, two RBIs and two runs scored, Olivia Willis had two hits with a double and three RBIs and Misiaszek was 3-for-4 with four runs scored.
“The pitching was good and the bats really came to life,” McEntee said. “The Voodoo pitcher was really good, but we just put the bat on the ball.”
The Venom has 13 girls on the roster, all but one from Mitchell with one coming from Plankinton. Players on the team are Rolle, Larson, Shelby Gunsch, Berg, Ellen Bucher, Lazenby, McEntee, Willis, Sudbeck, Tara Palmer, Misiaszek, Hellman and Huber.
Other Mitchell teams were at the state softball tournament. The Hurricanes Bronze (10-and-under B), Unleashed (12-and-under A), Hurricanes (12-and-under B) and the Hurricanes Silver (16-and-under B) each went 0-2. The Hurricanes White (14-and-under B), Unleashed (16-and-under A) and Hurricanes (18-and-under A) went 1-2. The Venom (12-and-under C) went 2-2 and the Vortex (14-and-under C) went 5-2 to take third place.