The Southeast Kansas Sluggers traveled to Des Moines, Iowa last weekend played in the 18U USSSA World Series. The team, with several local players. placed third in this year’s weeklong competition, one place better than last year.
This tournament has qualified teams from all over the central region. Teams from South Dakota, Colorado, Minnesota, Nebraska, Missouri, Iowa, Michigan and of course Kansas. The Sluggers range from 14-18 years old and many have played together for years now. Players hail from Chanute, Iola, Girard, Galesburg, Independence, McCune and Olathe, and played hard with only a couple of mistakes through out the whole series.
According to Coach Tom Turner, the team’s pitchers threw well and kept the batters off balance with good placement and movement and with great defense behind them, they didn’t give up many runs. Batters on the team laid down many sacrifice bunts to move a runner and were able to get a clutch hit to score one.
The Sluggers went 7-0 before dropping a game and made it all the way to the tournament’s sub finals.
Players also competed in the Skills competition on the first day and brought back several plaques. Sierra Thompson, Kelli Thompson, Kelsey Kirby, Courtney Richey and Abby Walker won the Star Drill competition with a time of 6.10 sec. Courtney Richey also won the pitching velocity competitions with a 65MPH fastball. Abby Walker tied for first in the Bunt competition with 6 out of 10 bunts. They also took third in the base relay. Brook Turner, Courtney RIchey and Gabby Uecker all came home with game MVP honors and Abby Walker was tournament defensive player.
“I am very proud of these young ladies and their teamwork,” Turner said. “The S.E.K Sluggers finished number one in Kansas USSSA points, power rating and coaches poll again this year. They are really something to watch and their hard work has paid off. When all parts of their game is working, they can run with anybody in the country.”
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