YORK – The York Fusion 18-U softball team played its way into the Gold Bracket of the Class B USSSA State Tournament at the York Ballpark Complex with a big 10-1 win over the Millard Fury 18-U late Friday night.
The Fusion had lost a tough opening game, 9-5, to the Lincoln Rockets, but the win against Millard was enough to get the 18-U into the gold bracket.
On Saturday, with the temperatures on the rise early in the morning, York won a 5-4 nail-biter over the Flames of Nebraska Red Hots.
York’s second game on Saturday was a matchup with the Grand Island Elite, and the Fusion came out on the short end with a 7-5 loss.
On Sunday, York’s season came to an end with a 4-2 loss to the Lady Cougars.
York 5, Flames of Nebraska Red Hots 4
York’s offense started out on fire as Emma Ziemba led off with a single followed by a triple from the bat of Lilly Cast.
Already on top 1-0, Hannah Norquest homered and the Fusion was off and running with the 3-0 lead before Norquest even took the mound.
The Red Hots got an RBI single from former Polk County player, Cassidy Rieken, in the second to cut the margin to 3-1. But once again, in the top of the third the top of the lineup came through for the Fusion.
After a lead-off single from nine-hole hitter Kaitlyn Martin, Ziemba got her second single of the game and Cast added a two-run safety to go with her triple to make it 5-1.
The game stayed that way until the Red Hots put a scare into the Fusion, scoring three times in the bottom of the fifth, including another Rieken single and the third hit by former Fillmore Central/Exeter-Milligan player, Josie Kresak, to make it 5-4.
Kresak was standing on third with two outs when the third out came on a called check swing for a third strike.
Norquest was the pitcher of record going four innings. She allowed eight hits and struck out six while not walking a single batter. In relief, Cast struck out two with no walks.
York left one runner on base while the Red Hots stranded five.
The Gold Bracket champions were Grand Island Northwest Illusion with a 6-0 win in the championship over Grand Island Elite. The Illusion and the Elite met up in the Gold Bracket earlier, and the Illusion won that game 5-0.
The Silver Bracket winners were the Nebraska Vortex with a 10-0 win over Fury-Leo.
Details from the other York Fusion games were not available.