YORK – After a successful Saturday in pool play, the Gresham Blackbirds 18-U softball team moved into the gold championship bracket of the Fusion Tournament on Sunday at the York Ballpark Complex.
Gresham opened with a 3-0 win over the York Fusion Vegas 16s then won 5-2 over the Fire and Ice.
On Sunday the Blackbirds opened gold-bracket play with a 4-3 win over the Columbus Bullets, but fell hard in the championship game to the Grand Island Home Federal Scorpions by the score of 7-1.
The Blackbirds lost a tough 1-0 battle to the Scorpions on Saturday in pool play for their only loss that day.
Gresham 4, Columbus 3
Columbus jumped to a 2-0 lead with two runs scoring in the bottom of the third.
Gresham scored a run in the fourth and another in the fifth to tie the score at 2-2, sending the game to extra innings as time had expired.
The Blackbirds plated two in the top of the sixth and the defense held the Bullets to just one run for the one-run win.
Gresham finished with five hits as Allie Neujahr and Shelby Ziegler each went 1 for 3 while Ziegler drove in one run.
Neujahr pitched two innings, allowing two runs and recording two strikeouts, but did not allow a hit in picking up the win.
Kailey Ziegler worked three frames and gave up two hits and two runs, while Daylee Dey got the save with one inning pitched, one run, one hit and one strikeout.
Sierra Harrison led the Bullets going 2 for 2 with a double.
Grand Island 7, Gresham 1
Grand Island wasted little time getting on the scoreboard as it scored one in the first and two in the second to burst to the early three-run lead.
The Blackbirds never recovered as they scored their only run in the bottom of the sixth off an RBI double by Hunter Hartshorn.
Gresham finished with just three hits and the Scorpions rocked the Blackbirds’ pitching for 11 hits and seven runs.
Neujahr and Day shared pitching duties, with Neujahr working three frames and Dey two.
The Scorpions were led by Chovez, who was 3 for 3 with three RBIs and a double, while Palms was 1 for 1 with a home run.
“Grand Island Federal Scorpions has a great team. They hit the ball very well with good pitching and quality defense,” Gresham head coach Joe Dey said. “The Blackbirds did not hit the ball well enough throughout the tournament. The defense was good, but needed to get base runners on base. Good experience to play this type of team.”
Gresham returns to action tonight as it hosts the David City Blaze with first pitch at 6:30 p.m.