Twisters win Nebraska State Championship

What a summer to remember for the Torrington Twisters 16 & under softball team. The team, made up of local and area girls, just keeps on winning.

This past weekend saw the Twisters win the Fast Pitch B Division of the Nebraska State Tournament held in Hastings.

The Twisters won five straight games to move their record to 62-5. They have now won 52 of their last 53 games and haven't lost a contest since May 12. They continue to be ranked No. 1 in the nation, of 782 teams, in USSSA's Power Ranking.

The Twisters played their first game against the Sports Express-Rameriz. They jumped on the Express in the first inning for five runs en route to an 8-5 win. Mikayla Butler registered the win.

The Twisters played the Beatrice Blitz in game two. The Twisters jumped on the Blitz for two runs in the first and the score remained that way until the sixth inning when the Blitz tied the game. The Twisters answered with a run in the bottom half of their sixth and then went on to put the Blitz down in order in the seventh to win 3-2. Shaylee Rickard got the win in the circle.

Saturday night's third game was against the Nebraska Blue Diamonds from the Lincoln area. The Diamonds took the early lead with a run in the bottom of the first. The Twisters tied the game with a run in the top of the fourth. The scored remained tied at 1-1 after six innings and the 90 minute time limit ran out even though the Diamonds threatened. They had the bases loaded with no outs in the sixth but could not push a run across. In the 7th inning the international tie breaker rule came into effect. That places the last batter from the previous inning on second base. For the Twisters that was lead off batter Cassandra Bustillos. She stole third and then scored on an errant pickoff play. Sofia Fox followed with a double to left center. What followed was four more runs. In the bottom half of the seventh the Diamonds battled back with a run but the Twisters held on for a 5-2 win.

The win against the Diamonds assured the Twisters of at least third place and put them in the semifinal round against the O'Neill Green Machine. O'Neill jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning, but the Twisters responded with four in the bottom half of the inning. Gering's Jessica Rogers had the big hit with a double. The Twisters added one more run in the second to go up 5-1, then exploded in the third for eight more runs to end the game early, 13-1. They got three home runs in the inning. Shaylee Ricksard hit a solo blast and Bustillos and Rogers both clocked three run shots. The win went to Butler.

That put the Twisters in the Sunday championship game against the same Blue Diamonds from the night before. The Blue Diamonds jumped out on top with a two run first inning. But the Twisters came right back in the bottom of the inning to score eight runs. Isabel Thompson had a run scoring double, followed by a two run double from Marisa Santos and Sofia Fox added a solo home run. The Twisters weren't done as they added four more runs in the second, two coming on a home run by Butler. The suspense was over in the third when the Twisters scored two more runs to wrap up the game and the title, 14-2.

The state title is the Twisters seventh tournament win in a row. They have won eight of the 12 tournaments they have entered, and they aren't done yet.

Next for the Twisters is the USSSA Wyoming/Colorado State Tournament in Loveland July 12-14.

The Colorado state action is followed by the USSSA World Series in Tulsa, Oklahoma and ASA Nationals in Pekin, Illinois July 25th and August 1st.

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