Northern Wyoming Daily News - Serving the Big Horn Basin for over 100 years

By Alex Kuhn
Sports Editor 

Wildfires season underway with one tournament down


June 1, 2017

WORLAND - The Worland Wildfires 14U softball team kicked off their season with the Heart Mountain Classic in Cody on May 20-21.

The Wildfires got the season off to a slow start dropping all four games in the tournament, the first three in group play and the final one in the single-elimination tournament.

"The competition was tougher than last year's. The Billings Force and Montana Express teams were dominant and the rest were a step below them," said Wildfires coach Dave Coronado.

In their first game the Wildfires held a 5-3 lead over the Billings Bombers going into the final inning but errors caused Worland to give up eight runs as they fell 11-5. Zoe Hernandez led the team with two hits.

In game two the Wildfires struggled hitting the ball with Hernandez recording the only hit as they fell to the Montana Express 13-0.

Game 3 started better for the Wildfires as they took a 2-1 lead into the second inning against the Cody Pride. However, after the Pride were able to string together some hits and put runs on the board the Wildfires could not respond with their bats as the dropped their third game 11-3. Ellie Martinez led the way for the Wildfires with two hits.

Now in the tournament portion of the Heart Mountain Classic, the Wildfires faced the Billings Force. Where their struggles continued as they lost to the Force 13-0. Kylie Fronk was the only Wildfire to record a hit.

"Our defense is better now than it was all last year," said Coronado. "Our catchers need to improve for us to compete against the teams we will be playing in the next month [at the state tournament in Rock Springs]."

Hitting and handling off-speed pitches will be the focus for the Wildfires in practice as they prepare for their next tournament.

"We will work on hitting as we didn't score much this tournament, but it goes that way sometimes especially against top pitching. The girls are seeing more off speeds than in years past and really struggled with the change up last weekend," said Coronado.

The Wildfires will be in Lander this Saturday for a round-robin tournament.


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