Mustangs race to a fourth-place finish
SPOKANE – The 14U Polson Lakers and 16U Montana Mustangs girls softball teams joined more than 40 other teams from six states to compete in the 2019 “A” Fastpitch Western National Championship held at the Dwight Merkel Sports Complex in Spokane, Washington.
The near weeklong tournament, which started on Tuesday, July 23, and concluded on Sunday with the championships, featured pool play to set the tournament seeding followed by a bracketed double-elimination tournament. The recently formed 16U Montana Mustangs made up of Mission Valley all-star softball players battled their way to a fourth-place showing during the tournament.
The Mustangs opened tournament pool action with back-to-back wins on Wednesday, July 24, by defeating the Menace 16 from Washington 11-3 and Crossfire Rollins in a close 3-2 victory.
In opening bracket play on Thursday, the Mustangs fell 9-1 to the Spokane Stealth. On Friday, facing elimination from the tourney, the Mustangs won all four of their games, defeating Menace 10-2, AZ Hotshots 5-1, LC Lightning 8-6 and the Washington Angels 12-3.
In the quarterfinals on Saturday, the Elite Diamonds slipped past the Mustangs 9-6 ending their stellar tournament run. The Montana Mustangs wrapped up the tournament with an overall 6-2 and a fourth-place finish.
In 14U pool action, the Polson Lakers struggled in both games falling 9-1 to the CDA Crush and 22-2 to the Post Falls Blast. On Thursday, the Lakers were shutout 15-0 by the Spokane Sliders. In Friday’s bracket matchups, the Lakers kept their tournament hopes alive by avenging an earlier pool loss by blanking the Post Falls Blast 10-0, however, they fell to the Montana Avalanche 14-0 in the late Friday afternoon game ending their tournament run. The Lakers finished the tournament with an overall record of 1-4.