THORNTON – Texas Threat head coach Julie Wyrick may have brought her youngest team to Colorado but after back-to-back victories to open the 2021 18u Open campaign, her squad is playing like veterans.
Opening with a 4-3 victory over The Bat Company, the Threat backed it up with a resounding 18-2 win over Intensity Midwest – Ganeff.
“By all means, today met and exceeded my expectations,” Wyrick said. “We’re a very young team with plenty of 2023’s and only a few 2022’s. A lot of these kids have never been here.
“We were going to tread lightly and see how it went. We played a very good team in the first game and the kids came out and really competed. That really energized me. I felt like if we were going to give that effort all week, I can’t ask for more than that.”
Right from the first pitch in game two, it was clear Wyrick was at least going to see the same intensity she’d seen earlier that morning.
Each of the first three batters reached safely and although Texas would leave a pair of runners stranded, it remained evident they posed a significant scoring threat.
Starting pitcher Dy’Osarithz (Sari) Travis surrendered a pair of runs in the bottom of the opening inning but quickly found the right gear to cool off Intensity.
“I have to credit coach Julie,” explained Travis. “I tend to get in my head a lot and she told me to settle down. I always stay in the air when I’m not pitching great. She told me to get down and get faster. It worked.”
In the second and third frames, Travis was downright untouchable. Facing the minimum six batters, she struck out four and allowed her offense to go to work.
“I just kept going back to my curveball and it kept working,” Travis said.
“Her screwball was filthy too,” added Wyrick. “I called a couple of screwballs there and thought to myself, ok she’s working now.”
The Threat had tied the game in the top of the second when both Annie Beckendorf and Erin Plunkett crossed home. However, Texas looked to break things open in the third and fourth innings.
Jaccie Burton led the third off with a single and set the scoring train was in full motion
In total, nine players came to the dish, including Kaylin Jackson who launched a deep two-run home run to centerfield.
“The pitch before the home run, she came inside,” Jackson explained. “I thought if she did that again, I was really going to swing hard. She did, and I hit one over the fence.”
Jackson would finish 4-4 with four RBI, three runs scored, a home run and a triple shy of the cycle.
“I was seeing a lot of inside pitches today,” Jackson said. “I don’t usually see that many pitches inside. I was able to locate well and put the bat on the ball.”
Following a five-run third inning, Texas kept the pedal to the metal with an eight-run fourth inning that included Jordan Iverson’s first home run, a three-run shot, since joining the team.
“To unleash the bats like this is breath of fresh air for us,” said Wyrick. “Our roster is light so getting everyone involved isn’t too difficult but to get experience playing in Colorado is huge. We know how to play in Texas but Colorado is a whole different ballgame.”
Wyrick and company certainly are off to a torrid start but everyone knows this week is a marathon, not a sprint to get to Sunday’s championship game.
“It’s up to us as teammates to keep each other energized,” Travis said. “When they’re up and cheering loud for me, it always juices me up. We’ll all have to do the same.”