It all seemed to come together on Thursday morning for the Kansas Renegades.
The Renegades 16U Gold were clicking in all aspects of the game while on their way to a 13-2 win in five innings over the Washington Angels in the 16U Supplemental Power Pool at the Christopher Complex in Westminster.
The squad from Kansas (Wichita) had experienced an “iffy” first two of games of the Colorado Sparkler tournament, they said.
There was nothing iffy about the way they played against the Angels. The Renegades executed with runners in scoring position, turned several double plays defensively and received solid outings in the circle from pitchers Carley Sterneker and Maria Frank.
“I think we were all really in-sync,” Frank said. “We were all on the same page as far as playing clean and hitting the ball hard.”
They wasted no time getting the ball rolling offensively. The Renegades loaded the bases in the first inning before plating a run. In the second, the Angels’ Baylei Ozuna got the away team on the board with a deep home run.
The Renegades then started to find their groove in their half of the second inng. Hannah Burnett bunted with a runner on to trigger a wild sequence of events. After reaching first base safely, Burnett got into a run-down between first and second. Meanwhile, Sterneker was able to take advantage of the commotion and score from third.
Olivia Steinert hit a blooper into no-man’s land beyond the pitcher’s circle to score another run before Isabel Marcotte launched a bomb to left-center to give the Renegades a sizable five-run lead.
“It all worked. It’s fun to watch them get it,” coach Kevin Steinert said. “It makes my job easy. The less I have to do, the better off we are. They just took care of their business and played outstanding. This last game may have been the best game we played.”
The Renegades were far from done, however. They executed with runners in scoring position near flawlessly in the third. A well-executed squeeze play by Olivia Eubank scored a run and then a Burnett infield single added another as the Renegades tacked on four more runs.
Steinert mentioned his team had plenty of speed, which was on full-display throughout the contest as they stole bases and continually put pressure on the Angels’ defense.
“You look at our team and we have some girls who can hit, but all these girls can run,” he said. “We have to play to what we do well and we have kids who can just flat run. It’s tough to defend that. And it’s fun to watch, it really is fun to watch them run around like that.”
The Renegades added three more runs in the fourth inning to bring the 10-run mercy rule into play. On top of that, Frank held the Angels scoreless the final two innings.
Earlier in the morning, the Renegades picked up a 10-2 win. That game, combined with their performance in the win over the Angels can only do good things for their confidence moving forward in the tournament.
“It’s definitely a confidence-booster knowing we can come out here and compete and be successful,” Frank said.