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Bandits place second in 4th of July Shootout White Bracket


Byron Pavao

Members of the West Plains Bandits at the 4th of July Shootout in which they finished as runners-up in their bracket.

The West Plains Bandits 14U softball team placed second in the 25th annual 4th of July Shootout held July 4-6 at Spokane's Dwight Merkel Sports Complex and Franklin Park softball fields. The five games over three days wrapped up a busy week for the Bandits, who earned a doubleheader sweep in Spokane Girls Fastpitch Softball Association league play last Wednesday, July 2.

West Plains opened the Shootout with a 7-1 win over the Wenatchee Mustangs Friday, July 4. The Bandits scored three runs in the first on an RBI single by Kaitlyn Kinzel and 2 RBI single from Hannah Petek, adding to the lead with three more runs in the second on Taylor John's RBI single and Grace Lilje's 2 RBI double.

Kinzel added another RBI single in the sixth. John got the win on the mound, striking out five while allowing only one earned run over three innings, with Taylor Pavao coming on in the fourth.

Saturday the Bandits were their own worst enemy against Chewelah, committing six errors in the 8-5 loss to the Hurricanes. West Plains rallied to tie the score at five on Kinzel's three-run home run in the fourth, but a pair of errors and four singles helped Chewelah drive three runs across in the fifth for the win.

John took the loss, with Lexi Gonzalez and Pavao coming on in the third and sixth.

The Bandits wrapped up pool play with a tight, 8-7 win over the Avalanche. Trailing 7-3, West Plains rallied with two runs in the fourth on an RBI single by Petek and sacrifice fly by Pavao and three runs in the fifth on Rachel Barsness's 2 RBI double and an RBI single from Glori Cheevers.

Barsness was 3 for 3 with a double, triple and 2 RBIs while Cheevers went 2 for 3 with 2RBIs. Lilje got the Bandits going with a lead off home run in the top of the first.

John got the win, giving up no runs on four hits while striking out five, relieving Gonzalez in the third.

Seeded in the White Bracket Sunday, West Plains opened with a 15-2 win over the Billings Force to advance to the bracket's championship game. The Bandits scored in every inning but the sixth, with Cheevers going 3 for 4 with 3RBIs and 2 runs while Lilje was 2 for 3 with 4RBIs and 3 runs, Gonzalez 2 for 4 with an RBI and 2 runs and Alex Steinmetz 2 for 3 and a pair of runs.

Gonzalez got the complete game win, giving up two earned runs on three hits while walking four and striking out eight.

In the championship game, however, the number of innings played might have caught up to the Bandits, committing some of their six errors in a nine-run second that helped the Eclipse to a 14-6 win. West Plains took a 5-0 lead in the top of the first on a 2 RBI double by Kinzel and 2 RBI triple by Gonzalez, but only managed one more run after that.

Gonzalez got the loss with only four of her 12 runs allowed earned.

Earlier in the week the Bandits ran their SGFSA record to 10-2 with a sweep of the Stealth (Mt. Spokane), 12-2 in game one and 5-4 in the nightcap. John got the game one win, allowing no earned runs on five hits while striking out five, with Pavao winning game two, allowing one earned run on four hits while John came on in the fourth to get the save, striking out four.

Cheevers was 2 for 2 with 3RBIs and 2 runs in game one while Kinzel 1 for 1 and 3RBIs. In game two, Petek was 2 for 2 with 2RBIs and a run.

West Plains remains in second place in the SGFSA 14U division with a 17-5 record overall. They have a pair of games remaining, a doubleheader July 9 with the Stealth (Mead), before heading into American Softball Association "A" regionals July 19 in Coeur d'Alene.

John McCallum can be reached at


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