The Jamestown Outlaws 18U softball team cut a 6-run lead to two this last weekend.
Unfortunately, the team wasn't quite able to beat out the newly crowned state champions.
The Outlaws went 1-2 in the team's final tournament last weekend in Fargo. Jamestown lost 7-4 in the first round of the 18U fastpitch softball state tournament to Diamond Academy of the Fargo-Moorhead area. The loss put the Outlaws in the loser's bracket but the team did not give up as they worked toward a championship title.
"They jumped out to a 6-0 lead," Jamestown Outlaws head coach Mike Soulis recalled of the first-round loss. "We cut it to 6-4 then we just made some mistakes. We showed that we could play at that level and we were competitive all year. The effort was there all weekend and all year."
Diamond Academy won the tournament topping West Fargo to claim the title.
In game No. 2 of the tourney, Jamestown defeated Fargo-Moorhead Blaze 8-0 anchored by strong pitching performances from recent Jamestown High School grad Rachel Woodley and soon-to-be JHS sophomore Katie Falk.
"Rachel threw really well against the Blaze and Katie had a big homerun which kind of got us going again," Soulis said. "Bats came alive in the second game more than the first. I think all year long Rachel Schiele was batting a .750 with runners in scoring position. That is within her abilities and she rises to those occasions being the athlete she is."
Soulis said Schiele helped nab an early lead for the Outlaws against North Dakota Elite - the team's third and final opponent.
"She's been doing that all year for us," Soulis said. "That kind of jumped us - got us going - got us a lead but then we were unable to hold it. That's kind of how it went but overall we played well with the top teams in the state. Going into the summer we wanted to prove that Jamestown is able to play at that level."
The Outlaws fell to ND Elite 9-7. Elite ended the tournament in third place while the Outlaws took fifth.
The competitive season might be over for some of those on the 18U team but Jamestown still hopes to host a slew of area teams at Trapper Field in a few short weeks.
"We're going to possibly get some of the core of the team along with the 16Us together for our tournament at the beginning of August," Soulis said.
Jamestown normally hosts teams from Canada for the annual "Can-Am" tournament but due to the coronavirus pandemic and travel restrictions, Soulis said the tournament will be limited to area teams.
"Right now we have about five teams in the 18U division that have committed to play in the tournament," Soulis said. "We are going to continue to get better. Every girl got better and every girl contributed to our success this year.
"We have a bunch of girls who are committed to playing softball and who like the game of softball. I am looking forward to watching some of them in the Can-Am tournament and then obviously next year in the spring."