by Bradey King
After enjoying all the fun activities at the TC OKC Opening Ceremony the day prior, the 12u Wichita Mustangs came out ready to play some ball on Saturday afternoon.
The Kansas-based team went 2-0 on their first day of pool play, which included a 7-5 win over the Texas Glory 2K6 and later a big 14-3 win over the Lil’ Saints out of Tennessee. It was a typical, scorching hot Oklahoma summer day, but the Mustangs didn’t seem fazed.
“Honestly, it’s the fact of knowing they have two games and two games only today. In softball, there can be five- or six-game days so being able to have that short term focus is a lot easier to keep energy,” said Mustangs head coach Ben Christensen.
In Game 2, the Mustangs applied early pressure with their sticks and speed on the bases. They scored five runs on three base hits in the first inning. In addition, the Lil’ Saints committed several errors pounced upon by the Mustangs.
The team tacked on three more runs in the second inning. Lefty batter Cambell Riordan blasted an RBI double but was thrown out trying to make it to third. She banged up her knee sliding but toughed it out and got on base again later in the game. Overall, she was 2-3 at the dish and scored twice.
“I feel like I played good, and my team did really good too,” said Riordan.
As a unit, the Mustangs had eight hits, three of which were doubles. Two of those doubles came in the fourth and final inning in which the Mustangs plated six more runs.
Khloe Perkins was stellar on the mound for the Mustangs. She had four strikeouts and only allowed three hits and three runs, all of which were unearned.
“It wasn’t my best pitching, but I felt pretty good. I’ve been working on getting my fastball back, because it kind of went away when I started working on other pitches,” said Perkins.
The Mustangs will head to the WCWS on Saturday night to cheer on the Florida Gators. They’ll step on the diamond again themselves Sunday to continue pool play.
“The game plan the rest of the weekend is pretty simple; it’s attitude and effort. That’s the only thing I ever ask for. I tell pitchers to get first pitch strikes and get the leadoff hitter out. And for defense it’s just making the routine plays,” explained coach Christensen. “Some girls press in tournaments like this because of the competition, but I just try to get them to believe that their best is good enough.”