Tonganoxie Blue midget team takes league by storm at 15-0
The Tonganoxie Blue midget softball team had a gigantic year.
The Blues went undefeated with a 15-0 mark in the 15-team Tonganoxie Recreation Commission league.
Coached by Paul Gripka, the team scored 118 runs while allowing just seven the entire season.
"We had our close games and we had our other games that were blowouts, but we had a 3-1 game and a 2-1 game," Gripka said.
The season also included a 1-0 victory. That came in the tournament championship game against Bonner Springs in an extra-inning affair.
Brook Kerbaugh and Megan Hummelgaard led the Blues with their arms. Hummelgaard gave up just one run in 20 innings and struck out 30. Kerbaugh gave up four runs in 28 innings and struck out 36.
The pitchers didn't allow a run in the tournament. The Blues defeated Basehor, 9-0, and Edwardsville, 12-0, before shutting out Bonner Springs in the title game.
The league consists of teams from Tonganoxie, Linwood, Bonner Springs, Edwardsville, Basehor and Lansing.
Other Tonganoxie teams also fared well in the league. The green team, coached by Brian Kemp, only lost two games during the regular season. Chuck Clark, meanwhile, coached the yellow team to a 6-4-2 record. Dallas Laffoon's red team went 4-5-3 on the year.
"Overall, I thought the Tongie kids did really well," Gripka said.
The Blues certainly had a good season. As Gripka said, the team "was a really fun group" to coach.
Despite an undefeated season, the team wasn't always perfect. The team, however, always was strong when it needed to be.
"When the hitting wasn't necessarily there, the defense seemed to step up and the pitching was always there also."