GJ Havoc dominates at state tournament to win U16 title

SPECIAL TO THE SENTINEL The Grand Junction Havoc went 7-1 last weekend in the Under-16 USSSA state tournament in Loveland to win the title. The Havoc won their final two games by a combined score of 23-5 to claim the crown.

The Grand Junction Havoc lost only one game at the Under-16 USSSA state softball tournament last weekend in Loveland.

The Havoc played eight games, including the final two against the same team to win the title. The Grand Junction team placed sixth in the tournament last year.

Coach Brandi Power said only three players returned from last year's team, which is made of current or future high school players from Central, Grand Junction and Fruita Monument. Most of the team is made up players from Central.

"We really dominated through most of the tournament," Power said.

But it still took two good performances to win the title after the Havoc lost to a Denver team in the double-elimination tournament. After the loss, the Havoc had to win the next two to capture the state title.

The team responded, winning 11-2 and 12-3 in those final games, pounding out 27 total hits.

The Havoc relied on two pitchers — Kelty Key and Mikayla Sturns — for all eight games in the tournament.

Key pitched the final two games.

In the first game, Sierra Dunham had two hits, including a home run, and had three RBI.

Jaeda Garcia had three hits, two doubles, and scored three runs, and Katie Sparks went 4 for 4 with a double and four RBI.

In the final title game, Key played a big role both in the circle and at the plate.

The Central player had a double and three RBI.

Erica Broderson, who attends Grand Junction High School, had three hits and scored three runs from the leadoff spot.

Mya Murdoch went 2 for 2 with two runs scored and two RBI.

Sturns, Dunham and Kayla Coleman each had two RBI.

Not only did the Havoc go through the tournament with only two pitchers, they also had only two catchers — Dunham and Shaelyn Grant.

"They did a fantastic job being the only two pitchers," she said of Key and Sturns. "Our only two catchers also did really well."

Power also praised Murdoch's hitting and defense at shortstop.

Through the summer season, the team put up some impressive offensive numbers.

Sparks had 48 hits, 12 doubles and 35 RBI. Grant led the team in RBI with 41 and also had a team-high seven home runs.

Sturns had 40 RBI and six home runs, Garcia had 52 hits and 12 doubles and Dunham finished with three home runs, 13 doubles and 36 RBI.

Power said the team excelled in all facets of the game.

"The girls played well as a team, only giving up three errors in the two championship games," she said. "Their bats were hot entire tournament and that's what wins ballgames. It's been my pleasure watching these girls on and off the field."

Recommended for you