HIBBING — Softball was the name of the game at Vic Power Field as the 2018 Hibbing U12 and U14 Red Ore Rampage took place Saturday.
Hibbing had three teams in the U14 portion of the tourney, and one team in the U12 tournament.
One of the teams, coached by Bryan Terzich, finished pool play with a 3-0 mark.
Hibbing beat Western 15-1, then downed Virginia 9-2. In game three, Hibbing took on Hibbing, coached by Jen Boben, and won that game to stay undefeated.
What did Terzich like about his teams’ game against Western?
“The kids played well,” Terzich said. “They played disciplined. Ayva (Terzich) pitched well. She threw strikes and kept the ball down. We took advantage of some errors. We tried to get out of the sun and heat as quickly as possible.”
Against Virginia, Hibbing lost some focus, but the Bluejackets were still able to come away with the win.
“Playing in the summer, when it gets hot, the girls’ minds start to wander,” Terzich said. “They stayed with it, pushed through, made the plays when they needed to and pulled out the victory.”
In game three, Terzich’s team fell behind Boben’s team 1-0 early, but they started hitting the ball in the fourth inning and pulled away for that win.
“They came ready to play,” Terzich said. “These tournaments get long, the days get hot and you have to come ready to play. They showed some tenacity in coming back and scoring some runs and fielding and catching the ball.
“They turned a couple of double plays, which is nice.”
Hibbing will now enter the double-eliminating portion of the tournament today, which begins at 10:30 a.m., today.
It’s a good way to end the softball season.
“This is our summer tournament,” Terzich said. “It helps with our summer program to buy stuff for the girls. It pays for the facilities, and all of the things that come with it — the umpires — and everything else.
“It helps, to hopefully, down the road, to buy a pitching machine and screens, so we can have practices. Maybe another batting cage. It brings the program to where it needs to be.”
Boben’s team didn’t quite fare as well, with a mixture of U12 and U14 players.
They lost two games in the morning, but they did show up to play in the game against the other Hibbing team.
“We struggled a little bit in the morning, and lost by some runs, but we came to play for this third game,” Boben said. “Earlier in the day, we came out a little cold with our bats. We struggled batting-wise.
“We had some good defense and our pitcher, who was just in her second game, got hit a little bit, but she turned it on in this third game. I’m proud of these girls.”
Boben said it’s always an interesting game when the two Hibbing teams square off.
“It’s an interesting rivalry year to year,” Boben said. “It’s one of the best played games between the two teams because they both show up and play hard. These girls wanted to put their best efforts out there. They did.”
Boben’s team did go up 1-0, and they held Terzich’s team scoreless through the first three innings.
“I thought, ‘Wow, if they don’t get their bats alive on the other side, we have a go at this thing,’” Boben said. “For me as a coach, that was great game to be a part of.”
Terzich’s team came alive and a two-run triple by Ayva Terzich put the older Hibbing on top for good.
They may have been behind, but Boben’s team didn’t let that big inning get to them.
“They acted pretty good,” Boben said. “In the past, maybe we wouldn’t have handled it as well as we did, but we came around and figured that we could hit, too.”
Boben reiterated Terzich’s remarks about the tournament.
“I love that we get to play on our home fields,” Boben said. “There was some really good competition this year. It’s fun to come to a tournament when local teams show up, and they’re here to play.
“This is a good tournament.”