SilverStrikers slide into Reno
Scott Chester, head coach of the SilverStrikers, along with a caravan of 30 others, traveled to Reno, Nev., this week. They’ve been enjoying a relaxing vacation filled with sailing, swimming, pizza, volleyball and oh yeah dirtying their cleats in the 16th annual Triple Crown Softball World Series.
"It’s pretty cool for a team from Summit County to play in a Triple Crown series hundreds of miles away," he said.
Chester and his SilverStrikers are competing against 71 other teams in the 16-and-under division. Facing players from the states west of the Mississippi, the club team from Summit County has encountered exceptional talent in The Biggest Little City in the World.
The Triple Crown is separated into two different divisions, the 16-and-under and the 18-and-under brackets. Each bracket is populated by two different divisions of teams: the power pool teams, which were filled by invitation, and the open pool teams, which are populated by those who registered for the tournament. The SilverStrikers are in the open-pool division.
Teams play in a typical tournament fashion that places them into gold, silver or bronze championship brackets, as determined by the first few days of softball games.
Following the first games on Tuesday and Wednesday, the SilverStrikers were placed into the bronze bracket. The first game, against a team from Salinas, Calif., called the Magnum Force Shipman, resulted in a loss 8-3. Chester says his team didn’t have a great showing.
"We had sloppy defense and not a whole lot of offense," he said.
Bouncing back from a tough loss, the team rallied and pulled out an 11-2 victory against a team from Washington. In defeating the Washington Phantom, the difference was getting on top in the first inning and playing "more loose," said Chester.
Wednesday night brought the second round of pool play against two teams from California. Both games ended in defeat. Regardless of the showing, Chester says he and his team are eager to just compete and have fun.
"Considering where our girls are from in the snow, we don’t get to play 150 games a year like a lot of these teams," he said. "We’re looking forward to competing and we’ll see what happens."
Thursday morning was the SilverStrikers’ first bronze bracket game against a team from Colorado. In a close match the SilverStrikers ultimately suffered a defeat, 7-9, at the talons of The Thunder Hawks-Morgan.
This places the team in the lowest bracket, which means they still have a chance of reaching the championship round if they don’t lose another game in tournament play.
The SilverStrikers’ next game was scheduled for Friday morning; results weren’t available at press time but live results are available at http://tinyurl.com/c2yt8wt
While Chester says this trip is about playing softball, that hasn’t stopped the team from mixing business with pleasure. After arriving in Reno on Monday, the Summit County representatives enjoyed team bowling at the National Bowling Stadium and swimming in Lake Tahoe.
"It was pretty exciting to come to Reno. This was the first road trip outside of the state," he said. "We’re here to play softball but also a chance for the girls to enjoy a summer vacation."
Key performances in pool play came from athletes representing all three high schools that make up the SilverStrikers: South Summit, Park City and Judge Memorial.
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