After strong start, Dirt Devil 14s drop two games at state to conclude season


Wayne’s 14U softball team was in a good position to make a run for the crown after taking its first three games in the Class C State Tournament over the weekend in Hastings. Unfortunately, two straight losses on Championship Sunday put an end to those plans. The Dirt Devils finished an incredible season with a final record of 26-10.

The Wayne 14s tried to stay alive Sunday morning against Bennington, but they couldn’t match an opposing run in the sixth inning and fell, 8-7, in the elimination game. The Dirt Devils led by four runs after the first four innings, but Bennington put up four runs in the fifth, and the decider in the sixth, to snatch away the win from Wayne.

Taytem Ellis hit a double and singled on two occasions, while also driving in three runs, to lead Wayne offensively. Sammi Gubbels took the pitching loss after hurling the softball the whole game. She sat two batters, walked four and allowed eight runs on 10 hits. Earlier in the day, the Devils suffered their first loss in the state tourney, as eventual runner-up Polk County used a 10-run third inning to put away the locals 12-3. The loss snapped Wayne’s seven-game win streak leading up to the contest.

Ellis was again the top batter for Wayne with a pair of singles and a run scored. The loss in the circle went to Rylin Hall this time out. She recorded two strikeouts and surrendered three runs on two hits in three innings of work. Things were looking grim for the Dirt Devils in their third tournament game Saturday night, as Creighton held a two-run lead heading into the fifth inning. However, in the top of that final inning, Wayne put up three runs, and then held its opponent scoreless in the bottom of the side to come away with the 3-2 win.

Offensively for the local 14s, S. Gubbels doubled and drove in runs from Kierah Haase and Ellis. Lily Gubbels also got a hit and scored in the victory. S. Gubbels was the winning pitcher with a complete game performance. She allowed just two runs off three hits over the course of five innings. Wayne won both of its games on opening day of the state tourney on Friday, closing out the day with a 10-4 defeat of DMILACO Red in the evening. Wayne’s 14U outhit the opposition, 9-3, with three of those hits coming courtesy of Delaney Kruse, who produced a pair of doubles and a single to bring in three runs during the game.

Handling the pitching duties was Hall, who threw the whole way with two K’s, four walks and four runs surrendered on three hits. Earlier in the day, the Dirt Devils got a six-run win over a neighboring opponent, as they took down Wakefield 7-1. Wayne broke away from a 1-1 tie with three runs in both the third and fourth innings to secure the decision. Kruse again provided a spark from the batter’s box with a double, a single and two RBIs. Jersi Jensen also recorded a double for Wayne's 14U squad. S. Gubbels got the win from the pitcher’s circle with five strikeouts and only one run allowed on one hit through four innings.

Just before the state tournament, Wayne got one final regular season game in in preparation for its big weekend. The local girls hosted fellow state qualifier Creighton last Tuesday, July 6, winning that outing 8-0. Wayne put up three runs in the bottom of the first and one run in each of the five remaining innings to earn the shutout victory. Caitlyn Mostek (two singles), Jensen (double, single) and Ellis (two singles) each recorded two hits for the Dirt Devil 14s. S. Gubbels was again the victorious pitcher with four K’s, one walk and just two hits allowed in five and a third innings.