Dirt Devil 14s finish second at districts, punch ticket to state tourney in July


The 14-under Dirt Devils from Wayne secured their spot in the Class C state tournament in Hastings July 9-11 with a runner-up finish in the district tournament, played in Scribner over the weekend. After districts, the Wayne 14s are 12-6 overall. In the district championship game Sunday afternoon, the Devils – who failed to eliminate their foe in the preceding game – lost handedly to the Nebraska Venom, 9-1. Kierah Haase singled three times, Taytem Ellis did so twice and Delaney Kruse doubled to lead the local girls at the plate. Pitching-wise, Sammi Gubbels allowed four hits while striking out two batters.

The Venom forced the third – and tournament-deciding – matchup with Wayne by just squeaking past the Dirt Devils in extra innings, 8-7. The local squad’s Caitlin Mostek and Ellis both singled on three occasions, while Carli Canham, Jersi Jensen and Haase each made it to second base with their hits. Gubbels acquired four K’s in this game, but also gave up 11 hits in the loss. The morning game on Sunday was a lopsided affair in Wayne’s favor as the Devils shut out the Oakland Rockets 20-0. Kruse tripled twice in the rout while Ellis, Gubbels and Jensen all doubled.  On the hill, Gubbels allowed just one hit with two strikeouts. Rylin Hall notched one K to finish the final inning for Wayne.

The Devil 14s did manage to get at least one win over the eventual district champion Nebraska Venom. That came in their second game on Saturday, a 5-3 final favoring Wayne. Kruse, Haase and Ellis all doubled and singled in that outing, while Gubbels sat two batters from the pitcher’s circle. Wayne had a little less trouble in its first game on Saturday, getting past West Point in a 12-4 decision. Haase hit a home run and WP walked 10 Dirt Devil batters in the game. Of course, Gubbels was in charge of the pitching once again for Wayne, racking up six strikeouts while giving up just two hits and two walks this go round.

The local 14-under team just got past Bennington in the first game of the district tourney on Friday night. Haase tripled late in the contest to bring in two runners for the 6-5 Wayne win. Hall hit a double for the Devils and Gubbels threw for four K’s with nine hits allowed in the victory. Prior to districts, Wayne competed in a doubleheader on the road against West Point last Tuesday, June 8. The Dirt Devils dropped the first game, 9-7, before battling back to take the second one, 10-4.  The highlight of the night was the nine-strikeout performance from Gubbels in the closing contest.

Wayne played another doubleheader in Norfolk Tuesday night against Kelly’s 14U and will host Pender for two games this coming Tuesday starting at 6:30 p.m. at the Wayne Summer Sports Complex.