Special to The Hays Daily News
The Hays Heat 12-and-under fast-pitch softball team closed out its season with a runner-up finish in the Blue Division of the ASA Heartland VIP World Series at Hidden Valley Sports Complex on July 24 to 27 in Independence, Mo.
The Heat finished pool play with a 4-0 record and out-scored their opponents by a 22-0 margin, including a win over the eventual champion NW Pride (Maryville, Mo.). The pool-play performance advanced the Heat to bracket play as the tournament's overall top seed.
After advancing to the final of the winner's bracket, NW Pride snapped the Heat's 16-game winning streak and pushed them to the consolation bracket semifinal, where the Heat defeated the Overland Park Ignite to earn a spot in the tournament finale.
A second win of the weekend against the NW Pride forced the pivotal "if necessary" game to decide the tournament championship, where the Heat fell just short of the championship.
A 7-2 performance at the World Series capped the season, as the Heat recorded a 28-5 record for the year and scored tournament championships at the Kansas ASA Class C State Tournament in Emporia and at Dodge City's 5-State Border Showdown Series.