State Champions of State Softball in Gillette [PHOTOS]
The USA Softball of Wyoming State Championships were held in Gillette at two complexes last weekend, where 11 champions were crowned in various age divisions and levels.
Four communities won two titles at the 2021 state tournament. Those were Gillette, Laramie, Sheridan, and Wheatland. Cheyenne, Riverton, and Rock Springs also won crowns.
A total of 63 teams participated in the hot weather at either the Energy Capital Sports Complex or Bicentennial Park.
Here’s a brief recap of the champions from each age division/bracket at this year’s state tourney. Also included are the second and third-place teams.
8U Machine Pitch
Laramie won its fourth consecutive state championship in the 8U division. After winning both their pool play games by small margins last Friday, Laramie rolled through three games on Saturday. They beat the Lil’ Rebels from Casper 8-0. Laramie topped the 8U Lady Lobos from Wheatland, 14-5, and then beat the Lander Legends, 13-5, in the championship game. Lander came in second after completing the weekend with a 3-3 record. The 8U Lady Lobos from Wheatland took third place after a 2-3 mark.
The Laramie Lightning rolled past the competition to take the title in 2021. Laramie dominated its opponents. How so? They out-scored them 75-12 in five games. Laramie was 2-0 in pool play and then defeated Cheyenne Extreme (20-4) and Gillette Blue Jays (5-3) to reach the title game. The Lightning dominated in the championship with a 17-0 win over Sheridan. The Mystix was runner-up after a tough start. They went 0-2 in pool play, lost their first bracket game but battled back all the way to the title contest. They finished 4-4. The Gillette Blue Jays took third place.
The Wheatland Lady Lobos split their pool play games but went 4-0 in bracket play to claim the crown in 2021. Wheatland defeated Casper, Teal Deal (Cheyenne), Buffalo, and Casper again for the championship. They outscored opponents 69-26 in bracket play. The Casper Rebels split their pool play games. They lost to Wheatland at the start of bracket play. Casper rattled off four straight wins before another defeat in the title game. The Rebels finished second. Buffalo Heat took third place in this division.
Sheridan Mystix Gold claimed the top spot in this division for 2021. They won their pool play games by 14 combined runs. Then, Sheridan rolled through three straight foes by a margin of 62-12. Mystix Gold was challenged in the championship by WYCO. Sheridan scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh and won on a walk-off error for the title. WYCO placed second, while the Laramie Lightning took third place in the division.
Wheatland won this title for a second straight year. Combined with a title in 2019 at 10U, this group has won three in a row. The Lady Lobos won both their pool play games and took the top seed into bracket play. Wheatland defeated the Razor City Renegades (20-3) and Sheridan Mystix Black (8-6) for a spot in the championship. The Lady Lobos beat Laramie 20-8 in the title game. Laramie placed second with a 5-3 weekend record. They won three straight elimination games to get to the championship before they fell short. Sheridan placed third.
WYCO won all six of its games on its way to capturing the crown in 2021. After a 2-0 pool play record, WYCO defeated three different Gillette programs, including Wicked 307 twice, once in the semifinals, and once in the championship for the division title. After a blowout 16-3 victory in the first meeting, WYCO won the title on a walk-off error, 15-14, in the championship. Down 13-10 in the sixth, WYCO scored four runs in that frame and one in the seventh for the victory. Wicked 307 from Gillette placed second, while Gillette Havoc took third in this division.
This was the only bracket to have an “if necessary” second title game to determine its winner. The Sheridan Mystix defeated Torrington twice for the championship. Sheridan split its pool play games last Friday. They won their first two bracket games by a combined score of 33-11. The Mystix lost to the Thunder 9-8 and fell into elimination play. A 9-1 victory over the Valor Valkyrie put Sheridan in the championship against Torrington. Sheridan dominated the first title game, 23-3, which forced a second, winner-take-all, championship game. The Mystix defeated the Thunder again, 13-7. Torrington took second place after a 0-2 mark in pool play, they rattled off three wins in the bracket to get to the championship round. The Valkyrie from Casper claimed third place in this division.
16U B & 18U Rec
These two divisions were combined with only five total teams entered.
The Gillette Havoc went undefeated and captured the 16U B crown. Gillette won their two pool play games 22-4 and earned the top seed in the combined bracket. They beat Riverton, 20-2, and WYCO, 10-1. In the championship, Havoc re-matched against WYCO and shut them out, 12-0. Gillette outscored their opponents in five games, 64-7, en route to the title. WYCO placed second, while the Laramie Lightning took third.
As the 18U Rec team that lasted the longest in bracket play, Riverton was awarded the first place trophy for that 18U Rec division.
The Rock Springs Storm won their second straight championship in the 16U Rec division. Rock Springs won both their pool play games last Friday. A narrow 4-2 victory in their first bracket game was their only contest on Saturday. A 9-5 victory over Laramie put them into the championship. The Storm played Laramie again, this time for the title. Rock Springs trailed 9-1 in the fourth inning. The Storm responded with 16 unanswered runs over the next two innings and won the championship, 17-9. Laramie placed second, while Lander placed third.
Wicked 307 from Gillette earned the state championship in this division. After a 1-1 mark in pool play, Wicked 307 earned the No. 2 seed for the bracket. They defeated the Gillette Blue Jays 8-1 in their opener. In a rematch of a 1-run loss in pool play to the Casper Crush, Wicked 307 took control and rolled to an 11-3 victory. Wicked 307 faced the Blue Jays again but this time for the title. Wicked 307 held a 6-1 lead through four innings and held off a Blue Jays comeback. The final was 7-6. The Gillette Blue Jays placed second, while the Casper Crush took third.