With strong pitching and solid hitting the Heat have three second place finishes. The outdoor season opener in Auburn in early May was a success. The Heat went 5-1 beating the Presque Isle Panthers 5-1, the Line Drive Maroon 8-1 and 18-2, the Mid Michigan Lightning 3-1, and the Saginaw River Dawgs 7-2, losing only to the MBS Jets in the championship game with a score of 6-4.
Holding down the pitcher’s mound were Jaden Berthume, Hallie Reed, Suthern Schuler, and Alyssa Aultman. Protecting the plate the Heat had strong showings by Gabby Airbets, Averie Bassage, and Cassidy Ogg. Rounding out the field playing strong offense and defense were Zoe Merrilat, Olivia Raymond, Lexi Aultman, Caitlin Vulders, and Lainey Veenkant.
The following weekend at the Mt. Pleasant Driller’s Tournament the Heat started out cold like the weather only winning one of the three pool play games, beating Lady Explorers 12-4, and losing to the Millington Cardinals 13-1, and the Down River Diamonds 4-0.
Sunday a day of vengeance and redemption as well as warmer weather the Heat turned it up and battled through a tough bracket. The Heat beat the Down River Diamonds in a rematch 7-3. A rematch from the previous week’s championship saw the Heat beat the MBS Jets 7-5 vaulting them into the final game against a tough Millington Cardinals team. The Heat fell short in the championship game losing 7-1 with good performances from Gabby Airbets, and Jaden Berthume both going 2 for 3 in the final game.
In their third weekend of work the Heat found themselves in beautiful Charlevoix, Michigan. They continued their winning ways going 5-1 on the weekend. In pool play the Heat went 3-0 beating the Petoskey Blaze 13-9, the Traverse City Thunder 16-0, and the Alpena Thundercats Green 5-0. The highlight of the day was a grand slam, over the fence, home-run off the bat of Hallie Reed to jump start the 16-0 win.
The bats caught fire on Sunday in bracket play as Lainey Veenkant and Gabby Airbets went 3-3 against the Soo Legacies leading the way for a 16-1 win. Zoe Merrilat, Suthern Schuler, and Gabby Airbets all went 2-3 against the Petoskey Blaze leading to a 14-0 win in the semi-final.
The Heat pitchers Jaden Berthume, Alyssa Aultman, and Hallie Reed combined for 32 strike-outs over the weekend leading them to the championship game versus the Traverse City Cherry Bombs. The Heat flame was extinguished by a hard hitting Cherry Bomb team 6-0 in the final, leaving the Heat with another second place finish.
In the Heat’s most recent tournament the 12u Girls finally finished what they started playing winning ball all weekend long. The Heat went 5-0 in the Traverse City Northern Classic. The Heat beat the Traverse City Thunder 17-3, the Lakeshore Storm White 8-1, the Ogemaw Outlaws 14-2, and the Michigan Elite 3-2.
The Heat met the TC Cherry Bombs in a rematch of the Charlevoix tournament finale the week before won by the Cherry Bombs. In the Northern Classic Final, the powerful Cherry Bombs team held a 3-0 lead going into the bottom of the fifth inning. The Heat erupted for four runs that three outs later proved to be enough for the win.
Caitlin Vulders got the inning started getting on base hustling to first on a dropped third strike. Lexi Aultman singled down the third base line putting runners on first and second with one out. Lainey Veenkant doubled to right scoring Vulders for the first run against the Bombs. Gabby Airbets had two strikes and three more foul balls before doubling to the left center gap scoring Aultman and Veenkant tying the game at three. Suthern Schuler hit an infield single to third allowing Airbets to score with some spot on base running.
Going into the top of the 6th inning, Jaden Berthume’s pitching and the Heat’s defense prevailed and went 1-2-3 to win the championship. Not only did the 12u Heat team win but the 14u and 16u completed the Heat sweep at the Northern Classic.