Locals play the best in the nation

Three Eastside girls' club softball teams with current and former Mount Si High School softball players played over the Fourth of July weekend in the Colorado Fireworks Softball Tournament, a major tournament in the Denver area that brings in many top teams from around the country. According to the tournament Web site, several colleges sent representatives to the event to scout possible recruits, so this tournament was an opportunity for some of the Valley's top players to make an impression.

The Washington Hurricanes, a U-18 team that boasts recently-graduated Mount Si softball great Kandis Clesson as part of their pitching staff, finished tied for 25th in the event. After a 2-2 pool play record, the 'Canes won their first playoff game against a team from Texas before losing a tough one to a team from suburban Atlanta. The 'Canes then won three straight games in the consolation round before falling to a team from upstate New Jersey to end their run. Clesson is bound for Idaho State in the fall.

The Absolute Blast, a U-16 team that includes juniors-to-be Traci Barclay, Katie Shaw and Kyleen Sweepe, finished tied for 33rd in the tournament after going 3-4 overall against a group of opponents that included a team from Eastern Washington. The Blast were knocked out of the tournament in the consolation round by a team from Kansas City that The Blast had beaten soundly in pool play, 11-0.

Both the Blast and 'Canes played their games in Aurora, Colo., a Denver suburb.

The Xtreme '91 Fury played in the U-14 tournament that occurred in nearby Broomfield, Colo. Things did not go well for the team, which included Mount Si soon-to-be sophomore first baseman Melissa Webster. The '91 Fury lost all four games in pool play and was outscored 19-6 in those pool games. The frustration for the local girls continued in the first round of the playoffs, as they were blown out by a team from Vancouver, British Columbia.

However, all was not lost, as Xtreme finally broke into the win column in their first consolation game, defeating a team from Tulsa, Okla. The good feelings were short-lived, though, as '91 Fury was knocked out in their next game at the hands of a different Tulsa-based team.

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