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Youth Sports

Local Trio Lead Club Softball Team to Title at Prestigious Colorado Sparkler

Hailee Rios, Anya Schmitz, Siena Wagner Provide Spark for the Firecrackers Elite

Local softball players, from left, Siena Wagner, Hailee Rios and Anya Schmitz helped the Firecrackers club team win the 16U Elite Division title at the Colorado Sparkler tournament. Click to view larger
Local softball players, from left, Siena Wagner, Hailee Rios and Anya Schmitz helped the Firecrackers club team win the 16U Elite Division title at the Colorado Sparkler tournament.  (Courtesy photo)

Three local prep softball standouts won a prestigious national tournament as members of the Firecrackers Elite club team out of Huntington Beach.

Siena Wagner and Anya Schmitz, of Dos Pueblos, and Hailee Rios, of San Marcos, competed at the week-long Colorado Sparkler in Westminster, Colo., last week and helped the Firecrackers capture the 16-under Elite Division championship.

The Firecrackers went 9-2 in the tournament and rolled to a 10-2 victory over the nationally ranked Grapettes of the Bay Area in the championship game.

Rios played a huge role in the championship bracket. She hit home runs in all three games, including a game-winning, three-run blast in the seventh inning of a come-from-behind 10-6 semifinal win over a team from Georgia. She had four homers in the tournament and led the team in RBIs.

Rios also pitched five innings of shut-down relief in the dramatic semifinal victory. The Firecrackers rallied from a six-run deficit in that game.

In an earlier game, the team erupted for nine runs in the final inning to overcome a four-run deficit and beat the Las Vegas Rage.

Over the course of the week, the Firecrackers defeated several nationally ranked opponents, including teams from Nevada, Tennessee, Texas, Missouri, Georgia and California.  In Sunday's championship bracket, the team went 3-0 and outscored its opponents 25-8.

Wagner played exceptional defense in the middle infield throughout the tournament and contributed offensively with a .364 average and five extra-base hits. Schmitz was used as a utility player and made several clutch defensive plays at both third and second base. She also led the team in stolen bases.

The local players and the Firecrackers will compete for a national championship at the PGF Premier Nationals in Huntington Beach during the first week of August.

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