18th Annual Merrill Youth Fastpitch Tournament is in the books

14U Girls finish in first place and 10U took third

The Merrill 14U team took first place in the July 23 tournament. In front, L to R: Abbie Krueger, Miley Krueger Gabby Wheeler, Reese Kaminski, Keeley Benedict, and Rachel Gustafson. Back row, L to R: Bella Kottke, Grace Hoff, Mackenzie Herdt, Morgan Wienke, Olivia Barker, and Lily Hoff. Tina L. Scott photo.


This past weekend, the Merrill Area Recreation Complex (MARC) was the place to be for Merrill youth fastpitch softball action. With 42 teams, great weather, some great play, and a lot of volunteers helped make the 2023 Annual Merrill Fastpitch Tournament a success.
The Merrill Youth Fastpitch Association hosted the 42-team tournament for 8U to 18U and Championship Sunday on Sunday, July 23, 2023, running five diamonds throughout the day. “This is our biggest fundraiser,” said Merrill Fastpitch Association Board President Chad Krueger.
“(We have) numerous great local sponsors and family and friend volunteers that make our tournament one of the most desirable ones for teams all over Wisconsin and Upper Michigan to attend,” he said. “This helps keep our cost for players low. Each Merrill Fastpitch team plays in a minimum of four tournaments a year and fund our hitting facility. Approximately 75 girls participate in our program.”
“We are pretty proud of what we can bring to Merrill,” Krueger said.
All teams played well, he said, but two Merrill teams were the all-stars of the weekend.
“Merrill 14U went 5-0 on the weekend and took first place in their home Merrill Fastpitch Tournament. This is their fourth tournament in a row where they brought home the gold, winning also in Waupaca, Antigo, and Tomahawk,” Krueger said.
“10U had a rough start in their pool play going 0-2,” he said. “They played the number one seed, Copper Country Crush, and went into extra innings winning 8-4. They lost to JBA Clutch 9-2 which put them in the third place game. Again, going into extra innings, they pulled off the win against Wausau 5-4.”
Though they didn’t place this go-round, Merrill’s other youth teams also enjoyed a great tournament of ball play. Here are their results, as provided by Krueger:

  • Merrill 8U had a rough start losing 7-0 to Wausau and 10-0 to Copper Country Crush. They lost a close one to Mosinee Mayhem 3-2 and pulled off the win 3-2 against Wittenberg-Birnamwood.
  • Merrill 9U won their first game 6-2 over the Plover Nationals, lost 16-0 to Copper Country Crush, and lost 9-4 to Wausau.
  • Merrill 11U tied 5-5 against Wittenberg-Birnamwood, won 5-3 over Marshfield, and lost 10-1 against Peshtigo.
  • Merrill 12U won 13-0 over Antigo, lost 11-1 to Copper Country Crush, lost 5-2 against Wittenburg-Birnamwood.
  • Merrill 16/18U started the weekend well, winning 6-3 over Tomahawk and 3-0 against Marshfield. They lost 9-0 to Hallie Elite who eventually took first place. They lost the third place game 6-4 to Wausau.

“The Merrill Fastpitch Board would like to thank all our sponsors, the Park & Rec Department, and all of our program family and friends for making this an especially awesome year,” Krueger said.

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