The DS Select 14U softball team picked a convenient time to play some of its best ball of the season.

The DS Select 14U softball team picked a convenient time to play some of its best ball of the season.

The Select, a Blue Springs-based team, garnered three victories in pool play of the United States Specialty Sports Association Fast Pitch World Series Tournament on Tuesday at Adair Park by topping the Xtreme 98 (Elk River, Minn.) 3-1, Team KC of Lee's Summit 7-2 and Kansas City's Mac N Seitz Heat 15-3. The Select then upended Sioux Falls (S.D.) Diamonds X-treme 7-1 to advance to the winners' bracket.

On Wednesday, the Select downed KC Shock 98 of Independence 7-2 in the first round of bracket play. The Select kept that positive momentum rolling Thursday by against besting Xtreme 98 3-1 to advance to the round of 16 to take on the Oklahoma Athletics later in the day (the score of Thursday’s second game was unavailable at press time).

The formula this week for the Select has been consistent and full-proof: Play solid defense behind steady pitching and avoid silly miscues.

“We haven’t let our mistakes hurt us,” said Select coach Mark Amos, a former softball coach at Grain Valley and William Chrisman high schools. “This is the best time of the year to play our best ball.

“It’s been nice and routine. We try to make the routine plays routine and we’ve turned a double play in every single game in this tournament so far.”

The Select’s double play in the second meeting with the Xtreme was a game-ender when an Xtreme batter smashed a pitch that second baseman Kendra Amos snared and fired back to first baseman Jackie Watson for the final out.

“We’ve been fielding the ball good and we’ve been talking out there,” said Katelynn Cadwell, who pitched a complete game in Thursday’s first game and drew three walks, reached four times and stole two bases. “We’ve been communicating better. It’s usually my mistake (the defense) cleans up.”

Although Cadwell did a nice job avoiding mishaps herself against the Xtreme. In what was a one-run or tie game until the final inning, Cadwell only once allowed multiple baserunners.

Offensively, runs were tougher to come by than in the Select’s previous three games and the lineup totaled 16 strikeouts. But the Select managed to scratch out a run in the top of the third after Erica Woolery stroked a two-out single, moved up on an error and scored on Kendra Amos’ single. Amos put the Select up 2-1 in the sixth when she ripped a liner to left field that was misplayed. The Xtreme committed two more miscues returning the ball to the infield, allowing Amos to clear the bases. Woolery added another RBI single in the seventh.

“We’ve played really well,” Kendra Amos said. “We’ve made all the routine plays. If you don’t make those, that’s what costs you ballgames.”

BLAZE LOSE SLUGFEST: The Blue Springs Blaze produced plenty of offense in Thursday’s consolation-bracket game against the Topeka Crushers. Unfortunately, so did the Crushers and the Blaze's tournament run ended with a 13-12 loss.

The Blaze initially won a play-in game to advance to bracket play by rolling to a 12-4 triumph over the KC Freedom. Then the Blaze pulled out a 4-3 win over the Oklahoma Intimidators to advance to the round of 32, but then fell 8-1 to the Heri-canes 98 (Okla.) to fall back into the consolation bracket.

In pool play, the Blaze fell to the Xplosion ’98 (Tenn.) 9-1 before picking up a 10-7 victory over MWC ’98. They then lost to the KC Blaze 9-1 and dropped a 6-0 decision to the Snocatz 98 (Minn.).

SHOCK ELIMINATED: The Independence-based KC Shock 98 were eleminated after losing to the Northland Cougarz (Mo.) 11-2 Thursday. On Wednesday, the Shock fell to the consolation bracket after losing to DS Select of Blue Springs 7-2.

In pool play, the Shock suffered losses to the LT Blazers (Ill.) 4-3 and the St. Joseph Oz 12-4 before besting the Heri-canes 98 (Okla.) 4-1.

TEAM KC FIGHTS FOR THIRD: The Lee’s Summit-based Team KC was knocked out of the winners' bracket with Wednesday’s 1-0 loss to the Heri-canes ’98, but Team KC responded Thursday with a pair of wins in the consolation round – 5-0 over the Sidekicks (Kan.) and 7-2 over the Northern Illinois Thunder.

Team KC started pool play with a 7-2 loss to DS Select and an 8-5 defeat to the Sioux Falls (S.D.) Diamonds X-treme before besting the Mac N Seitz Heat (Mo.) 7-6.

Team KC is slated to play 2Xtreme (Kan.) at 9 a.m. Friday.

COWGIRLS CLIPPED: The Cowgirls of Lee’s Summit played competitive softball throughout, but eventually came up short after a 7-4 loss to the Xtreme 98 (Minn.) in Thursday’s consolation round.

The Cowgirls dropped to the consolation bracket after a 7-6 defeat to the Northern Illinois Thunder on Thursday. They defeated the '98 Black Widows 6-3 before falling to Xtreme 98. In pool play, the Cowgirls lost to the Oklahoma Athletics 4-2 and the Missouri Pride 7-5 before clipping the Lawrence (Kan.) Phoenix 3-2.

HEAT SWEPT: The Mac N Seitz Heat, based in Kansas City, never got things going and was eliminated with Thursday’s 8-0 loss to the Perfect Storm (Kan.). On Wednesday, the Heat fell to the St. Joseph Oz 13-4 in bracket play.

The Heat was victim of some tough breaks in pool play, suffering a close 7-6 loss to Team KC (7-6) after tying Sioux Falls Diamonds X-treme (S.D.) 4-4 and losing to DS Select (Mo.) 15-3.

Follow Shawn Garrison on Twitter: @GarrisonEJC