[Nameplate] Fair ~ 90°F  
Feels like: 97°F
Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016

Tremors have teams shaking in their cleats

Sunday, August 1, 2004

Allison Blurton delivers a pitch.
SIKESTON - A local 16-and-under softball team has been tearing up local competition for most of the summer.

And recently, they stunned many by winning the Missouri state championship in the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) B Tournament.

The Southeast Tremors, based out of Sikeston, will be competing in the Amateur Softball Association 16-and-under Western National B Tournament this week in Springfield, Mo. at Killion Park.

The Tremors, coached by Ron Brinkmeyer and Kiki Curtis, have posted a 34-3 record this season.

The team went 5-0 in the state tourney in Kirksville where 13 teams were vying for the title. The Tremors defeated Jefferson City 1-0 in the championship game.

Molly Brinkmeyer makes a throw to first.
"That's quite an accomplishment," said Brinkmeyer. "We started these kids together at 12-and-under and this has been a growing team."

Brinkmeyer's girls have had success in the past, taking third in the ASA state tournament two years ago and second in the National Softball Association state tournament last season.

But this is the first state championship the girls have brought home.

"I'll be honest with you, I didn't think we could win it," said Brinkmeyer. "This year I figured we could again finish third or second place. But these girls didn't let up. They had the competitive attitude. They went in playing to win and they did it. They pulled it off."

With the state championship win, the Tremors got to bypass the regional competition in Olathe, Kansas, and received a free ticket to the national tournament in Springfield.

Brinkmeyer and Curtis have been coaching most of this same group of girls for a number of years.

"She has assisted with me the last five years," said Brinkmeyer. "She works with my pitchers and my catchers. She does infield drills. I work with the batting and hitting and some infield and outfield. Our practices are usually two hours each. It's very intense."

There are 13 team members on the Tremors, seven of which reside in Sikeston. There are also two players from Poplar Bluff, two from Cape Girardeau, one from East Prairie and one from New Madrid.

The Sikeston players are Julie Annesser, Barbara Hobbs, Allison Blurton, Molly Brinkmeyer, Paige Silverthorn, Erin Wibbenmeyer and Beth Ziegenhorn.

Shannon Hutson and Kris Ploetze are the Poplar Bluff natives. Hailey Fuller and Whitney Ford are from Cape Girardeau.

Lydia Thomure resides in East Prairie and Amelia Porter is from New Madrid.

Brinkmeyer says his team is well-skilled in most areas, but the strength is the offensive production up and down the lineup.

"We have excellent hitters -- we have one of the best hitting teams in this area," said Brinkmeyer. "When I really got started on this, I figured, 'what the heck, major league ball players don't go out there and constantly bunt and slap. Why can't girls be taught to hit as hard as they can time after time?'

"That's the attitude I took. I got my own pitching machine for Christmas and I started working these kids. I just worked the heck out of them. Now I've got two machines and we use them every time. It makes a difference. I do feel I've got one of the best hitting teams."

Blurton, Brinkmeyer, Ploetze and Silverthorn all carry a batting average of over .470.

But it doesn't stop there. In addition to having a stellar offensive club, the Tremors are also blessed with four solid pitchers in Blurton, Brinkmeyer, Ploetze and Thomure.

He says all four could be the staff ace and can go out and win the big game.

Brinkmeyer says his pitchers will have to have their 'A' game if they are to compete in Springfield.

"If my pitchers are up and my girls are on, then we can do well," he said. "I'm not saying we can win, but I'd sure love to get in the top five. I think our girls have that capability. If they're really on, then this is a tough team."