EVART - The 12U Michigan (Reed City-Evart) Expos split their first two games last weekend out in Indiana at the National Softball Association World Series.

Friday started the double elimination portion of the tournament with teams competing in pool play earlier in the week.

In the first game, the Expos played the Elk Grove Heat from Illinois, and won 2-0. Both pitchers controlled the game. But it was the Expos who eventually got into the scoring column.

In a 0-0 game in the bottom of the sixth, Kyrah Gray led things off with a single and Mattisen Tiedt was hit by a pitch. Kylynn Thompson hit a line drive to the right fielder, who dropped it, allowing Gray to score from second.

Later that inning, Paityn Enos hit a single to drive Tiedt home for a two-run advantage. Gray pitched a complete game 1-hit shutout, striking out nine and issuing no free passes.

In their second game, the Expos took on the Sox from Northwest Indiana and lost 3-2. The Sox scored first and had a 2-0 lead going into the top of the fifth inning.

In that half inning, the Expos got their two runs back thanks to a 2-run single by Calli Duncan scoring, Jilly Decker and Ella Wilson.

The game ended up going extra innings where the Sox scored on a sac fly to center to hand the Expos a 3-2 loss and put them one loss away from being eliminated from the World Series. Gray and Tiedt also has hits and Kylynn Thompson pitched 7.2 strong innings giving up three hits, one earned run, three strikeouts and no walks. Decker made some solid plays at third base all game long.

"That is a tough game to lose. I thought we had them beat twice late in that game. We had a couple of base running mistakes that came back to cost us. They were a very good team and we can't expect to beat them running the bases the way we did," Expo coach Shaun Gray said.

Pool play

On Thursday, the Expos 12U team started pool play in Highland, Ind.

There were 25 teams to start the tournament and placed into pools and are then seeded into a double elimination tournament based on how they finished in their pool.

The Expos won both pool play games 6-1.

In the Expos first game, they beat Northwest Indiana Lady Vipers from Chesterton Ind. The Expos were trailing 1-0 heading into the top of the fourth inning when their bats finally came alive for five runs and added an insurance run in the sixth to win 6-1.

Tiedt led the team with two hits, two RBIs and a run scored. Gray had a hit, a walk and two runs scored. Enos and Thompson both had a hit, a RBI, and a run. Keira Elder had a hit. Thompson pitched six strong innings giving up one unearned run on three hits with eight strikeouts and one walk.

In the second game, in the bottom of the fourth, the Expos scored to take a 1-0 lead. In the top of the fifth, the Invaders fast-pitch team from Valparaiso, Ind., scored an unearned run to tie the game 1-1. In the bottom of the fifth, the Expos bats erupted for five runs. During that rally, the time limit expired, giving the Expos the 6-1 win.

They also clinched first place in their pool and a first-round bye in the double elimination portion of the tournament.

Thompson had two hits, one RBI and scored a run. Tiedt had a double, scored a run and had three RBI. Gray added a hit, a walk and scored a run. Decker added a RBI and a run. Elder scored a run. Calli Duncan also scored a run.

Kayla Winters had two huge at bats with a sacrifice bunt leading to a run. She added a RBI sacrifice bunt, which ended up being the eventual game winner.

On the mound was Tiedt, who pitched five rock solid innings, giving up only one unearned run on five hits with six strikeouts and only one walk.