LONGMONT — There's a pretty good reason why you won't be seeing Lynsey Bauchert playing the infield for Bri Workman's Colorado Stars 16U team this weekend.
You will, however, see her taking her hacks at the plate, which is remarkable in itself since she's still recovering from a broken jaw suffered just about three weeks ago.
That's how much playing in the Louisville Slugger Independence Day Tournament meant to the to-be junior from Erie High School.
"This is the tournament we look forward to all year long and the one we prepare for weeks and weeks for, and I just wanted to play so bad," Bauchert said after the Stars opened pool play on Wednesday in Longmont. "It sucks sitting on the bench, and you just have to get through it."
Bauchert's injury took place during a drill at the University of Nebraska camp she was attending as part of the ever-growing recruiting process most of the girls participating in the IDT undertake.
This was enough to keep her out of commission for the past few weeks, and sitting on the bench really started to gnaw at her. Bauchert convinced her parents and her coach (though not her doctor) that she was healed enough to play, and against the Fresno Force she went 1 for 2 with a run scored while playing the outfield.
"(The IDT) is about getting exposure, and it's a lot (to take on)," Bauchert said, adding she's made some unofficial visits and sent out emails to coaches hoping to latch on somewhere. "You see these coaches here, and it's very nerve-wracking."
"Lynsey's been playing with me for four years, and this being the first time we've been at this tournament, she was really looking forward to it," said Workman. "She had her doctor's orders, but she's close enough to being healed to where her parents said they were okay with it, and if they tell me it's okay I'll put her out there. Lynsey works hard, as all of our girls do, and because of that you don't want an injury to keep her from being able to play in such a big tournament. I'm glad she's able to because it's a big deal."
The Stars have already been to a few tournaments in between the wild weather through the spring, but none really compare to the IDT as far as exposure to college scouts. Last year, according to the tournament's web site, 363 coaches from 255 different schools came to see the action in Boulder, Louisville and Longmont.
The 16U level is getting a lot more attention as recruiting landscape changes. For Workman, the IDT is centered on getting all her girls some time in the game rather than specifically winning.
In that respect, the pair of Wednesday games they played — they went 0-2 against the Illinois Sparks and Force — served a valuable purpose.
"In a tournament like this, it's important for coaches to see the girls in their element, and even some of our pick-up players, we want to get them seen," Workman said. "That's what this tournament is about. You want to get wins, but want to make sure you're doing everything you can to get them to play college softball. It's at a different scale here."
After suffering a 10-1 loss to the Sparks, the Stars rebounded to make a game out of their finale for the day, falling 8-6. Parker Dannenberg (Legacy High) had a two-run single in the third inning, Jazmin Means (Holy Family) went 1 for 2 with a run and an RBI. Bauchert's teammate at Erie, Ciarra Nelson, scored a run and completed a double play in the top of the fifth inning that helped keep the Stars in the game.
Casey Wagner (Silver Creek) and Amanda Kowalski (Longmont) helped in the defensive effort on Wednesday. Pool play continues Thursday and Friday.
"The thing that I liked to see was, that first game they struggled but they didn't let that get to them," Workman added. "The next game, everything changes and to me, that's what a good team does."
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Illinois Sparks 10, Colorado Stars-Workman 1
At Centennial Fields (Game 1)
Stars 000 10 — 1 4 2
Sparks 063 1x — 10 12 1
L — Morgan Clausen.
Stars hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Bella Bravo 2-0-0-0, Audrey Kobl 2-0-1-0, Lynsey Bauchert 2-0-0-0, Ciarra Nelson 2-1-1-0, Brittany Phillips 2-0-2-0, Parker Dannenberg 2-0-0-0, Casey Wagner 2-0-0-0, Jazmin Means 2-0-0-0, Tiffany Vigil 2-0-0-0, Amanda Kowalski 1-0-0-0. Totals 19-1-4-0. 2B — Phillips.
Stars pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Clausen 1.2-7-6-6-0-1, Brittany Phillips 2.1-5-4-4-2-0.
Fresno Force 8, Stars-Workman 6
At Centennial Fields (Game 2)
Force 112 22 — 8 7 2
Stars 022 11 — 6 6 5
W — Emily Puente. L — Brittany Phillips.
Force hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Tori Mueller 2-1-0-0, Ashley Kincaid 2-0-0-0, Arianna Navarrete 1-0-0-0, Kristin Scheidt 2-1-1-0, Jordyn Martinez 2-1-0-0, Emily Puente 3-2-2-2, Micaela Navarro 1-0-1-2, Kristen Gaston 1-0-1-0, Emily Perez 2-1-0-0, Haivyn Sanchez 2-0-0-0, Alexis Diaz 1-1-1-0, Ariana Cuaron 2-1-0-0, Marisa Garza 2-0-1-1, Rachel Duarte 1-0-0-0. Totals 24-8-7-5.
Stars hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Bella Bravo 2-0-0-0, Audrey Kobl 3-1-1-0, Brittany Phillips 3-1-0-0, Ciarra Nelson 3-1-0-0, Lynsey Bauchert 2-1-1-0, Parker Dannenberg 1-1-1-2, Tiffany Vigil 2-0-1-2, Jazmin Means 2-1-1-1, Rachael Schroll 3-0-1-0, Casey Wagner 2-0-0-0. Totals 23-6-6-5.
Force pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Puente 2-2-2-2-1-1, Rodriguez 0.2-2-2-2-2-0. Puente 0.1-1-1-0-1-0, Lung 2-1-1-1-2-5.
Stars pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Phillips 5-7-8-4-4-0.