7-30-2016 PGF Innovations Boost Fastpitch Softball

Two events hosted Friday night by Premier Girls Fastpitch significantly expanded horizons for18U girls while yielding a sharp focus on players who could be selected for the 2020 USA Olympic Team.

The PGF national championship matched two traditional Gold-level powerhouses: Firecrackers Rico and Cruisers. The Firecrackers, coached by Tony Rico, defeated the Cruisers coached by Mel Siever, 2-0.  Three hits each with a strong performance by Katherine Vestal who pitched out of two bases loaded jams.

Later, the PGF inaugural All American seniors game was won by the West squad 4-3 on a walkoff single bottom 7th.  The West squad was coached by Jennie Finch, with assistants Toni Mascarenas and Crystyl Bustos.  The East squad was coached by Jennie Ritter, with Garland Cooper and Suzy Brazney.

Significantly for the long term interests of the sport, ESPN broadcast both games live.

Equally significant, the stadium at Bill Barber Park in Irvine was full both games.

US international interests are in good hands.  The national team fielded by USA Softball won Gold at its most recent tournament and a relatively young squad will be in the mix for 2020 berths with the youngsters showcased tonight.

Virtually all players in the All American game are committed, with players entering this fall into several dominant college programs including national champion Oklahoma.



Garland Cooper Coached by Jennie Finch
Jennie Ritter Toni Mascarenas
Suzy Brazney Crystal Bustos
First Name Last Name State Position College First Name Last Name State Position College
Nicole Mendes TX P/1B Oklahoma Mia Camuso CA 1B/OF Oregon
Caroline Hedgcock IL P Arkansas Amanda Doyle CA Inf LSU
Kendyl Lindaman IA C Minnesota Dejah Mulipola CA C Arizona
Jordan Roberts FL C Florida Montana Dixon CA C Stanford
Kayla Konwent WI C/3B Wisconsin Tristen Edwards CA OF/C Nebraska
Shannon Rhodes TX 3B/2B Oregon Jessica Harper CA Inf Arizona
Morgan Mc Callum S Kentucky Bradie Fillmore ID SS/P Cal
Taylor Ellis TX MI Baylor Madilyn Nickles CA P/UT UCLA
Claire Jenkins AL MI Alabama Nicole Bates CA SS Washington
Madison Naujokas IL MI JMU Mackenzie Boesel CA SS S. Carolina
Alissa Dalton TX MI/3B Oklahoma Madison Uden AZ MI Michigan
Miranda Elish IN P Oregon Nerissa Eason CA P Oregon St.
Katie Chronister FL P Florida Mariah Lopez CA P Oklahoma
Maggie Balint PA P Oregon Alyssa Loza CA P/1B ASU
Jacquelyn Switzer GA OF Florida Aaliyah Jordan CA OF UCLA
Ciara Bryan GA OF/3B Georgia Jenna Holcomb CA OF Tennessee
Elissa Brown AL Inf/OF Alabama Kelsie Whitmore CA OF/MI Fullerton
Hannah Edwards PA OF Pitt Alyssa Barrera CA OF/2B Utah
Kelbi Fortenberry TX OF/MI TX A&M Unable to Attend
Jaime Hoover GA C/3B Florida Unable to Attend
Bailey Hemphill LA C Alabama Unable to Attend

Spy could not attend and did not have a lineup so more detail was not available.

7-25-2016 USA Wins Gold

Earned it!  USA Softball Women’s National Team claims World Championship title with 7-3 win over Japan

(Photo: Courtesy USA Softball)


Click here for a box score


Surrey, B.C., Canada  —  After earning their right to play in the Gold Medal game of the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Women’s World Championship, the USA Softball Women’s National Team (WNT) hoisted the World Championship trophy in the air after defeating the two-time defending champions Japan 7-3.  This marks the first time since 2010 that the U.S. has won the WBSC Women’s World Championship and marks the program’s 10th overall title.


“The team bought into what we’re trying to do,” said Head Coach Ken Eriksen (Tampa, Fla.).  “We haven’t won a World Championship since Venezuela in 2010.  To be able to do this after battling in 2012 with a brand new team, in 2014 with a brand new team and this time with a staff that has had a few World Championships under their belt speaks volumes.  They earned the right to play in this game.  I told them before the game ‘You earned the right, and that’s what our goal has been.  Now that you earned the right, do something about it.’  I watched them play today, and you look at those 18 athletes and it’s a maturing moment.  With this group, the Elite Team and the coaches we have in the program, it’s going to be an exciting future for USA Softball.”


The U.S. struck big in the top of the first inning, scoring four runs on a two-out rally.  Jazmyn Jackson (San Jose, Calif.) led things off with a double to right field and a walk to Valerie Arioto (Pleasanton, Calif.) put two runners on base.  Ali Aguilar (Orangevale, Calif) then stepped up to the plate, singling with a hard ground ball up the middle to bring the speedy Jackson home from second.  A batter later, Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville, Fla.) stepped up big with a three-run shot over the right field fence to make it a 4-0 USA lead.


Japan would respond in the bottom of the first with a run.  After a leadoff walk from USA’s starting pitcher Ally Carda (Elk Grove, Calif.), a single from Eri Yamada brought home Natsuko Sugama to cut Team USA’s lead to 4-1.


After the U.S. was retired in order in the top of the second, Japan looked to score in the bottom of the frame.  After a one out single put a runner on base, Jessica Moore (Sutter, Calif.) entered the circle for the U.S. and issued a strikeout for the second out of the inning.  A hit batter put two on for Japan, and a single from Sugama almost cut the U.S. lead in half, but a throw in from Haylie McCleney (Morris, Ala.) in center field threw out the runner at home to keep it a 4-1, U.S. lead.


Team USA would add three insurance runs in the top of the fourth inning.  Delaney Spaulding (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) led off the at-bat with a single and advanced to second on a single from Aubree Munro (Brea, Calif.).  This prompted a pitching change for Japan, as Yamata Fujita entered in relief for Yukari Hamamura.  On a 2-0 pitch, McCleney blasted the ball for a three-run shot, giving the U.S. a 7-1 edge over Japan.  Japan would respond in the bottom of the fourth off a solo shot by Yuka Ichiguchi.


Jaclyn Traina (Naples, Fla.) entered in relief in the bottom of the fifth and issued a popup to Spaulding at short before Misato Kawano picked up a solo home run.  Traina was able to work out of a jam, keeping the U.S. up 7-3.


Both sides would be retired without crossing the plate through the top of the seventh, bringing Japan to their final at-bat.  With Delanie Gourley (Lakeside, Calif.) in the circle for the U.S., a fly out to Jackson in right field, a groundout to Carda at first and a strikeout ended the game with the Red, White and Blue earning the 7-3 win.


Moore earned the win in the circle for the U.S., pitching two and two-third innings with one run, two strikeouts and four hits allowed.  Carda finished the game with one strikeout, two runs and two hits in her two innings of work, while Traina issued one hit and one run in one inning.  Gourley closed out the game with one strikeout and one hit in one and a third innings in relief.  Hamamura suffered the loss for Japan, lasting just three and a third innings with seven runs and seven hits allowed.


“I’m so proud of this team,” said Arioto.  “It was so exciting getting to that Championship Game, and everyone contributed in some way.  Throughout the week, we’ve all played for each other.  This team is a family.  We sacrifice for each other and get things done.  It was great to get the result we wanted, and all our hard work has paid off.”


With the win, the U.S. claims its 10th world championship, its first since 2010.  As a team, the U.S. finished the 2016 WBSC Women’s World Championship with a .436 team batting average, 19 home runs, 80 RBI and outscored opponents 83-10.  The pitching staff was lights out, allowing just eight earned runs for a 1.19 ERA.


Team USA will have some time off before returning to Japan for the Japan Cup, which will be held September 2-4 in Takasaki, Japan.  Follow along with Team USA all year long at ASAUSASoftball.com.


7-24-2016 Team USA Edges Japan

USA Edges Japan 4-3


  • USA Women’s National Team Defeats Japan After Late Game Double, 4-3
  • USA Women’s National Team took the last of five lead changes in a back-and-forth affair against Japan, securing a 4-3 victory on Saturday.
  • USA Women’s National Team finally managed to grab the lead after a strong fifth inning. USA Women’s National Team went up for good on an RBI double byAli Aguilar off Yamato Fujita, scoring Valerie Arioto.
  • USA Women’s National Team held off Japan, as Japan was unable to overcome a two-run fifth inning deficit.
  • Japan scored one run in the sixth on a sacrifice fly byNatsuko Sugama. Despite its efforts, Japan couldn’t get over the hump.
  • Kelsey Stewartwas hot from the plate for USA Women’s National Team. Stewart went 3-4 and scored one run. She singled in the first, third, and sixth innings.
  • Ally Cardagot the win for USA Women’s National Team. She allowed three runs over 6 2/3 innings. Carda struck out five, walked three and gave up seven hits.
  • Yukari Hamamuraended up on the wrong side of the pitching decision, charged with the loss. She lasted just 2 1/3 innings, walked two, struck out two, and allowed two runs.
  • The bottom of the second saw Japan take an early lead, 1-0. A solo home run byMana Atsumistarted the inning off.
  • USA Women’s National Team brought home two runs in the third inning, and matched that run total in the fifth. In the third, USA Women’s National Team scored whenAmanda Chidester was hit by a pitch, plating Stewart.
  • “Powered byNarrative Science and GameChanger Media. Copyright 2016. All rights reserved.” Any reuse or republication of this story must include the preceding attribution.


7-24-2016 NPF Roundup



Charge Defeat SY Dawgs 3-1


Conroe, Texas (July 23, 2016) – The Dawgs are back home for game two against the Dallas Charge.


After a walk-off win in last night’s contest featuring the Charge from the bat of Amanda Fama, the Dawgs were eager to continue their momentum for tonight.


However, the Charge were the first to score in the top of the second after Kaylyn Castillo took a walk from pitcher Ellen Renfroe Reed, bringing up Kaitlyn Richardson, who hit a shot to right-center field, scoring Castillo from first (1-0).


The Dawgs answered back on the defensive end as Fama snagged a hard grounder for out number one. A base hit from Taylor Gadbois would result in out number two after she attempted to steal second, but catcher Taylore Fuller with a cannon to Madison Shipman got her on the tag. The third out came from Reed herself, with a strikeout to Renada Davis.


After a scoreless third inning, the Charge were in scoring position after a double off the bat of Kylee Lahners, who was then moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Lauren Haeger. A walk to Castillo put runners on first and third. Kiki Stokes caught a hot line drive from Richardson for the second out. Another strikeout to Brianna Cherry from Reed would leave runners stranded.


The Charge loaded the bases in the top of the fifth, but the Dawgs smoothly worked their way out of the jam with a pop up to Shipman from Davis for one out. Reed continued to hold her own with a strikeout to Lahners for two. The Charge finally broke through with a two-run single from Haeger to score Danielle Henderson and Vicky Galasso (3-0).


In the top of the sixth the Dawgs enter a new battery to replace Fuller and Reed. The new pitcher, her sister, Ivy Renfroe, and catching, Meagan May Whitley. Reed ended the night with an impressive five (5) strikeouts. A double from Nadia Taylor followed by a hit in the 5-6 hole from Galasso put runners on third and first again for the Charge. Renfroe remained composed with a strikeout to Gadbois to bring the Dawgs up to bat.


  1. Stokes takes a hit to the arm to reach first base. Breja’e Washington keeps the Dawgs alive with a single to left field. Haeger gets Myers to strikeout to bring on the final inning.


An impressive double play gave the Dawgs the first two outs in the seventh. Davis reached first on a walk and reached third on a throwing error from May Whitley. Lahners grounded out to Renfroe, making a play to first baseman Lexi Overstreet, who threw a bullet to third, where Davis was leading too far off and was picked off by Fama. A strikeout to Castillo would end the side and carry the momentum for the Dawgs into the seventh.


A solo blast to left field from Shipman put the Dawgs on the board in their last at bat but was not enough to outhit the Charge (3-1).


The Dawgs will be back at home tomorrow for the final game of this Dallas series. First pitch is scheduled for 4:00pm CT.



USSSA Pride Take Game One Against the Akron Racers


Kissimmee, FL (July 23, 2016) – The USSSA Florida Pride took game one against the Akron Racers Saturday night with a series of long balls to secure the 4-1 Pride win.


In the first inning, Megan Wiggins started things off with a leadoff home run that put the Pride up 1-0.


The Racers tied the ballgame at one in the top of the third. Thomas led off the inning with an infield single, followed by AJ Andrews, who laid down the bunt with Thomas on first that got away from DiSalvatore at first to score the first and only run for the Racers on the night.


In the bottom of the fourth, Lauren Chamberlain gave the Pride a 2-1 lead with a solo shot over the center field fence. The second time in three nights Chamberlain has gone yard.


In the bottom of the fifth, the Pride scored two more off of a Kretschman homer to secure a 4-1 lead.


Starting pitcher Jolene Henderson tossed a full game for the Pride and struck out five to earn her sixth win of the season. Henderson kept the Racers to five hits, three of those belonging to Ashley Thomas, who went 3-for-3 on the night.




Final Score


USSSA Pride: 4


Akron Racers: 1





7-24-2016 IOC Decision on Russian Athletes

Decision of the IOC Executive Board concerning the participation of Russian athletes in the Olympic Games Rio 2016


The IOC Executive Board (EB) has today further studied the question of the participation of Russian athletes in the Olympic Games Rio 2016. In its deliberations, the IOC EB was guided by a fundamental rule of the Olympic Charter to protect clean athletes and the integrity of sport.

The study included the discussion of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)’s Independent Person (IP) Report by Prof. Richard McLaren; the decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on 21 July 2016 concerning the rules of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF); as well as the Olympic Charter and the World Anti-Doping Code.

Given the urgency of the situation, with the Olympic Games Rio 2016 starting in 12 days, and the athletes’ entry process already underway, the IOC EB had to take a preliminary decision with regard to the participation of Russian athletes in Rio de Janeiro. Prof. McLaren states in his report that it “fulfils partially the mandate of the Independent Person”. This is why the IOC supports his request to continue and finalise his work. On the other hand, this situation leads to an urgency for the IOC which does not allow it sufficient time for hearings for affected athletes, officials and organisations.

The IOC EB has given the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) the opportunity to present the case of the Russian athletes and the ROC. This was done by Mr Alexander Zhukov, ROC President, at the beginning of the EB telephone conference, which he left immediately following his presentation.

During his presentation, Mr. Zhukov explained that the Russian Federation and the ROC guarantee full cooperation with all international organisations to shed light on the issue in every respect. He also guaranteed that the ROC commits to a complete and comprehensive restructuring of the Russian anti-doping system. In this context, he stressed that the ROC is committed to clean sport and would work towards guaranteeing clean sport in Russia.

He further stated that all Russian athletes selected for the Olympic Games Rio 2016 have been tested over the last six months by foreign anti-doping agencies. Samples were taken by foreign doping control officers and the samples analysed in foreign laboratories. Russian athletes who participated in different competitions in all sports have submitted more than 3,000 doping samples. The vast majority of the results were negative.

The IOC EB discussed the status of the ROC. In this respect, it took note of the fact that the IP Report made no findings against the ROC as an institution.

The IOC EB took note of a letter dated 23 July 2016 from the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF). In this letter the ISSF confirms having received from WADA information about the three “disappearing samples” concerning shooting. The ISSF states that these three samples had been entered, at the time they were reported, into WADA’s ADAMS Results Management System as positives, and all the result management procedures have already been followed.

On the basis of the Findings of the IP Report, all Russian athletes seeking entry to the Olympic Games Rio 2016 are considered to be affected by a system subverting and manipulating the anti-doping system. The IP Report indicates that, due to “the highly compressed timeline”, the IP has “only skimmed the surface of the extensive data available”. The IOC EB therefore came to the conclusion that this view cannot be restricted only to athletes from the 20 Olympic summer sports mentioned in the IP Report.

Under these exceptional circumstances, Russian athletes in any of the 28 Olympic summer sports have to assume the consequences of what amounts to a collective responsibility in order to protect the credibility of the Olympic competitions, and the “presumption of innocence” cannot be applied to them. On the other hand, according to the rules of natural justice, individual justice, to which every human being is entitled, has to be applied. This means that each affected athlete must be given the opportunity to rebut the applicability of collective responsibility in his or her individual case.

After deliberating, the IOC EB decided:

1. The IOC will not accept any entry of any Russian athlete in the Olympic Games Rio 2016 unless such athlete can meet the conditions set out below.

2. Entry will be accepted by the IOC only if an athlete is able to provide evidence to the full satisfaction of his or her International Federation (IF) in relation to the following criteria:

• The IFs*, when establishing their pool of eligible Russian athletes, to apply the World Anti-Doping Code and other principles agreed by the Olympic Summit (21 June 2016).

• The absence of a positive national anti-doping test cannot be considered sufficient by the IFs.

• The IFs should carry out an individual analysis of each athlete’s anti-doping record, taking into account only reliable adequate international tests, and the specificities of the athlete’s sport and its rules, in order to ensure a level playing field.

• The IFs to examine the information contained in the IP Report, and for such purpose seek from WADA the names of athletes and National Federations (NFs) implicated. Nobody implicated, be it an athlete, an official, or an NF, may be accepted for entry or accreditation for the Olympic Games.

• The IFs will also have to apply their respective rules in relation to the sanctioning of entire NFs.

3. The ROC is not allowed to enter any athlete for the Olympic Games Rio 2016 who has ever been sanctioned for doping, even if he or she has served the sanction.

4. The IOC will accept an entry by the ROC only if the athlete’s IF is satisfied that the evidence provided meets conditions 2 and 3 above and if it is upheld by an expert from the CAS list of arbitrators appointed by an ICAS Member, independent from any sports organisation involved in the Olympic Games Rio 2016.

5. The entry of any Russian athlete ultimately accepted by the IOC will be subject to a rigorous additional out-of-competition testing programme in coordination with the relevant IF and WADA. Any non-availability for this programme will lead to the immediate withdrawal of the accreditation by the IOC.

Beyond these decisions, the IOC EB reaffirmed the provisional measures already taken on 19 July 2016. They remain in place until 31 December 2016, and will be reviewed by the EB in December 2016.

Additional sanctions and measures may be imposed by the IOC following the final report of the IP and due legal procedure by the IOC Disciplinary Commission established on 19 July 2016 under the chairmanship of Mr Guy Canivet (Vice-Chair of the IOC Ethics Commission, former member of the French Constitutional Court and President of the French Cour de Cassation) and the IOC EB.

The IOC EB reaffirms its serious concerns about the obvious deficiencies in the fight against doping. The IOC thus emphasises again its call to WADA to fully review their anti-doping system. The IOC will make its contribution to this review by proposing measures for clearer responsibilities, more transparency, better supervision procedures and more independence.

* The IAAF has already established its eligibility pool with regard to Russian athletes.


The IOC EB further studied the request by the Russian track and field athlete, Mrs Iuliia Stepanova, to compete in the Olympic Games Rio 2016 as a “neutral athlete”. Since Mrs Stepanova declined to compete as a member of the ROC Team, the IOC EB had to consider the question of whether an exception to the rules of the Olympic Charter is possible and appropriate. Since this request has important ethical aspects, the IOC EB had asked the IOC Ethics Commission for its advice. The Ethics Commission has heard Mrs Stepanova and IAAF and ROC representatives.

Mrs Stepanova is basing her request on her role as “whistle-blower” with regard to the manipulation of the anti-doping system and corruption involving the WADA-accredited Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory, the All-Russia Athletic Federation (ARAF) and the IAAF. The Ethics Commission applauds the contribution of Mrs Stepanova to the fight against doping. It put this contribution into the perspective of Mrs Stepanova’s own long implication, of at least five years, in this doping system and the timing of her whistle-blowing, which came after the system did not protect her any longer following a positive test for which she was sanctioned for doping for the first time.

After a careful evaluation of the arguments, the Ethics Commission gave the following advice to the IOC EB:

“While it is true that Mrs Stepanova’s testimony and public statements have made a contribution to the protection and promotion of clean athletes, fair play and the integrity and authenticity of sport, the Rules of the Olympic Charter related to the organisation of the Olympic Games run counter to the recognition of the status of neutral athlete. Furthermore, the sanction to which she was subject and the circumstances in which she denounced the doping practices which she had used herself, do not satisfy the ethical requirements for an athlete to enter the Olympic Games.”

The IOC EB accepted the advice of the IOC Ethics Commission, also taking into consideration its above-mentioned decision not to allow any Russian athlete who has ever been sanctioned for doping to participate in the Olympic Games Rio 2016. Therefore, the IOC will not enter Mrs Stepanova as a competitor in the Olympic Games Rio 2016.

However, the IOC EB would like to express its appreciation for Mrs Stepanova’s contribution to the fight against doping and to the integrity of sport. Therefore the IOC invites Mrs Stepanova and her husband to the Olympic Games Rio 2016. Furthermore, the IOC is ready to support Mrs Stepanova so that she can continue her sports career and potentially join a National Olympic Committee.

Lausanne, 24 July 2016


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