Rising Stars Fall Showcase
October 21 2011
Rising Stars and Triple Crown Sports substantially altered the traditional format for exposure tournaments. To be sure, there were dozens of games involving hundreds of players at different age/class levels – 156 teams playing in 26 6-team brackets 16U, 18U, 18 Gold.
But within this traditional format, there were three new features showcasing individual players as well as teams. Twelve pre-selected teams played what was titled a “TV bracket” beginning with a typical ASA-type bracket. This produced a championship game won by Worth Firecrackers 7-0 (see game below). The game, which was televised by CBS Sports Network, was preceded by an All-American TV game in which top players were assigned to either Red or Blue teams, and rotated on an inning-by-inning basis into teams of ten. The format was bent by the coaches to ensure that every players was given at least one at-bat. Videos of the All American games were sold by TCS. Meanwhile other players were also assigned into 10-player lineups for similar games on six other fields, games which also showcased 16U players. Bracket play was suspended from 1pm to 5pm for these focus activities.
The players, travel ball coaches and college coaches we talked to were generally enthusiastic about the formats – which have the same limitation for college coaches as traditional bracket games at all tournaments – more action than they (or Spy) can monitor. Players said they liked the format because it gave them opportunities to play with new teammates, while also comparing themselves on a position by position basis. Bracket play always involves mismatches between teams of non-comparable skills; the all-star format tended to match players at similar skill/experience levels.
TV Championship Game
Worth Firecrackers 7, AZ Storm 0
Tera Blanco (Michigan) dominated the game, pitching and hitting. Andrea Welins pitched the first three innings for Ariszona, relieved by Kelsey Stevens. The Firecrackers scored three in the bottom 1st. Nicole Dewitt (2014) led with a double; one out, Blanco walked; Chelsea Gonzales (2013 Arizona) doubled in both runs, then scored on a passed ball. Carissa Sherman led the 2nd with a single, scored on Patricia Parks rbi double. In the 5th, Stevens pitching, Blanco jacked a 3-run homer. 7-0.
Other highlights: Blanco loaded the bases with one out in the top 2nd, but worked out of the jam. Game afforded a view of the two Lindvall sisters who will follow Janine (UCLA) into college ball. However, catcher Janelle has committed to Oregon. Lauren, a 2014, sparkled at 3rd glove and arm.
All American Showcase
Although the 10-man lineups were set beforehand, there was a dizzying pace as the coaches altered lineups to ensure every player had an at-bat, eg, , if all 10 players did not bat in their assigned inning, the coaches rotated them into the lineups for later innings.
Noted on Team Blue: Shamrock catcher Erica Fields (James Madison) displayed a strong, flat throwdown. Stacy Cavazos (So Cal Athletics) caught a line drive in left field and doubled off a runner. Catcher Sydney Broderick (Ashburn Shooting Stars) also showed a cannon. Kelsie Sanches (Team Florida) doubled in the first run for Team Blue; Kelsey Wood (TX Elite)had the other run, a homer. Sabrie Neeb (Shamrocks) doubled. Constance Quinn (LA Voodoo) singled, stole 2 bases. Kylie Mulholland (Newtown Rock) laid down a bunt for a single and beat the throw.
Team Red: Kelsey Stewart (Wichita Mustangs) singled and scored on a sac fly by Maddie Sumrall (TX Shockwave). Brooke Owen (TC Tremors) scored the second run. Sydney Wright (FL Storm) clinched the game with a 3-run homer in the 6th. Valerie Cassell pitched 2 innings and belted a ground-rule double. Rachel Rodriguez (So Cal Athletics) and MorganTaylor (FL Select) had singles.
The pitchers didn’t notch many strikeouts; the game turned on ground-ball defense.
TV Bracket Championship
Newtown Rock 7, Houston Power r
Team Florida 4 TC Tremors 1
Worth Firecrackers 6, Newtown Rock 2
Houston Power 5, TC Tremors 1
Wichita Mustangs def Team Florida
Worth Firecrackers 5, Wichita Mustangs 1
AZ Storm 4, So Cal Breakers 3
Miami Stingrays 3, VA Shamrocks 0
AZ Storm def Gold Coast Hurricanes
VA Shamrocks def SC Breakers
So Cal Athletics Smith def Miami Stingrays
AZ Storm 5, So Cal Athletics 4
Worth Firecrackers 7, AZ Storm 0
Team Florida 7, Newtown Rock 6
Gold Coast Hurricanes 6, Miami Stingrays 4
Spy also observed a few 16U games in early morning and late evening; those notes will be posted later, given that it is now after midnight and games resume at 8am.