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|
|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.