ALL AMERICAN GAME
SPY had planned to run this story on Wednesday, one the eve of the Premier Girls Fastpitch tournament – in which a number of the players from the ESPN Rise/Under Armour All American game not only played but starred. The All Star game was broadcast again by ESPN tonight – thoroughly enjoyable.
The All Star game followed a broadcast of the Little League Senior Girls championship match between a team from Delaware and a team from Puerto Rico – a further manifestation of ESPN’s increasing commitment to girls fastpitch softball.
The following is ESPN Rise’s game summary:
Fans who spilled out of the stands at the ESPN Wide World of Sports were treated to some bonus softball at the 2011 Under Armour All-America Game on Tuesday. After all, what else would you expect from teams comprised of the nation’s best?
Sara Driesenga was named MVP after lacing a bases-loaded, walk-off double off the left field fence to cap a three-run rally in the bottom of the ninth inning in a 6-5 win for Team Swagger.
“[The MVP] could have gone to anybody because this was truly a team effort,” said Driesenga, who also pitched the final two innings to earn the win. “It’s just an honor to be here with the 30 best players in the nation.”
Although cliche, there was some truth to the “total team effort” statement on this day. Down 2-0 in the bottom of the fifth, Team Swagger standouts Lauren Chamberlain and Kylee Lahners blasted back-to-back home runs that swung momentum.
“I came up to the plate thinking, ‘Wow, the only way to follow [Chamberlain's home run] is to just hit another one,’” Lahners said. “So I went up there and waited for my pitch, got my pitch and put a good swing on it.”
Ally Carda, the pitcher for Team Hype who surrendered the two home runs, swung it back to her team’s favor by taking two bases after an attempted pick-off throw went awry. She scored from third on an RBI single by Delaney Guy.
Team Hype took its 3-2 lead into the bottom of the seventh, when Kelsi Jones played the role of savior with a one-out single that scored Lahners to tie the game.
After Danielle Henderson was hit in the ankle by a pitch, Team Swagger suddenly had a golden opportunity to win the game in regulation with the bases loaded and only one out. But Corrin Genovese flashed some leather at second for Team Hype, snaring the potentially game-winning line drive and doubling off the runner at first base for an unassisted inning-ending double play.
Playing by international tie-breaking rules (each extra inning starts with a runner on second base), the game progressed to the ninth inning, where scoring suddenly became en vogue.
Team Hype opened the inning with two runs in the top half, highlighted by a two-out RBI single by Jessica Damico, who went 2-for-4 on the day. Damico and Swagger’s Janie Takeda, who went 2-for-3, were the only players with multiple hits.
Facing a two-run deficit for the second time in the game, Team Swagger responded in the bottom of the ninth.
After a hit by Takeda and a walk by Jones, A.J. Andrews reached on an error to load the bases with only one out. Down 5-4, Driesenga ended the game with her drive to left. Jones, who hit the game-tying RBI single to force extra innings, scored the winning run.
“After we fell behind, you still saw smiles on the girls faces, and that’s the key” said Leah O’Brien Amico, coach of Team Swagger. “A lot of times, if you’re wearing that negative emotion it will pull you down. It’s fun to be on the winning side. You play this game to have fun but obviously we’re all competitors and it’s always nice to get that W.”
The game aired at 7 p.m. ET Saturday on ESPNU.
Under Armour All-America Softball Game Roster
|Name||Pos||High School (City/State)||Club||College Signed|
|Ayanna Andrews||OF||Countryside (Oldsmar, Fla.)||Team FLA||LSU|
|Alyssa Bache||P||East Lake (Clearwater, Fla.)||Gold Coast Hurricanes||Florida|
|Allison Brown||INF||Los Alamitos (Los Alamitos, Calif.)||So Cal Athletics||Ole Miss|
|Allyson Carda||P/1B||Pleasant Grove (Elk Grove, Calif.)||Lady Magic 18G||UCLA|
|Bailey Castro||3B||American Heritage (Pembroke Pines, Fla.)||Gold Coast Hurricanes||Florida|
|Bailey Chalmers||C/1B||Montgomery (Montgomery, Tex.)||Texas Glory Gold||Baylor|
|Lauren Chamberlain||INF||El Toro (Trabuco Hills, Calif)||Worth Firecrackers||Oklahoma|
|Brittany Clopton||OF||Montgomery (Montgomery, Tex.)||Impact Gold||Texas A&M|
|Cheyenne Cordes||SS||Angelo Rodriguez (Farifield, Calif.)||Lady Magic||Cal Berkeley|
|Jessica Damico||INF||Pacifc (Gray Summit, Missouri)||St Louis Chaos||Florida|
|Shelby Davis||OF||Goddard (Goddard, Kans.)||Wichita Mustangs||Oklahoma State|
|Sara Driesenga||P/INF||Hudsonville (Hudsonville, Mich.)||Beverly Bandits||Michigan|
|Mattie Fowler||UTIL.||Canyon del Oro (Tuscon, Ariz.)||AZ Desert Thunder||Nebraska|
|Kiara Garcia||SS||Angelo Rodriguez (Fairfield, Calif.)||Lady Magic||Oregon State|
|Lauren Gaskill||SS||Rancocas Valley Regional (Mount Holly, N.J.)||Rock Gold||Virginia Tech|
|Corrin Genovese||SS||Williamsville North (East Amherst, N.Y.)||Jersey Intensity Gold||Missouri|
|Rachel Gillen||P/OF||Archemore Academy (Willmington, Del.)||Gold Coast Hurricanes||Virginia|
|Delaney Guy||SS||Klein Oak (Tomball, Tex.)||Impact Gold||Baylor|
|Lauren Haeger||P/1B||Deer Valley (Phoenix, Ariz.)||AZ Hotshots Gold||Florida|
|Danae Hays||SS||Mortimer Jordan (Morris, Ala.)||Gold Coast Hurricanes||Auburn|
|Danielle Henderson||3B||Sheldon (Elk Grove, Calif.)||Lady Magic 18G||Cal Berkeley|
|Kelsi Jones||CF||Carmel (Carmel, Ind.)||Illinois Southern Force||Missouri|
|Leslie Jury||P/1B||JL Mann (Anderson, S.C.)||Gold Coast Hurricanes||Alabama|
|Kylee Lahners||2B||Laguna Hills (Laguna Hills, Calif.)||Worth Firecrackers||Washington|
|Amy Letourneau||1B/P||Santa Margarita Cath (Laguna Niguel, Calif.)||Explosion Gold||Northwestern|
|Callie Parsons||OF||Pryor (Pryor, Okla.)||Wichita Mustangs||Oklahoma|
|Logan Spaw||C/OF||Blue Springs South (Blue Springs, Missouri)||KC Zephyrs||Virginia Tech|
|Lauren Sweet||C||Santiago (Corona, Calif.)||Courage||Michigan|
|Janette Takeda||OF||El Dorado (Placentia, Calif.)||OC Batbusters 18G||Oregon|
|Cassidy Whidden||C||St Stephens Episcopal (Parrish, Fla.)||NJ Intensity||Notre Dame|
|Leah O’Brien-Amico||3X Olympic Gold Medalist|
|Lauren Lappin||Olympic Silver Medalist (Beijing)||USSSA Pride Pro|
|Jenn Sailing||Canadian National Team||USSSA Pride Pro|
|Eileen Canney||2010 USA National Team||Japanese Pro League|
|Jackie Traina||Led Alabama to 2011 College World Series||2010 UA All American|
|Jolene Henderson||Led Cal to 2011 College World Series||2009 UA All American|