8-4-2012 PGF a Display of TopTalent

August 4 2012

The Premier Girls Fastpitch tournament has become a premier showcase for the next wave of college talent, and at the 14-16 levels, a look into the future of both travel ball and college competition.  The lists of schools to which these players are committed heavily reflects the College top 25.

The Premier Girls Fastpitch tournament has become a premier showcase for the next wave of college talent, and at the 14-16 levels, a look into the future of both travel ball and college competition.  The lists of schools to which these players are committed heavily reflects the College top 25.

Worth Firecrackers So Cal Athletics
Casey Africano, C, Notre Dame Erin Ashby, 1st,3rd, Stanford
Tera Blanco, P/1st, Michigan Allison Brown, IF, Ole Miss
Nicole DeWitt, 2nd/OF, Florida Erika Crissman, OF, 2013
Chelsea Gonzales, SS/2nd, Arizona State Megan Geer, OF, 2nd, 2013
Lauren Lindvall, 3rd/OF,  uncommitted Delanie Gourley, P, 1st, Florida
Marissa Bravo,OF,  BYU Jenna Kelly, 1st, 3rd, North Carolina
Amanda Sanchez, 3rd/1st, Missouri Jaylene Ignacio, OF, 2nd, San Diego State
Alexandra Robles, SS,2nd, St John’s Alexis Mercado, SS,3rd. Arizona
Bella Secaira, C,1st, Utah Danica Mercado, 2nd, OF, Oregon
Koral Costa, 2nd, OF, Oregon Aubree Munro, C,3rd, Florida
Janelle Lindvall,C,1st,  Oregon Jessica Plaza, C,1st, Stanford
Tina Iosefa,C,1st,  Georgia Selene Pola, P, Long Beach State
Missy Taukeiaho, 3rd, Washington Mariah Ramirez, P, Utah
Taylor VanZee, 2nd, Washington Darian Tautalafua, 3rd, OF, Long Beach State
Sammy Cordova, P/3rd, Utah Alicia Walker, OF, Penn State
Patricia Parks, P, OF, Arizona Jasmine Smithson, P, OF, Louisville
Carissa Sherman, OF, CS Northridge Madi Schreyer, P, Stanford
Karley Wesler, OF, Notre Dame
Michelle Floyd, P, Arizona



The other semi-finalists also had an impressive array of talent.  Indeed, no college coach had a broader smile than Stanford’s John Rittman.  Incoming recruits include Team North Florida ace Carly Hoover, and  So Cal Athletics pitcher Madi Schreyer —  and the SCA’s Jessica Plaza to catch them.  Plaza and the Firecrackers Janelle Lindvall are considered by many to be the two best catchers in travel ball.  Hoover and Schreyer could start for any team in Division 1.

LSU recruited Sting’s 2014 Allie Walljasper, a formidable pitcher, while Tennessee recruited her 2013 battery mate Annie Aldrete.  Haley Woods, one of the top catchers in Golden Bear history, is sending OF Vanessa Alvarez to her alma mater, while 2013 OF Dana Bouquet  has committed to Notre Dame.

Arkansas got a share of the talented North Florida lineup: catcher Shelby Hiers, shortstop Jessie Mullen, and pitcher Grace Moll.  Haley Fagan, a very adept 3rd baseman, the last of four Fagan sisters to play top level softball, is headed to South Alabama, along with pitcher Holly McKinnon.

The other two teams in the winners bracket, who were undefeated into Friday, AZ Storm and Beverly Bandits also landed top players in major college programs.

Storm shortstop Courtney Rodriguez and 1st base Gabrielle Sandstet  are off to Arizona;  and Margarette Stahm,  another in the small handful  of top catchers, is a 2013 recruit at Arizona State; pitcher Kelsey Stevens is another Stanford recruit.  Yet Storm, like other teams stacked with committed players, still attracted college coaches because a number of such teams had quality players still uncommitted, like 2013 pitcher Andra Wellins and Taylor Decker on Storm, and numerous others in the coaches book whom we did not see but are not yet committed, 2013s and of course a passel of 2014 players.

Some teams which surprisingly did not fare well were loaded with top recruits, eg, the OC Batbusters, fielded a roster of 15 committed players, 12 going to top 25 schools, four to Arizona, three to UCLA.  NJ Intensity had 13 committed players, including five to top 25 schools, but lost the first day and split in the losers bracket. .  East Cobb Bullets, lost the first day, even with 15 committed players, then won three games in the losers bracket; perhaps their most watched player is uncommitted 2015 pitcher Kelly Barnhill.  On the other hand, Georgia Elite had few pedigreed players but won its first two games in the winners bracket.

In sum, having success with rosters full of committed players is very much a function of their skills and the blend of those skills – with no guarantees.  The record shows that having Top 25 recruited players can make a difference – most of the time.  A consistent record against top competition is a good test of that ability to blend stars, rising stars, and journeymen.

Overall, there were 181 players from 68 18HS teams committed to NCAA Top 25 teams.  (Spy counted each roster.)  More, there were a significant number of 2013-14 unsigned players – even on some of the higher-ranked teams.  That number will soon diminish through informal visits when colleges resume and through a raft of fall travel ball tournaments.

Even more players who have verballed to top 25 schools can be found in 16U rosters,   And there were numerous players at 14U whom college coaches – who thronged to the 14 and 16 game sites – would readily give early verbals.

Not to be out done, virtually every college in the NCAA RPI index had committed players in PGF.

In all, an estimated 370 college coaches attended the week-long tournament, which encompassed three divisions (12U concluded the previous week) with games at Huntington Beach, Fountain Valley, Bill Barber and Harvard parks.

They saw 55 teams playing PGF 16U, with rosters chock full of players who do not play ASA and therefore fall outside the narrow constrict ASA has declared on eligibility for Junior World.  Spy hears that this policy is subject to change.  The list includes Mizuno Pride and Corona Angels 16U teams, who are playing today for the PGF 16U championship.



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