BURLINGTON, IA – 2023 Perfect Game “Stuff The Cupboards” Indoor, November 18 – 19, 2023 was comprised of two, one day tournaments with 12u and 14u competing on day one and 16u and 18u playing on day two. The tournament also acts as an opportunity for teams to make a charitable donation, with all funds received going to a local food pantry.
Although we don’t normally include this age division in our Scout Notes, I wanted to include the two award winners from this age group, for the performances they each achieved.
Lilyanna Reyna (2029 Moline, IL) earned the MV-Pitcher Award, in leading Nebraska Gold 309 to the Championship win. Reyna, a RHP with a full complement of pitches, utilized a repeatable motion and delivery, with good use of her lower half, in striking out 13 in her 9.1 innings of work. Reyna relied on changing speeds, and a nice curve to keep hitters off balance.
Cadyn Holmes (2029 Ft. Madison, IA) received the MVP Award, playing for tournament finalist, Mudd Dawgs 11. Holmes, hitting from the right side, set up with a slightly open stance and displayed good use of her lower half in the swing phase. For her effort, Holmes collected nine hits, that included a double, scored six runs, knocked in eight and finished with an .818 batting average.
Meryl Sandholm (2028 Ankeny, IA) was awarded the MV-Pitcher plaque after leading Ankeny Xtreme 13u to the Championship title. Blessed with height and long levers, the RHP Sandholm brings a 3-pitch mix into the circle, keeping it simple with a fastball, change-up and drop. Topping out at 57 mph, Sandholm worked nine innings, struck out 12, gave up four hits, and did not allow an earned run, also finishing with a 0.89 WHIP. Displaying the ability to locate her fastball and change-up, along with showing hitters a sharp, late moving drop ball, Sandholm kept hitters off balance and seldom had a pitch squared up by a batter. Some may say she is following in her older sister’s footsteps, a highly skilled and successful pitcher, but if this young lady continues to work on her craft as she matures and gains strength, she will have the opportunity to blaze her own trail. This is a player with a high ceiling, and a definite follow for next level coaches.
Payton Harris (2028 Mediapolis, IA), a catcher for tournament finalist Black Dragons 14u Arrowood, earned the MVP Award. Offensively, Harris stands tall in the box with a slightly open stance, weight distributed evenly, and utilizes a step back to get weight transferred to the back hip, with her stride providing timing and separation. Harris works her hands inside the ball and shows pull side power, with the ability to drive the ball to RCF when the pitch is on the outer half of the plate. Hitting .600 for the day, Harris collected six hits, with a double and 2 homeruns, scoring seven runs and knocking in seven. Defensively, Harris is still maturing as a catcher, but currently does display a strong arm. With continued growth and development of her skill set, this young lady will have the opportunity to play at the next level if she chooses.
Other top performing players included Breeze Bentz (2028 Ankeny, IA), a R/R MIF for Ankeny Xtreme 13u, generates plus pull side power at the plate, starting from a slightly open stance, with an aggressive launch phase and solid use of her lower half. Bentz gets the bat head moving and drives the barrel through the zone with a “no ground ball’s” attack angle. Bentz collected five hits, with three of those being tanks, as she scored five times and knocked in seven to help her team to the championship. As she gains strength over the next few years as she matures, this young lady could put up some solid power numbers on a regular basis.
Jolynn Martin (2027 New London, IA) is another young lady that showed good pull side power. Martin, hitting from the right side, sets up in the box with weight already pushed onto the back side and her hands held high. She utilizes her stride for timing and to get separation moving to the swing phase. Not missing too many barrels, Martin finished with a .600 average, picking up six hits, that included five extra base hits of four doubles and a homerun. She picked up seven rbi;s, scored five runs, and stole 3 bases for eventual tournament finalist, Black Dragons 14u Arrowood.
Tenley Heidemann (2028 Ankeny, IA) was a key part for the championship run of Ankeny Xtreme 13u. A R/R Utility, Heidemann, setting up with an open stance, utilized a leg kick to get weight transferred and then would stride to get separation and movement towards the pitcher. Hitting in the 8 spot for her teams opening pool game, Heidemann produced at the plate and moved up to the 5 hole for the teams remaining games. In so doing, she collected six hits, with 2 doubles and a triple, scoring four runs and swiping three bases, but more importantly, she put runs on the board by collecting eight rbi’s, and finishing with a .667 batting average.
Hayden Rule (2029 Montrose, IA) is a RHP for Black Dragons 14u Woodruff, that brings a 4-pitch mix into the circle with a fastball, change-up, drop and rise with a top velocity of 54 mph. In her 5.2 innings of work, Rule sat down 9 hitters via strikeout and only allowed 2 hits. Some minor inconsistency in her delivery got her into some trouble, by allowing seven free passes, but as this young lady continues to mature, gain strength, and works on her craft, she can develop a more consistent motion and delivery. Already showing nice movement on her spin pitches, any added strength can generate into extra velocity and spin rate, allowing for a tighter spin with added late movement.
Ruby Stagg (2028 Bettendorf, IA), playing for Quad City Firebirds 09, is a RHP with a simple three pitch mix. Topping out at 54 mph, Stagg is able to hit spots with her fastball, moving it around in the zone, and up and under hitters’ hands. She changed speeds and was able to throw her change-up for strikes, and showed the ball at different levels with her drop. In her 5 innings of work, Stagg struck out four and scattered four hits as batter’s would beat her drop into the ground and hit weak ground balls by getting out on their front foot with the change-up. Three pitch mix, hitting spots, changing levels and speed, will always be keys to success.
Cailey Horner (2028 Ankeny, IA), a LHP for Ankeny Xtreme 13u demonstrated that you can be successful as a pitch to contact pitcher, as long as your defense has your back. Horner worked 4 innings, showing hitters a fastball, change-up and drop, giving up 3 hits and not striking out a batter, while giving up 2 earned runs. Horner relied on change of speed and movement to keep hitters from squaring up her pitches, and the defense did the rest in making the plays behind her. Horner also made the top performers list for day 2, playing in the 16u division, where she worked 7 innings, picking up a couple of strikeouts, scattering six hits, while giving up 3 earned runs. A very productive weekend for this young lady.
Skylar Peterson (2026 Muscatine, IA) earned the MV-Pitcher award in leading Monsters 16u-Chick to the championship win. In the circle, Peterson goes to work with a six-pitch bag that includes a curve, drop, screw, rise, change-up and fastball, which topped out at 64 mph. As with most power pitchers, Peterson did give up a few hits and free passes in her 12.1 innings of work, but she also sat down 21 hitters via the strikeout. Peterson relied on her rise to get several swing and miss strikeouts, but this same pitch also contributed to the six free passes allowed, when hitters did not chase the pitch out of the zone. Mechanically, Peterson does a great job of utilizing her lower half and stays consistent with her arm swing and release. At the plate, Peterson picked up four hits that included a homerun, good for three runs scored and six knocked in, without a strikeout recorded. This young lady will have the opportunity to play at the next level, and will be a good one for coaches to follow over her next few seasons.
Amaya Lopez (2026 Hampton, IL) earned the MVP Award, for her part in leading Texas Glory 07 RH to the championship final. Lopez, a RHH utility player, sets up in the box with a slightly open, wide stance with her weight evenly distributed. She utilizes a rocking motion to get weight transferred into her back hip, and a stride for timing and to get separation before firing the barrel. Lopez collected six hits, none more important for her team than a three-run bomb, as time was running out, that proved to be the game winner to open up bracket play. Also included in her six hits were a double, triple and another homerun. She scored four runs, picked up nine rbi’s, and swiped two bases. This young lady could have checked out after only picking up one hit during pool play, but she continued to grind and went 5 for 6 in bracket play, finishing with a .600 average, to help her team to a runner-up finish.
Reagan Hogan (2028 Ankeny, IA) is listed as an OF on the roster, but she spent all day Sunday on the infield. The RHH Hogan, who’s 13u team was playing in the 16u division, showed she has the ability to be successful at the higher level. Utilizing a slightly open stance, Hogan stays tall in the box, leans into the back leg and takes a very small stride, if taking one at all. She works her hands inside the ball and showed some pull side power, although she may be more successful when she drives the ball to RCF, with an attack angle that keeps the ball off the ground. Hogan collected eight hits, that included three doubles and a homerun, while scoring five runs and knocking in four, finishing with a .667 batting average. With minimal movement in the box and the ability to work the ball to all fields, this young lady’s swing can play at all levels as she advances in age classification.
Addyson McKillip (2025 Iowa City, IA) picked up three hits on the day, which usually doesn’t result in players making the Top Performers list. However, when those three hits are homerun’s, and you knock in nine runs, you make the list. McKillip, swinging from the right side, sets up in an open stance, getting into her legs with a squat. She utilizes a very aggressive attack angle as she strides and comes out of the squatting position to initiate the swing which leads to getting the ball in the air, when contact is made.
Lexi Harshbarger (2025 Gilson, IL) is an athletic R/R, pitcher/utility for Texas Glory 07 RH. Offensively, Harshbarger sets up in the box with a solid base with good balance. She works her hands inside the ball, showing the skill set to hit the ball gap to gap, and comes out of the box looking to take an extra base whenever possible. On the day, Harshbarger picked up six hits which included two doubles and a homerun, scored five times, collected four rbi’s and stole two bases. In the circle, Harshbarger worked 9.1 innings, utilizing a curve, drop, change-up and fastball, topping out at 59 mph, to record seven strikeouts and burn up some innings on the day. With a fluid swing on display, the ability to pitch and play multiple positions, this young lady will be getting some looks to play at the next level.
Meryl Sandholm (2028 Ankeny, IA), coming off her MV-Pitcher Award from day 1 in the 14u division, showed that she could compete just as well at the 16u division. Armed with her same three pitches, fastball, change-up, and drop, Sandholm worked 4.1 innings and collected seven more strikeouts. More importantly, she only gave up one hit and one earned run as her Ankeny Xtreme 13u team made a deep run on Sunday, losing to the eventual tournament champions 2-1 in a semifinal match-up
Emma Way (2025 Gilson, IL), a RHP/OF for Texas Glory 07 RH, utilizes a very smooth repeatable motion and arm swing, with good use of her legs in the drive phase, as she went to work with a drop, curve, change-up and fastball, topping out at 59 mph. Way showed a nice curve, with late movement that resulted in several swing and miss attempts and was able to change speeds effectively, throwing her change-up for strikes. Also on display was a fastball that had some glove side run, giving hitters a different look than that of her curve. Offensively, Way picked up three hits with a triple and home run, knocking in four and scoring four runs. With the ability to be a two-way player, this young lady is giving herself the opportunity to play at the next level.
Natalie Musso (2026 Roscoe, IL) is a RHP for Team Heat ‘08. Working with a five-pitch mix, Musso goes into the circle with a drop, curve, rise, drop curve, change-up and fastball which topped out at 57 mph. Utilizing a solid lower half in the drive phase, Musso works the whole zone with her pitches, changing levels and speed. Showing hitters her drop and drop curve, Musso is then able to work up in the zone and get hitters to chase her rise, which was an excellent strikeout pitch for her, as she sat down 11 via the strikeout in her 6.2 innings of work.
Julia Roth (2026 Dubuque, IA) was named the Tournament MVP after helping lead Lady Expos Hs Blue to the championship, at the plate and in the circle, finishing as a top performer on each list. Roth, a SS/RHP set the tone for her weekend when stepped in and hit a home run in her first at bat of the day. With little pre-pitch movement, Roth displays good bat speed, utilizes her lower half to its fullest, and sets an aggressive attack angle that allows her to get the ball in the air and leave the yard. On the day, Roth collected six hits that included a double a four bombs, scored four runs, knocked in six, and earned three free passes, to finish with a .667 batting average and a .769 OBP. In the circle, Roth worked seven innings, showing a fastball, rise, change-up, drop and curve to strike out eleven. Topping out at 60 mph, Roth showed the ability to stay around the plate, not giving up a walk, and hitters were unable to barrel up many pitches, finishing with a 0.86 WHIP. Again, this young lady continues to show a skill set that will play at the next level, displaying an elite level swing and the ability to help a team in the circle as well.
Ava Hahn (2025 Galena, IL) was named MV-Pitcher for her efforts in helping Lady Expos Hs Blue to the championship. Hahn, a RHP, brings a five-pitch bag into the circle that includes a rise, screw, change-up, curve and fastball. Showing a repeatable delivery, with consistent release, she worked 10 innings and sat down 23 hitters via strikeout, none more impressive than her five inning, 11 strikeout performance in the championship win. Topping out at 57 mph, Hahn displayed the ability to work her rise up under the hands of hitters and showed batters a very nice curve, with late movement, that resulted in several swing and miss attempts. Hahn, who gave up four hits, four walks, and one earned run on the day, finished with a 0.70 ERA and a 0.80 WHIP. With her ability to change speed, pitch to locations in the zone, and spin the ball, this young lady has the tools to be successful at the next level.
Kylee Hill (2027 Burlington, IA) is another young player that earned top performer status in hitting. as well as pitching. The athletic Hill, playing for Southeast Iowa Allstars 16U Black, starts with an open stance, without much bend in the knees or waist. She lifts the front leg up to get weight to the back leg and then strides for timing and separation. Occasionally this stride will get lengthy, and she will get out in front, but Hill shows good upper body strength that allows her to still drive the ball, even when timing is off, and shows power to all fields. On the day, Hill collected five hits, with two doubles and a home run, scored four runs and knocked in five. Hill also showed good discipline at the plate in picking up three free passes. In the circle, armed with a drop, curve, change-up, screw, rise, and fastball that topped out at 63 mph, Hill looked impressive in her team's quarterfinal win, giving up 3 hits, striking out 11 and not allowing a run in her 5 innings of work. This young lady will be one to watch, with a huge upside and high ceiling, as she continues to work on her craft as she matures and gains strength over the next few years.
Chandler Houselog (2024 Dubuque, IA), playing for Lady Expos Hs Red, stands tall in the box, slightly open, utilizing a solid lower half, with great turn and barrel attack angle. The Indian Hills Community College commit hustles out of the box and if the defense is sleeping, she will take the extra base. Houselog picked up seven hits, that included two doubles and a bomb, scored five runs and knocked in three while hitting at a .700 clip. Defensively, Houselog a C/3B displays good pre-pitch movement, good glove work at each position and the arm strength to successfully play either position at the next level.
Jolee Strohmeyer (2026 Dubuque, IA) is yet another two-way player to make both categories of our top performers list. Strohmeyer, a RHP/IF for Lady Expos Hs Red, took a five-pitch mix into the circle, consisting of fastball, change-up, curve, drop and rise. As previously, when watching Strohmeyer pitch, she can work both sides of the plate while displaying a solid delivery and arm swing. She worked 11.2 innings and collected 17 outs via strike out. topping out at 57 mph, Strohmeyer showed good spin, with late movement and her rise continues to get outs. Offensively, Strohmeyer sets up in the box in a conventional stance, in a slight crouch with a bend at the waist. Using a solid lower half, and weight transfer, she generates good barrel speed, working her hands inside the ball to hit to all fields with power. On the day, Strohmeyer picked up three hits that included two bombs, scored four runs, knocked in six and collected three free passes.
Shanna Buford (2024 Donnellson, IA), playing SS for Southeast Iowa Allstars 16U Black, does not get cheated at the plate. Starting from a slightly open stance, Buford gets weight transferred via a leg kick and utilizes an aggressive bat path through the zone, showing good barrel acceleration. Buford, an Indian Hills Community College commit, collected five hits on the day, with a double and home run, finishing with four runs and two rbi’s. Defensively, Buford showed good pre-pitch movement, read the ball well off the bat and displayed good feet work on ground balls and around the bag.
Ada Wood (2025 Keokuk, IA) is a LHP for Black Dragons that utilizes a five-pitch bag of fastball, drop, rise, curve and change-up. Wood displays a smooth repeatable motion with fairly consistent arm swing and release. Topping out at 58 mph, Wood’s release would occasionally get out of synch, and she would miss the zone. To her credit, she was able to work through this, get back in time, and did not allow any big innings. Wood worked 10 innings and collected 12 strikeouts, which included a 5 inning, 8 K, 1 hitter, in a 1- 0 pool play loss to the eventual tournament champions. This young lady showed that with good movement, the ability to pitch to spots, and having the mind-set to work through adversity, she can be successful in the circle. A good follow for the next couple of seasons.
Alexis Brookhiser (2026 West Burlington, IA) is a RHP, playing for the Black Dragons. Brookhiser keeps things simple in the circle, showing hitters a three-pitch mix of fastball, change-up and drop curve. With a top velocity of 56 mph, Brookhiser relies on change of speed and the ability to locate pitches to be successful. Also, her drop curve had hitters out on their front foot, beating the pitch into the turf for easy ground ball outs. In her four innings of work, Brookhiser collected nine strikeouts, while giving up three hits.
Saydee Plummer (2024 Burlington, IA) is a RHP for Southeast Iowa Allstars 16U Black. Plummer, a recent Iowa Western Community College commit, has a six-pitch mix of fastball, curve, rise, drop, screw, and change-up, with the ability to throw all for strikes. Topping out at 60 mph, Plummer shows an aggressive motion and delivery that sometimes gets her off-balance, leading to pitches getting away from her. In her seven innings of work, Plummer sat down 15 batters via the strikeout. To be successful, Plummer works the edges of the plate and finds she can get in trouble leaving the ball up in the zone over the plate. She is able to change speeds and spin the ball which usually keeps her out of big innings.