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Softball  | Softball Tournament  | 3/14/2023

2023 Perfect Game Softball Shamrock Showdown,

Dave Durbala     

Burlington, IA – 2023 Perfect Game Softball Shamrock Showdown, March 11 - 12, 2023

12U Division

The Blackwidows 2010 finished the weekend a perfect 6 and 0, beating DRBA in the finals by a score of 6 to 3 to win the championship.  They were led by MVP Award winner Gracelynn Crayne (2029 Taylor Springs, IL). Crayne, starting with an athletic stance, with slight knee bend, shows little movement preload. She pushes the hands back to gain separation and gets the barrel to the zone on time. Crayne was able to collect 8 hits, which included a double, scored six times and knocked in seven. On the bases, Crayne was able to swipe six bases.

Earning MV-Pitcher Award was Lilyanna Reyna (2029 Moline, IL) pitching for DRBA.  Reyna, a RHP, was able to keep hitters off balance with her ability to change speeds and hit her spots. In her 15 innings of work, Reyna struck out 22 batters and was consistently around the plate with all her pitches, only walking one hitter on the weekend.

14U Division

Monsters 14u-Chick went 6 and 0 on the weekend, taking the championship with a finals win over Wisconsin Lightning 12u. The MVP Award was presented to Monsters, Kenna Sandoval (2026 Donnellson, IA). Sandoval, hitting from the right side, shows the ability to drive the ball all over the park, while hitting for power and average. The athletic Sandoval, picked up seven hits on the weekend, that included two doubles and two homeruns, with her bombs coming in her first two at bats of the tournament.  Sandoval scored five times and knocked in nine while hitting at a .778 clip, in addition to finishing with a .833 OBP. As this young lady matures and continues to work on her skill set, she could definitely have several offers to play at the next level.

MV-Pitcher Award went to Leona Eichholz ( 2028 Harvard, IL), a RHP with Wisconsin Lightning 12u. This young lady can flat out pitch. Topping out at 61 mph, with an easy arm swing and delivery, Eichholz has a full mix of pitches that includes a 2 seam, rise, curve, screw and drop. Showing the ability to throw all of her pitches for strikes, Eichholz pitches all display late movement which led to several swing and miss attempts, as the ball broke away from hitter’s barrels. In her 15 innings of work, Eichholz struck out 27 batters and only gave up one earned run, finishing with a 0.40 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP. Currently 13 years of age, Eichholz already shows plus movement in her spin pitches. As she matures and gains strength, with continued work on her skill set, she would project to increase velocity, but more importantly she would have increased spin rate, adding even more movement and sharper break on her pitches. This young lady will be a good follow as she moves up through age group play, making her way to the next level.

Other players turning in some top performances included Addison Snell (2028 Geneseo, IL) a RHP with Monsters 14u – Chick.  Snell, was the workhorse for the Monsters on Championship Sunday as she was in the circle for all 12 innings played, saving her best for last with a game shortened by run rule, three inning no hitter in the championship game. Utilizing a five-pitch bag that included a rise, drop, curve, fastball and change-up, Snell had a top velocity of 61 mph with a change-up that crossed the plate at -21, 40 mph. In her 20 innings of work, Snell recorded 28 punch outs due to her ability to change speeds, effectively hit spots, and the batter’s inability to lay off her rise. Plagued with some early tournament control problems, Snell was able to make the adjustments necessary to work the ball back into the zone and be one of the more dominant pitchers of the tournament.

Khloe Kearns (2028 Beardstown, IL) is a RHP with TBSA Wahoos ’09. Working with a repeatable arm swing and delivery, Kearns worked 9 innings and collected 15 strikeouts. Utilizing a fastball, change-up, screw, rise and drop, Kearns topped out at 58 miles an hour. Showing good movement on her spin pitches, Kearns is proof that one doesn’t have to try to overpower hitters, as she was able to keep the ball off of hitter’s barrels with movement, only giving up three hits on the weekend. Kearns also helped her team at the plate, picking up six hits, with two doubles, and scoring six runs.

Colbie Greiner (2027 Washington, IA) is a RHP for Southeast Iowa Allstars 13u Gold-Brandenburg. Greiner, utilizing a drop-curve, rise, change-up and fastball, worked 13 innings and struck out 18 batters, with a top velo of 57 mph. Greiner appears to be at her best when she is throwing all of her pitches for strikes, working away from the middle of the plate and hitters are swinging over top of her drop-curve, or beating it into the ground for easy outs. As Greiner moves through age group level play, she will have to keep the ball of the middle of the plate and consistently be able throw the off-speed pitches for strikes.

Mia Huser (2027 Platteville, WI), a RHP for Team Heat Tri-State 14u only worked 6 innings in the circle on the weekend, which might be expected when you are one of six pitchers on the roster. Utilizing a fastball that topped out at 52 mph, and an off-speed pitch, Huser struck out 5 hitters and only gave up four hits. Huser was successful as she could throw her pitches for strikes, working the outer edges of the plate, and keeping batters off balance with her change of speed.

Brooklyn Peterson (2028 Port Byron, IL) is a RHH, C/3B, for Monsters 14u-Chick. Peterson sets up tall, with a well-balanced, slightly open stance. She gets back to parallel at toe touch and utilizes a solid lower half to generate torque and power. Although only collecting 5 hits, Peterson scored 8 runs, and knocked in nine with the aide of two tanks she collected. Showing a good understanding of the strike zone and having a good approach at the plate, Peterson did not record a strikeout on the weekend.  Over the last year, I have watched Peterson mature as a hitter and with continued work and maturity, this young lady will be successful at the next level.

Bailey Engel (2027 Bloomington, IL) is a RHH with TBSA Wahoos ’09. Engel, with a disciplined approach in the box, and a fundamentally solid swing, the C/2B, works the ball middle to pull side. Engel, hitting out of the 2 spot, collected 8 hits, with three doubles and two triples, knocked in five, scored six runs and swiped 3 bases, while ending the weekend hitting .667. Engel also showed good discipline at the plate, seldom swinging at bad pitches, and did not record a strikeout in her 13 plate appearances on the weekend.

 Addison Jones (2027 Divernon, IL) is a C/OF for TBSA Wahoos ’09, hitting lead-off. In the box, Jones starts crouched, deep in her legs, rocking back to get weight into the back hip.  During move to ball, there is no dramatic level change, staying relatively at the same level as during her set-up. Jones, works her hands inside the ball and attacks the inner half of the ball with the barrel, resulting in her ability to hit the ball to all fields, and hit the ball hard. Jones also, utilizing the same set up in the box, but staying a little taller, showed the ability to work the slap game, usually going to this when having two strikes. Jones collected five hits that included 2 doubles and a homerun, scoring 5 runs and knocking in five. Showing good speed, she picked up 4 stolen bases, drew five base on balls and did not record a strikeout. This young lady is a gamer, showing discipline and an approach at the plate way above her age level.

Marie Young (2026 Donnellson, IA) is a RHH for Monsters 14u-Chick. Young has a nice set up and makes a good move to get weight over the back hip while maintaining balance. Young shows good hands, gets the barrel to the zone, rides it long through the zone past contact through extension. Young scattered five hits that included a double and a homerun, knocking in four and scoring seven runs.  She earned five base on balls and did not record a strikeout in any of her 13 plate appearances this weekend.

Ella Anderson (2028 Franklin, WI) is a switch hitting IF with Wisconsin Lightning 12u. Anderson, showing good quickness and speed, was able to amass eight hits that included 2 doubles, hitting at a .727 clip.  While only able to knock in one run while hitting out of the 2 hole, Anderson did score eight times and stole a tournament leading seven bases. As she matures and continues to develop her skill set at the plate, Anderson may become even a tougher out than what she displayed this weekend.