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Softball  | Softball Tournament  | 10/15/2022

Battle For The Belt Scout Notes

Dave Durbala     
Photo: Perfect Game
Des Moines, Iowa - Thirteen teams showed up to contend for the 2022 Perfect Game Softball 18u Battle For The Belt from October 8-9, 2022. When the dust settled, it was the Iowa Bandits who took home the championship belt, with a 5-3 win over Iowa Outlaws Select 06 - Andrew.

Earning the MV-Pitcher award was Madison Oetzmann (2023, Urbandale, Iowa). On the weekend, Oetzmann was in the circle for 17 innings, finishing with a 3-0 record for the Iowa Bandits. Oetzmann continues to impress in the circle, consistently showing the ability to throw all her pitches for strikes, working in all levels of the zone on both sides of the plate. The uncommitted Oetzmann struck out 24 batters, utilizing great movement and a velocity that topped out at 59 mph. More than movement and her ability to hit spots, Oetzmann displays the ability to maintain her composure in the circle when things might not be going her way. This attribute is one of the keys to the success this young lady has experienced in the circle. At the plate, she also helped her team by collecting eight hits, scoring four runs while knocking in 6.

Picking up the MVP award was Iowa Bandits' Jena Young (2023, Winterset, Iowa). Young, committed to the University of Iowa, put on one of the most dominating hitting performances I have ever seen, at any level. Utilizing a quick, compact swing, with a solid lower half that generates power, Young went 13-for-15 on the weekend with three doubles and a ridiculous eight home runs, each landing well beyond the 200 foot fences. Young scored 17 times, totaled 15 RBI and earned six walks, which included a bases loaded intentional walk. I can only assume the opposing coach utilized the intentional walk as damage control, taking the bat out of her hands. A truly gifted athlete, Young collected 46 total bases in six games, in a tournament that featured some pretty skilled pitchers.

Dakota Lake (2023, Des Moines, Iowa), a RHP/1B for Nebraska Gold 515 - Cunningham, helped her team make a run into the semis, which included them winning two pool games playing with eight players as they lost one due to an injury. Lake, a recent Hutchinson Community College commit, was the workhorse for 515, logging 22 innings. Topping out at 61 mph, Lake utilized a good rise and mixed in just enough movement and change of speed to keep hitters off balance to collect 30 strikeouts for her effort. As a hitter, Lake had seven hits, knocked in seven and scored 5 runs.

Iowa Bandits' Zadie Wadle (2023, Indianola, Iowa) picked up the win for the Bandits in the championship game, striking out five, while scattering six hits in six innings. On the weekend, Wadle posted a 3-0 record for her 16 innings of work. Utilizing good movement and velocity that ran up to 59 mph, Wadle struck out 18 while only giving out three free passes. Having good command of her pitches, throwing each for strikes and moving the ball around the zone were keys to her success. At the plate, Wadle legged out two doubles on five hits, scoring four runs and collecting three RBI. This uncommitted RHP has the tools to pitch at the next level and knows how to win.

Emily Koranda (2025, Marion, Iowa), pitching for Nebraska Gold 319 Berning, picked up two wins for her 12 innings of work. The RHP struck out 14, giving up only one earned run. Koranda, sitting at 61 mph, also showed hitters a rise, drop, and changeup, with the changeup coming in anywhere from 40-45 mph. The change of speed, and a rise ball that jumped through the top of the zone, led to hitters coming up empty on their swings. At the plate, Koranda collected four hits, with two doubles, knocking in six. This younger arm, at this age division, is one to watch as she gets stronger and matures over the next few years.

Playing for Bc Select, Jessa Demoss (2024, Blairstown, Iowa) is a young lady whose name is starting to appear regularly near the top of the performers list. This RHP/1B, armed with a full arsenal of pitches, helped her team make a run into the semis. In her 11 innings of work, Demoss, showing a top velocity of 60 mph, sat down 20 via strikeout. Not shy about throwing inside, she showed the ability to run her screw up under the hands of right-handed batters. If she is able to develop the ability to hit spots with all of her pitches, Demoss will excel at the next level. At the plate, Demoss collected five hits that included a home run.

Aubrey Lensmeyer (2025, Ankeny, Iowa), playing for Iowa Outlaws Select 06 - Andrew, showed her two-way ability by earning her way on the pitching and hitting top performers list this weekend. In the circle, the RHP Lensmeyer worked 11 innings and collected nine strikeouts. With a top velocity of 61 mph, Lensmeyer was able to keep batters off balance with change of speed and movement, occasionally pulling up to 18 mph off her fastball for her changeup. Showing good command of her pitches, Lensmeyer only walked three batters, with two of those being intentional in the championship game. Lensmeyer appears to be just as comfortable at the plate as she does in the circle. Hitting from the right side, she displayed a gap-to-gap approach with projectable pull-side power. Lensmeyer collected nine hits that included three doubles. She knocked in four runs and scored eight. Displaying plus skills in the circle and at the plate, should offer this young lady an opportunity to continue being a two-way player, even at the next level.

Abagail Winter (2023, Dubuque, Iowa), a RHP for Thunder 18u Black, utilizes a 59 mph fastball, along with a rise, drop, and curve to get work done. Winter worked 11 innings in the circle and struck out 21 batters. Winter has struck out 67 batters in 38 innings of work for the PG calendar year 2022. Her go-to pitch this past weekend was her curve. Winter throws the curve at near the same velocity as her fastball, creating an incredible spin rate that translates to plus movement. Batters read fastball and struggle to make adjustment to the curve, resulting in a swing-and-miss pitch. Currently uncommitted, Winter would appear to have some extra velocity in the tank, which combined with her current movement pitches, would be a good get for a coach at the next level.

Playing for Bc Select, Hannah Greiner (2025, Atkins, Iowa) put together a nice weekend at the plate. Hitting from the left side, Greiner sets up tall, hands high with a slight knee bend. Loads into the back hip and utilizes stride to get separation before getting the barrel through the zone with a short compact swing to drive the ball gap-to-gap. For the weekend, Greiner had eight hits that included two doubles and a home run, scored five runs and had eight RBI while hitting at a .667 clip. Greiner shows to have some pull-side power, but appears to be at her best when staying on the ball and driving it middle to left.

Uncommitted Addison Banse (2023, Adel, Iowa) continues to drive the ball and pick up extra-base hits playing for the Iowa Bandits. With a smooth swing and great utilization of her lower half, Banse can drive the ball to all fields but appears to be at her best when being on time and driving the ball middle to left-center. She collected seven hits, five being for extra bases, with two doubles and three bombs for seven RBI and scoring five runs. Defensively, Banse spent the weekend behind the plate, displayed a good set-up and utilized good glove work when receiving pitches. Although not at game speed, Banse did show an adequate, accurate throw to second base between innings.

Don’t call Alliance Select Cox’ LHH Avery Nelson (2026, Ankeny, Iowa) just a slapper. Utilizing a solid setup that allows her to get her feet moving, or to stay in her legs to swing away, Nelson showed the ability to be successful at both hitting .800 for the weekend. Nelson is able to keep her front side closed, allowing her to drive the ball middle-left, not rolling over on the pitch. For the weekend, Nelson collected eight hits with two doubles, knocking in six and scoring seven runs. As this young lady matures, and if willing to put in the work to gain strength over the next several years, there will be a place for her at the next level.

Ava Hartman (2024, Matherville, Ill.) had a nice weekend playing for Nebraska Gold 319 Berning. Hitting from a slightly wide stance, getting weight into the back side with a slight raising of the front foot, getting the foot back down to start her move to the ball. With a solid base, Hartman does a good job of using her lower half in the swing and maintains an attack angle that lends itself to getting the ball in the air. Hartman finished with eight hits that included two doubles and two home runs, scoring six runs while also knocking in six runs.