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Softball  | Softball Tournament  | 2/1/2023

Perfect Game Softball Burst The Bubble

Dave Durbala     

Burlington, Iowa - Perfect Game Softball Burst The Bubble Tournament, January 27 - 29, 2023


16U Division


Winning the MV-Pitcher Award was Hildie Dempsey (2025 Jefferson, WI) with Finalist, GTS 15u Elite.  If her name sounds familiar, this makes it back to back MV-Pitcher Awards for Dempsey, as she continues to dazzle in the circle. Using a five pitch mix, throwing each for strikes and each utilized as a strikeout pitch, Dempsey worked 13 innings and struck out 25 batters, showing them a top velocity of 61 mph. Dempsey gave up four earned runs and finished with a 1.05 WHIP. Even in a tournament loaded with quality bats, Dempsey was successful, and rose to the top of the performers list.


Earning MVP was Aubrey Strelow (2025 Kenosha, WI) a L/L for Gold Bracket Champions, GTS 15 Midwest.  Utilizing a well balanced stance in the box, working her hands inside the ball,  Strelow, batting in the lead-off spot, showed the ability to hit the ball to all fields and utilize her speed to cause difficulties for defenses. Strelow collected six hits that included four doubles. She knocked in six runs, stole two bases and scored six runs. Not just a hitter, Strelow worked 11 innings in the circle, recording 21 strikeouts that included a six inning, five hit, 11 strikeout performance for the win in the Championship Game. This young lady showed she will be a two way force as she moves up through the levels of competition over the next few years.


Other Top Performers in the 16u Division included Jaycee Neer (2025 Indianola, IA).  Playing for the Southern Iowa Savage, she has consistently shown she has the ability to barrel up a softball and hit it hard.  Do not let her size fool you, this young lady, with solid use of her lower half, generates power.  Neer finished the weekend with seven hits that included two doubles and two bombs for seven rbi’s, and six runs scored.  Neer displays a smooth, mechanically sound, approach at the plate that would project to play at the next level.


Lucy Lucas (2025 Polk City, IA) is a L/R catcher, utility player, with Iowa Dynamite. The athletic Lucas, utilizing a slightly open stance and attacking the inside of the ball, was on an extra base tear. Hitting out of the one hole, Lucas, working gap to gap, utilized an aggressive swing and bat path she collected eight hits, impressively with five of them being for doubles. Lucas scored five runs and finished the weekend hitting  .727 and did not record a strikeout in her 13 plate appearances.


Tiffany Taylor (2028 Des Moines, IA), a left-handed hitting, right-handed throwing pitcher for the Iowa Dynamite. At the age of 12, yes 12, is showing a skillset beyond her age. Taylor displays an aggressive swing, with an attack angle that lends itself to getting the ball in the air. Taylor collected seven hits that included a double and home run, knocking in eight runs and finished the weekend hitting .636. Maybe even more impressive is Taylor’s work in the circle, where she tossed nine innings and struck out 17 hitters, utilizing a full arsenal of spin pitches and a fastball that topped out at 63 mph. This young lady, who turns 13 years old in less than a month, has a high ceiling and a bright softball future if she elects to pursue it.


Brooklynn Danielson (2025 Kenosha, WI) is a RHP for GTS 15 Midwest.  Danielson, with a five pitch bag that includes a screw, rise, curve, change-up and fastball, worked 10 innings and struck out 23. With a top velocity of 58 mph, Danielson relied on her ability to work both sides of the plate, change speed and levels and had batters chase her rise, that jumped out of the zone, to be successful. Danielson opened the tournament with a five inning, 13 strikeout no hitter and finished the weekend only giving up three hits and two earned runs, finishing with a 0.60 WHIP. Over the next couple of years, this young lady has the potential to add strength that could translate to higher velocity and pitch spin rate, that could have her being even more dominant.


Gabriela Bryan (2024 Abingdon, IL) is a RHP for Lady Hitmen 06. With a top velocity of 57 mph, Bryan relied on changing levels and speed with her rise, drop, curve, change-up and fastball to keep batters off balance. Bryan worked 11 innings and struck out 19, allowed three earned runs and finished with a 1.00 WHIP, in helping her team win the  Bronze Division Championship.


Addison Gralund (2025 Marion, IA) continues to shine in the circle for Southeast Iowa Allstars 16u Gold-Jones. Armed with a five pitch mix, drop, rise, curve, change-up and fastball, topping out at 59 mph, Gralund worked 12 innings and struck out a tournament leading 26 batters.  Working both sides of the plate and changing levels,  Gralund utilized a late moving curve and a sharp rise to generate several swing and miss strikeouts.


18U Division


Helping lead the Midwest Sluggers ‘05 to the Gold Bracket Championship win was MV-Pitcher, Chloe Mitchell (2023 Peru, IL).  Relying on a change-up, curve, rise and drop, with a top velocity of 56 mph, Mitchell worked 16 innings, striking out 25 batters. Mitchell, only giving up two earned runs, finished with a tournament leading 0.90 ERA.  Mitchell shows late movement on her curve and drop and works both sides of the plate with them.  It appeared that her rise was her go to pitch, with two strikes on the batter, resulting in several swinging K’s.  It is hard to believe this young lady is still uncommitted, unless it is by her choice, as she has proven that she can get outs against quality hitters.


Earning the MVP Award was Lauren Jacobs (2023 Sterling, IL) playing for Midwest Sluggers ‘05.  Jacobs, hitting from the right-side, showed the ability to hit for power and average, finishing with two doubles and two home runs, to go with five singles.  Jacobs stands tall in the box with a slightly open stance. The University of Dubuque commit, displayed quick hands and good use of her lower half, with an aggressive, get the ball in the air, bat path that produced eight rbi’s, had her on base to score five runs and finish with a .600 batting average for her effort.


Other Top Performers in the 18u Division included Alyse Harris (2024 Buffalo, IA) playing for Midwest Sluggers ‘05.  Harris, a RHH, sets up in a slightly crouched open stance. At launch, she gets back to parallel and does not get cheated on her swings. Harris collected seven hits that included two doubles and two tanks for five rbi’s.  Harris, showing patience at the plate, drew four walks, and  showed some speed by collecting two stolen bases and scoring seven runs.


Daytonah Downing (2023 Andalusia, IL) playing for the Quad City Firebirds 04, helped her team win the Silver Bracket Championship. Downing, a RHH, picked up five hits that included a double and two home runs. The Southeastern Community College commit, utilizing a very aggressive swing, with great use of body tilt and lower half, appears to be trying to square up every pitch and drive the ball into the parking lot. Downing knocked in six and scored four runs and finished with a . 625 batting average.  Downing, although not listed as a switch hitter, did make a plate appearance from the left-side,  popping one up to left center field for an out. It is not known if we will see any further swings from the left-side from Downing in the future.


Sophia Bauman (2025 Grimes, IA) made the most of the three games she played for Iowa Outlaws Select 06-Andrew, going 5 for 5 with two doubles and a bomb. Bauman knocked in five, scored 3 times and did not have a strikeout.  The athletic catcher, who has played infield as well as outfield when needed, appears the most comfortable when behind the plate. Bauman, behind the plate,  displays good glove work, the willingness to block balls in the dirt and an arm, with quick release, that challenges base stealers. At the plate, she hits the ball to all fields, shows power potential and consistently barrels up balls. With her ability to play several positions, Bauman gives coaches at the next level options to better their team.


Ana-Kate Phillips (2023 Dixon, IL) is a RHH playing for Quad City Firebirds 04.  Phillips, at the plate, pushes into the back side and then strides at launch to get separation. Finishing with solid use of her lower half and good barrel path through the zone, Phillips recorded five hits that included a triple and three home runs, all solo shots. She finished with three rbi’s and scored five runs in helping the Firebirds win the Silver Bracket Championship.


Jordyn Beck (2023 Marion, IA) may have been in a different uniform, but the results were the same. The RHP, playing for Thunder 18u Black, showed a full mix of pitches and a top velocity of 59 mph. Previously, Beck has shown velocity up to 64 mph, but seemed to show good movement and control at this slower velocity. Beck, a Indian Hills community College commit, worked eight innings, sat down 14 batters via strikeout, gave up two hits and did not allow a run, finishing with a 0.75 WHIP.


Ashley Webb (2023 Tiffin, IA), playing for Thunder 18u Black, started out the tournament with a gem in the circle. The Kirkwood Community College commit tossed 4.2 innings of 3 hit ball, striking out ten and not allowing a run for a zero-zero tie as time expired.  Webb, utilizing a drop curve, rise, screw, change-up and fastball, with top velocity of 59 mph, kept batters off balance by spotting pitches and utilizing her change-up.  Webb finished the weekend with 6.2 innings pitched, collecting 14 strikeouts.


Caedence Risius (2024 Des Moines, IA) is a RHP for Iowa Gold Prospects 18u-Gold. Utilizing a 5 pitch set that included a change-up, screw, curve, rise and fastball, Risius had a top velocity of 57 mph.  In her seven innings of work, Risius collected 17 strikeouts showing hitters a late moving screw and a rise ball that each resulted in collecting strikeouts. At the plate, Risius showed power potential, collecting a double and a home run, knocking in five runs. Risius, a hard working young lady, shows the mentality and physical ability to be successful at the next level, she is only looking for a chance.


Olivia Dougherty (2024 Norwalk, IA), a RHP for Iowa Gold Prospects 18u-Black, utilized a full arsenal of pitches, changing levels and speed to keep hitters off balance. Showing a smooth repeatable delivery, Dougherty stayed around the plate and did not walk a batter in seven innings of work, while striking out 14. She had hitters swinging over the top of her drop and chasing her rise out of the zone. Dougherty topped out at 60 mph while allowing two earned runs of the weekend. This young lady has the skillset to play at the next level, and should have the opportunity to do so.