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Softball  | Softball Tournament  | 2/22/2023

16u Winter World Series

Dave Durbala     

Burlington, Iowa - 2023 Perfect Game Softball 16u Winter World Series, February 18 - 20, 2023.  After 3 days of competition that saw 13 teams battle it out for the championship, Iowa Outlaws Select 06 - Andrew walked away with the title after a resounding 10 - 2 win over runners up, Firecrackers IL - Adkins.


Aubrey Lensmeyer (2025 Ankeny, IA) was named  MV-Pitcher.  The RHP, for Iowa Outlaws Select 06 - Andrew, worked 15 innings, including a five inning, four hit outing for the win in the championship game. Lensmeyer, utilizing a five pitch mix of change-up, curve, rise, drop and fastball, with a top velocity of 60 mph, struck out 25 batters and only allowed three earned runs on the weekend. Showing the ability to work both sides of the plate, Lensmeyer kept hitters off balanced with pitch location and change of speed, utilizing a nice rise and a change-up that she was able to consistently throw for strikes. This young lady is becoming one of the area's most dominating, and consistent pitchers. Lensmeyer can win at the next level.


The MVP Award was presented to Ruby Tarr (2024 Sidney, IL) with Firecrackers IL-Adkins.  Tarr, a RHH left side infielder, picked up ten hits that included four doubles and four homeruns. Tarr knocked in 11  and scored 11 runs.  Showing good discipline at the plate, Tarr also worked five base on balls. Tarr, setting up in an open stance and gets deep into her legs with a low crouch. The strong, athletically built Tarr, gets the barrel to the ball on a regular basis, driving the ball gap to gap with power. In the field, Tarr displays good pre-pitch movement, nice foot work around the bag and always seems to be in the right place.  This uncommitted 2024 has the ability and game IQ to be very successful at the next level.


Other players earning their way onto the top performers list includes Ava Wombles (2025 Pleasant Hill, IL). Playing for Firecrackers IL - Adkins, Wombles, hitting from the right side, picked up 12 hits which included two doubles and two home runs.  She knocked in three runs and helped the team with ten runs scored. Although finishing with eight singles, Wombles did show the ability to drive the ball gap to gap with power, from a solid set up in the box and fluid movement in her swing.


Shea Johnson (2024 Johnston, IA), hitting lead-off for Firecrackers IL-Adkins, collected a tournament leading 13 hits.  The RHH Johnson has a good solid set up in the box, with not much movement prior to launch.  Johnson had no trouble getting the barrel through the zone and squarely onto pitches, showing the ability to drive the ball, picking up two doubles and two home runs while knocking in five.  Possessing the speed to hit in the one spot, Johnson always looked to take extra bases, putting pressure on the defense while scoring seven runs and swiping four bases. A good skill set at the plate will allow this young lady an opportunity to play at the next level.


Mia Buske ( 2024 West Bend, WI) is a standout catcher for Wisconsin Bandits 16 Gold.  Buske picked up nine hits that included two doubles and a home run, knocking in five and scoring six runs.  Where Buske, the South Dakota State commit, shines is behind the plate. Possessing a strong arm, teamed with a quick release and no fear of throwing the ball around the field, Buske was able to catch several runners who had strayed too far off base. Buske displays good mechanics while receiving, working the glove South to North,  and moves well when blocking pitches, keeping the ball in front of her to deter runners from advancing.


Alexis Duke (2024 Port Byron, IL) is a RHH shortstop for Lady Dukes 16u National-IL. Duke sets up with a slightly open stance, with a solid base, and does a good job of engaging her lower half in her swing. When on time, Duke demonstrated the ability to drive the ball, allowing her to pick up four doubles in her seven hits. Duke scored two runs, while knocking in ten and showed good discipline at the plate, and an understanding of the umpires zone, to not record a strike out on the weekend while hitting at a .636 clip.


Excuse Caitlin Bunte (2025 Quincy, IL) and her Firecrackers IL-Adkins teammates if they appeared a little tired after this weekend.  The Firecrackers had the misfortune of losing an early bracket game, then went on a five game tear to make the Championship Final. Bunte was a huge part of that run, tossing 21 innings and striking out 32 batters.  Bringing five pitches to the circle, rise, drop, curve, fastball and change-up, throwing each for strikes while topping out at 62 mph. The pitch that had batters shaking their heads was her change-up.  With no change in her motion or delivery to tip the pitch off, Bunte froze hitters with the 44 mph change-up. Bunte only allowed two earned runs, finishing with a 0.70 ERA.  This young lady will be an interesting follow over the next couple of years during her recruiting journey.


Memphis Gibson (2026 Dubuque, IA), besides having the coolest name in the tournament, did some excellent work in the circle for Nebraska Gold 309. The 5 foot 9 inch Gibson, with long levers and a smooth repeatable motion, worked 15 innings, striking out 12 batters. The RHP has a five pitch bag that includes a drop, fastball, change-up, curve and drop curve, with top velocity of 57 mph.  Gibson appeared at her best when working the lower half of the zone with her drop and drop curve, resulting in several weak ground balls as batters could not barrel up the pitches.  Gibson only allowed one earned run on the weekend, finishing tied with a tournament best 0.89 WHIP. This young lady would appear to have more velocity to come as she matures over the next few years, if she continues to develop her pitching skill set.


Hannah Uhles (2025 Carrollton, IL), a RHP for Force Elite, would appear to be a prototypical pitch to contact pitcher.  Uhles utilizes a four pitch mix with a curve, screw, change-up and fastball, with a top velocity of 61 mph. Uhles will work deep into count and relies on her defense to make plays behind her to be successful. Uhles worked 17 innings,recorded 23 strikeouts and never appeared to get rattled when giving up a hit or allowing a run.  She went back to work and gave her team an opportunity to win. A two way player, Uhles picked up nine hits that included two doubles, knocking in six and scoring four runs.


Grace Gray (2025 Brownsburg, IN) is a LHP for Wisconsin Heat that brings five pitches into the circle with her. Utilizing a curve, rise, screw, change-up and fastball, Gray worked nine innings and sat down 21 batters via strikeout by changing speed and hitting spots with her pitches. With a top velocity of 62 mph, Gray was able to overpower some hitters, but could also finesse a strikeout by coming back with a 45 mph change-up.