PG Elite 40 STL Scouting Showcase
The midwest weather was nothing short of unpredictable over the weekend in St. Louis, Missouri; from severe thunderstorms, tornado threats, and 30 mph hour winds, to a beautiful and sunny Sunday for softball. Each team that played in the Elite 40 Scouting showcase had to adapt to the weather and do their best to perform no matter the circumstances! Each player showed grit and tenacity this weekend. Out of 12 teams the St. Louis Heat-Leigraf came out as champions, scoring 42 runs total, ending the weekend with a record of 5-0-1. Coming in 2nd place overall was the STL Comet scoring 41 runs total, they ended the weekend with a record of 3-1-2.
Lauren Opfer (2023 Ballwin, MO) from the STL Heat-Leigraaf was named MV-Pitcher, the uncommitted 5’7 lefty pitched 14 innings, with 14 strike-outs, and her ERA at 4.00. Lauren’s height helps her great push off the mound, closing the distance between her and her opponent in the batter’s box. She has confidence in the circle and has control over each of the pitches she throws, curve, screw, drop, change, and her KO pitch, her rise ball. Throwing 58-60mph her rise ball comes in looking like a steak dinner but jumps right over the hands of the batter, I witnessed her strike out multiple batters with this beautiful pitch! The most valuable pitcher award was earned, and well deserved.
Jaycee Gillette (2024 Winfield, MO) also of the STL Heat-Leigraf was named MV-Player, do not let her 4’10 frame fool you, she is strong and a hard-working athlete. The uncommitted catcher for the heat, she does a great job of commanding the game from behind the plate, it is clear she has a good relationship with each of her pitchers, and trust is established because she and the entire pitching staff work as a well-oiled machine. Jaycee does everything a catcher should be doing: she calls the plays, communicates with her pitcher and the umpire to adjust when needed, frames well, and blocks. She is also key to her team's success in the batter's box. In 15 plate appearances, Jaycee had 7 RBI and 1 home run off of 9 hits.
Anissa Loera (2023 Northglenn, CO) utility player for the Prodigy Gold, impressed me with her confidence at the plate, she displayed self-control as she waited for a pitch she knew she could drive, and when she did hit foul balls the contact was solid. She has a compact stance and a simple swing that works for her. In 14 plate appearances, Loera had an average of .500, 6 hits total, 1 of them being a home run, 6 RBI, and 4 runs scored.
Alaya Pope (2024 O’Fallon, MO) is a strong slapper for the Top Gun 05-STL Murphy, she is a power slapper, and the outfield has a hard time deciding where to play her because she is in control of her bat and is able to drop it in no man’s land or drive the ball on a line over their heads if they underestimate her power. I liked her approach at the plate, she was aggressive and looking for the first pitch she could drive hard. She did an excellent job of keeping her shoulders square with the plate and her hands back as she moved through the box, basic mechanics of slapping, but being faithful in the little things is what makes you successful!
Myla Inman (2023 Washington, MO) uncommitted middle infielder for the STL Comet is clutch on offense and defense, she does a great job on staying through ground balls and making the routine plays that make such a big difference when big games are on the line! At the plate, right-handed Inman is disciplined, swings at strikes, makes solid connections with the softball, and has such a fast extension through the strike zone, pushing the ball further! In 16 plate appearances, Myla had 1 home run, 5 RBIs, and 4 hit’s and her on-base percentage was 0.375.
Morgan Murphy (2026 Lake STL, MO) of the Top Gun 23/24 STL, is a fun player to watch, the 5’8 uncommitted RHP did a good job at the plate this weekend, she stands slightly open giving herself more room to get her hands to the inside pitch. She has solid hitting mechanics and is athletic, using her legs to generate power. I like that she does not swing and miss often, she battles at the plate, has a softball IQ, she is not swinging at balls in the dirt or over her bat; the ball’s that do go foul are hard hit and she makes the pitcher work hard each time she is at the plate. In 8 plate appearances, Murphy had 3 hits, 3 RBI, and 2 runs scored.