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Softball  | Softball Tournament  | 3/20/2024

PG Softball High School Early Bird

Dave Durbala     

BURLINGTON, IA - Perfect Game Softball High School Early Bird, March 16-17, 2024. This event was composed of two, one day, round robins, with each team getting three games. It is the warm-up for the Spring season for Iowa High Schools, as they prepare for their Summer season. Although travel organizations also participated, this is usually the time when players leave their travel teams behind, to play for their school teams, until getting back to travel ball in the Fall. Below are some top performers from this event, with some players playing both days, while others only played one.


Julia Roth (2026 Dubuque, IA),  playing for Lady Expos Hs Blue, is a  true two way player as a SS/RHP. Hitting from the right-side, Roth shows a solid set up in the box, getting into her legs and not showing much movement, just leaning into the back leg prior to her launch phase. With a line drive approach at the plate, Roth, working her hands inside the ball,  is able to drive the ball with power to all parts of the park. On the day, Roth collected four hits which included three home runs, scored seven runs, knocked in five and worked pitchers for four free passes. In the circle, topping out at 59 mph, Roth showed hitters a five pitch mix of fastball, change-up, drop, curve and rise, in her six innings of work. She collected eight strikeouts, gave up 4 hits, did not allow a walk, and gave up one earned run for her effort. 


Dylan Amling (2028 Cedar Rapids, IA) is a RHH playing for Kennedy Hs. Setting up in the box with feet parallel, slightly sitting into her legs and hinged at the waist, Amling leans into the back side for weight transfer and then utilizes a stride to gain separation and get momentum moving forward. Setting an aggressive attack angle, Amling showed the ability to drive the ball, picking up four hits which included 2 doubles and two home runs to knock in six, while scoring five times.


Lila Legislador (2026 Cedar Rapids, IA) is another young hitter playing for Kennedy Hs. Hitting from the right side, Legislador sets up at the plate in a  parallel stance and leans deep into the rear leg, straightening out her front leg, to get weight transferred before striding to get momentum going back towards the pitcher. For her effort, Legislador collected five hits on the day, with three doubles and a triple, scored one run, knocked in six and swiped a couple of bases, finishing with a .625 batting average.


Lindaja Smith (2025 Des Moines, IA) was a two way player for the Centerville Redettes, who excelled at the plate and in the circle. The R/R Smith, setting up at the plate with a solid base, shows quick hands and an attack angle made for fly balls, with plenty of pull-side power.  On the day, Smith made the most of her three hits, collecting three home runs, which were all no doubters. She scored three runs and picked up eight rbi’s. In the circle, working with a fastball, change-up, curve and rise, Smith worked six innings, struck out five, gave up one hit, allowed a base on balls, and did not give up an earned run, while topping out at 63 mph.


Chandler Houselog (2024 Dubuque, IA) is a C/3B for Lady Expos Hs Blue. Hitting from the right side, the Indian Hills Community College commit, sets up tall in the box with a slightly open stance. With solid use of her lower half and elevated attack angle, Houselog is not short of pull side power. Of her three hits on the day, she finished with a double and two home runs, knocking in five. She scored four runs, showed discipline at the plate by working pitchers for two walks, and not recording a strike out.


Erica Gast (2026 Nora Springs, IA) is a LHH for North Iowa Heat. Starting with an exaggerated open stance, back foot nearly on inside line of batters box and front foot on outside line of the box, feet almost set as a sprinter would start, she makes a pre pitch move to bring the front foot to the back foot, hovering with all her weight on the back leg, before striding to gain separation and generate momentum for her swing. Gast collected three hits, and utilized her speed in collecting three doubles and three stolen bases. She scored four runs, knocked in two, and did not have a strikeout, to finish with a .600 batting average.


Hannah Greiner (2025 Atkins, IA) is a L/R, 1B/P for the Benton Bobcats, who led Day 2 with her six hits. Greiner starts with feet parallel, slightly in her legs, and utilizes a leg kick to get weight shifted, for timing and to gain separation. She works her hands inside the ball and utilizes the whole field. With five singles and a double, she picked up 4 rbi’s, scored 2 runs and finished with a batting average of .750 for her efforts.


In the circle, Olivia Young (2024 Cedar Rapids, IA) had a good Day 2 of the event for Lady Expos Hs Blue. The RHP Spoon River College commit, utilizing a smooth repeatable delivery, with good use of her lower half in the drive phase, worked a six pitch mix of fastball, change-up, drive, curve, rise and screw, with a top velocity of 60 mph. Accurately working both sides of the plate, from top to bottom of the strike zone, Young threw seven innings, struck out 14, allowed two hits and did not give up a base on balls, or an earned run, to finish the day with a 0.00 ERA and 0.29 WHIP. 


Saydee Plummer (2024 Burlington, IA), playing for Grayhound Softball, was another RHP standout performer on Day 2. The Iowa Western Community College commit, armed with a full arsenal of pitches, utilized her screw to run in on the hands of right handed hitters and her curve to run away from right side hitters barrels.  In her five innings of work, Plummer sat down 10 batters via strikeout, showing a top velocity of 62 mph. She was consistently around the plate and allowed one hit, gave up one walk, but did not allow an earned run to finish with a 0.00 ERA and a 0.40 WHIP.


Josephine Moore (2025 Sigourney, IA) is a RHP for the Sigourney Savages. Showing good use of her lower half in the drive phase, Moore worked six innings and struck out nine, utilizing a fastball, change-up, curve, rise, drop and screw. Topping out at 61 mph, Moore was able to keep hitters off balance by showing them a very nice change-up.  She allowed two hits, and although she gave up nine walks, she was able to work herself out of jams, and only allowed one earned run.


Tiffany Taylor (2028 Des Moines, IA), playing for Iowa Dynamite 16u, was the youngest arm in the event, but you would never know it by watching her. With poise and a skill set above her age, Taylor, a RHP, went to work with a full bag of pitches that included fastball, change-up, drop, rise, curve, two-seam and drop curve, with a top velocity of 62 mph. For her two days of work, Taylor completed 14 innings, striking out 33 batters, allowed nine hits, gave up five free passes and allowed five earned runs, finishing with a 1.00 WHIP.


Peyton Stineman (2027 Cedar Rapids, IA) is another young arm that impressed during this event. Topping out at 61 mph, and showing hitters a five pitch mix of fastball, change-up, rise, curve and screw, the RHP Stineman utilizes a repeatable motion with consistent arm swing and release, with good use of her lower half in the drive phase, all qualities indicative of top pitchers. Working the whole zone from top to bottom, Stineman works both sides of the plate, equally well to keep hitters off balanced. In her 14 innings of work, Stineman struck out 31 batters, allowed eight hits, gave up one base on balls and one earned run to finish with a 0.50 ERA and 0.64 WHIP.


Lily Knutson (2026 Cedar Rapids, IA) traded in her travel team uniform for her Kennedy Hs uniform, but the results were the same. Knutson, a RHP, worked a six pitch bag of fastball, change-up, curve, rise, screw and drop in her 13 innings of work. Topping out at 59 mph, Knutson sat down 35 batters, relying on her rise and curve to do most of the damage, but also showing a very nice change-up to keep hitters honest. Knutson’s movement pitches, usually crisp and sharp, were lacking their normal sharp break, which might be attributed to the long winter indoor season, and some arm tiredness. She allowed seven hits, gave up four base on balls and allowed five earned runs, finishing with a 0.85 WHIP.