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18U Wins National Qualifier, Headed to California

06/26/2011 1:56 PM -

18U Bulls/Sox Academy Fastpitch team wins national birthCongratulations to the 18U White Sox Fastpitch Travel  Team as they capped off a superb weekend finishing 7-0 at the Indianapolis Premier Girls Fastpitch Tournament. The girls secured their spot in the PGF National Tournament in Huntington Beach, California July 31th- August 6th. The 18U White Sox Fastpitch team will be 1 of 4 teams representing Illinois at this prestigious tournament, and are the Academy’s first team to play in the Gold division at the PGF National Tournament.

The Indianapolis tournament started out with 2 pool play games. The action started out with a dominating two-hit performance in the circle from Amanda Barna in a 9-2 victory over the Michigan Fire Stix.  The offense was powered by Lewis University recruit Kelsey Ullrich’s first Grand Slam.

Mary ConnollyThe second pool play game was more of the same as the team defeated the St. Louis Fusion 9-0. Mary Connolly did a little bit of everything as she pitched a shutout, and helped her own cause by scoring 3 runs.

The tournament games proved to be a much tougher challenge. The first game was a 2-1 victory over the Indiana Magic on another stellar performance by Mary Connolly who finished with 7 strikeouts. Next was an impressive 6-2 victory over the Nashville Cruisers. Mikayla Panko had reservations with the bleachers for her first homer of the tournament and Timmie Rippie crossed the plate twice. Amanda Barna was rock solid in the circle posting a three-hitter.

Game 3 was a battle from the beginning against the Riveria Beach Spirit. The game was tied 1-1 after 7 innings until Mackenzie Buchelt broke the tie with a two-run blast in the 8th to preserve the 3-1 victory.

The next game was against the Indiana Shockwaves and their Arizona State University pitching recruit. The offense struggled to get the bats going but did just enough to get the win. Olivia Ramirez and Kendall Duffy both reached on errors in the 6th and came around to score the lone runs for the team. They advanced with a 2-1 victory against a very difficult pitcher.

Mikayla PankoKelsey UllrichThe finals squared our White Sox Fastpitch team with the Indiana Dream. Coming off a very rough 12-3 loss the previous week to the Dream, the girls came out with a chip on their shoulder and jumped out to an early lead. In the 2nd inning Timmie Rappe beat out an infield single allowing two runs to score and extending the inning, allowing Mary Connolly to hit a key 3 run homer to stretch the lead to 5-0. The 5th inning provided more fireworks as Mikayla Panko and Kelsey Ullrich each hit solo home runs and that was enough for Mary Connolly who picked up the win in the 7-5 victory. Kelsey Gonzalez had a strong offensive performance with 2 hits in 3 at-bats.  

Congratulations to the girls on a phenomenal tournament and good luck in the National Tournament in California!






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