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18U White Sox Academy Finishes off Great Season in the 2011 PGF National Tournament

08/11/2011 2:08 PM -

The 67 best fastpitch teams from across the nation traveled to Huntington Beach, California for the PGF National Tournament, the most prestigious tournament of the year. For the first time ever the White Sox Academy 18U qualified for the gold division and held their own finishing in a tie for 33rd place. The team found themselves against some very tough competition but fought and scratched to a 2-4 record.

The tournament opened with two tough losses, the first to the New Mexico Sundancers. It was a battle from the beginning but the Sundancers came out on top 3-2. Taylor Weissenhofer and Mary Connolly combined to pitch a 3 hitter while striking out five.

The next game found the White Sox Academy against the Texas Bombers. It was a scoreless game until the Bombers scratched a run in the fifth followed by two more in the sixth. The White Sox Academy had a rally going in the seventh with Kendall Duffy scoring on an error by the catcher, but they could not score another run, leaving the bases loaded. Mary Connolly pitched well in the 3-1 loss allowing only one run and one hit in five innings of work.

Game 3 matched the White Sox Academy against the Arizona Hotshots. Needing a win the team turned to Taylor Weissenhofer and she delivered. Taylor picked up the win, pitching five innings giving up five hits and zero runs in the 6-0 win. The offense broke out in the 3rd inning as 6 runs crossed the plate to put the game out of reach. Ashley London finished the game 3 for 3 with an RBI and Nicole Babrowski added two hits. Mary Connolly, Kendall Duffy, and Kelsey Gonzalez each contributed with an RBI. The win gave the team a 1-2 pool play record and a date with the Texas Glory in bracket play.

The Glory came out with 2 big runs in the first to put us in a hole early, and the offense never seemed to get on track against the Glory pitcher. Kelsey Ullrich had the lone RBI for the team in the 4-1 loss.

This dropped them to the consolation bracket where they were matched up against NW Fireballs. Knowing they needed a win to stay alive the White Sox Academy put together their best game of the tournament. They pounded out 16 hits and scored 9 runs in the 9-1 victory. Timmie Rappe set the tone with a 4 for 4 performance including 3 runs scored. Nicole Babrowski was 3 for 3 with 2 runs scored and Kelsey Ullrich was 2 for 4 with a home run and two RBIs. Alex London contributed with 3 hits and a run scored and Mikayla Panko drove in a run. Mary Connolly and Amanda Barna each had two RBIs and combined to pitch a one hitter.

The next round was against a very good Wichita Mustangs squad. The White Sox Academy jumped out to an early 1-0 lead but couldn’t hold it as the Mustangs came back with 4 run in the third inning. They couldn’t get another run until the 7th and by then it was too late as they suffered a 4-2 defeat. Mary Connolly was 1 for 2 with a home run and 2 RBIs.

All in all this was a terrific showing for the team in their first appearance in the gold division. Congratulations to the girls on a terrific season which was highlighted by their PGF National Qualifier tournament win in Indianapolis and their 33rd place finish in the PGF National Tournament. They have set the bar for next year and hopefully we are in the gold division at the PGF National Tournament for years to come!



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