Kicking off our top five is a team that provided exactly what its moniker suggests, the Sudden Impact 98. The Chino Hills, California team impacted the competition in a huge way at the USSSA Fastpitch World Series, going 8-0, with a 52-14 run differential, to capture that title and vault its way into our top five.
The Impact clinched the championship with three wins over No. 9 Team Smith 98, including a 9-1 win in the final. Ryan Jackson won the Tournament MVP award, and Alexis Vargas was named both Outstanding Pitcher and Defensive Tournament MVP for the event. The Impact also notched a second-place finish in the Spring Fever tournament, losing in the final to Team Smith 98. The club finished with an 11-2 record vs. class A, with a 1287 power rating and 705 USSSA points.
Guided by Richard Vargas, the team consists of Amanda Acevedo, Kennedy Anderson, Summer Anderson, Emily Ballesteros, Vanessa Barron, Savannah Caggiano, Hunter Elias, Jaclyn Mattingly, Alissa Noble and Jessika Trujillo.
Our next team unleashed an assault on its opponents all season long, as Fully Loaded, from Moore, Oklahoma, took the No. 4 position. Despite a somewhat disappointing 17th place finish at the USSSA Road to Orlando Fastpitch World Series, Fully Loaded still had a stellar season. It went 4-2 in the Series, and suffered a 6-4 loss to eventual champion TALEN 98.
Fully Loaded did win the Oklahoma State Championship, sweeping six games, including one against the No.7 Lady Sandites, with a 29-4 run differential. They also won the the Red River Shootout NIT, defeating TALEN 98 in the final, and the 5gg Xtreme Madness and 5gg State Festival Moore Ball Park tournaments. The team finished with a 46-7 overall USSSA record (31-4 vs. class A), with 1120 USSSA points and a 1298 power rating.
Led by Cristy Moreno, the team consists of Caitlin Bingham, Sabrina Childers, Coren Davis, Jacey James, Audrie LaValley, Amanda Moreno, Montana Price, Maria Priest, Emily Richardson and Kylee Stone.
The No. 3 Kansas City Glory shows the effect a World Series win can have on a season and our rankings. The Glory went from being unranked last month, with no major USSSA tournament titles under its belt, all the way to our third spot after its triumph at the USSSA Fastpitch World Series.
The squad went 9-0, and outscored its opponents 89-12, to take the crown. Most impressively, it notched two wins over the No. 2 Blue Springs Fireballs, including a 9-1 drubbing in the final.
Justice Milz captured the Tournament MVP award, and Mandy Robert took home the Outstanding Pitcher trophy. The Glory also had a runner-up finish to the Fireballs at the State Bernard Girls Memorial Tournament. The squad finished the year with a 37-16 overall USSSA record (14-3 vs. class A), with 1590 USSSA points and a 1319 power rating.
Managed by Leigh Bailey, the team includes Kendyll Bailey, Bobbi Bodenhamer, Gaby Brown, Paige Hayden, Madison Heide, Melanie Spiwak, Ashlyn Sutton and Mashala Tolbert.
Finishing the season in our No. 2 slot is a team that brought the heat all year, the Blue Springs Fireballs. The Missouri team finished second at the USSSA Fastpitch World Series, losing the aforementioned 9-1 final to the No. 3 Kansas City Glory. The Fireballs did go 7-2 (with both losses against the Glory) for the Series, with two wins over the No. 7 Lady Sandites, and Madison Sykes captured the Defensive Tournament MVP award.
The club took the the State Bernard Girls Memorial tournament with three wins, and went 5-1, with a 35-26 run differential, to take the MO-Kan Fall State Championship against 14 and under competition. The team also won the Big Boy Burger Bonanza (14U) and Monster Bash Tournament events, and finished with a 35-5 overall USSSA record (18-3 vs. class A), with 1865 USSSA points and a 1349 power rating.
Guided by Jerry Self, the team includes Lauren Kerby, Dani Kilgore, Brooklyn Lauritzen, Hailey Newbrough, Daphne Plummer, Brittani Reid, Skyler Robinson, Nasadiya Salazar, Gabbi Self, Mariah Welch and Julia Woelbel.
To conclude the season as our No. 1 ranked team a squad must overwhelm the competition, and that's exactly what East Des Moines did this season. The Iowa team won 12 tournament titles, only falling a bit short in its two seperate USSSA Fastpitch World Series appearances, finishing fourth in both tournaments. The team went 9-2 at the first Series, but a loss to the No. 7 Lady Sandites helped the Kansas City Glory take the crown. At its second Series, East Des Moines went 8-3, but the Wasco Diamonds 97 took the title.
The team did compile a staggering 81-5 overall USSSA record this season (34-2 vs. class A), with a 1398 power rating and 2280 USSSA points. The club won the the Iowa State Championship, and went 6-0, with a 57-13 run differential, to take the USSSA Summerfest tournament. They also won the NIT Pitch For The Cure (a 14U tournament), the EDM Earlybird, the Iceberg Open, Fall Shootout, Fall Freeze Out, Quad City Fall Classic and Altoona Fall Shootout tournaments.
Managed by Rob Hilzer, the team includes Jordyn Anderson, Olivia Brooks, Camryn Carpenter, Laurie Custard, Sidney Davis, McKenzie Hilzer, Joey Kamman, Jessa May, Cheyenne Thompson, Sheridan Thompson and Brooke Wilson.
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