(Ormond Beach, FL) - Spring may still be a few weeks away, but for fastpitch teams in the Sunshine State it felt like summer at the March Madness at the Beach (Ormond Beach, FL) qualifier tournament.
The 14U and 12U divisions of play were in full swing, and in the end, the North Florida Stars 14U (Green Cove Springs, FL) and Orange City Thunder 12U (Orange City, FL) took home championships in their respective divisions.
The tournament proved to have some heavy hitting teams, impressive defense, and overall was a very well-run tournament weekend. Here’s the full recap with insights from the coaches staff.
In the 14U division, the North Florida Stars 14U proved to be too much for runner up, Oakleaf OUTRAGE (Orange Park, FL), beating them 7-3 in the championship game. Leading up to the final match the North Florida stars defeated Palatka Lady Panthers (9-8), and Diamond Dominators Barfoot (18-5) in pool play, with bracket play wins coming against Brevard Aces 13U (11-5), and Jax Fusion ’04 – D’Errico (13-2). The only loss of the tournament for the North Florida Stars came in game one against Jax Fusion ’04 (6-3). Collectively, the team went 5-1 on the weekend, put 51 (8.5/game) total offensive runs the board while allowing just 16 runs against. The North Florida Stars also had a 1st place finish back in the fall at the Waycross Fall Kickoff, going an impressive 5-0. The team is 8-2 in their last 10 games and is currently on a 5 game win streak.
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Prior to making it to the championship game, runner-up, Oakleaf OUTRAGE 14U had bracket play wins against the Palatka Lady Panthers (9-1), and the Diamond Dominators Barfoot (6-4). In their last 10 games, the team has gone 6-3-1.
Managed by Bill Hamilton, the North Florida Stars 14U squad is comprised of Kinley Carlton, Natalie Foret, Tatiana, Robayo, Abby Rutledge, Jenna Batten, Paola Jorge-Silva, Carlie Drew, Danielle DeHart, Ansley Hamilton, Emalee Martin, Julia Willette, and Sydney Davis.
Runner-up, Oakleaf OUTRAGE 14U includes, Bella Altier, Breanna Crickmore, Alaina Kinsall, Gracie Willemsen, Mariyah Sanchez, Ayianna Ward, Colleen Johnson, Alisha Dial, and Paige Amato.
The intensity continued straight into the 12U division as Orange City Thunder (Orange City, FL) went 5-0 on the weekend, batting 40 runs across the plate and allowing just 20 runs against. In pool play, Orange City
Thunder defeated Diamond Dominators Rosendale (8-0), Jax_Thunder (6-3), and Jax Fusion-Harmon-Oliva (11-9). Once into bracket play, the team’s momentum continued as the girls defeated the Diamond Dominators Rosendale (6-5) before outscoring runner-up, the 06 Lady Panthers (9-3) in the championship. Isabel Lewis proved dominant on the mound with multiple strikeouts over the weekend. Annalyn Duncan also proved to have a big bat as Duncan came through with a walk-off game-winning homerun. This 1st place finish puts Orange City Thunder on a five game winning streak.
“Our team is starting to come together and the future is very bright for the Orange City Thunder 05 team,” said head coach, Chris Duncan. We are looking to make a name for ourselves in two weeks when we play in Clearwater, Florida at the ASA 12U challenge, where the best teams in the state are playing.”
Runner-up, 06 Lady Panthers (Port Orange, FL) went 3-2-1 on the weekend, and had bracket wins against Jax Fusion-Harmon-Oliva (5-3) and the Renegades 12U (8-4) to make it into the championship.
The 12U champions include, Alyssa Pugh, Skyla Shaw, Hailey Adams, Isabel Lewis, Lilly Keckler, Maggie Blanton, Karson Cuozzo, Alyssa Burns, Faith Rowelants, Annalyn Duncan, Emily Pearce, and Luci Walters.
Runner-up 06 Lady panthers are comprised of, Oreallys Bermudez-Cruz, Kylie Davis, Gaby Pardo, Delanie Perry, Taylor Low, Brianne Yocum, Jessica Camacho, Ava Thomas, Brielle Nelson, Heather Rue, Sophia Correa, and Kylee Burns.
Written by: Erika Yackulic