Southern California's High School Sports Blog

Bolts Battle to PGF 12U Premier National Finals (8/3/19)

Birmingham Thunderbolts 12U. Photo/Manny Alvarez.

The Birmingham Thunderbolts needed four wins in order to get to the PGF 12U Premier national championship game and a tough task like that needed a call from the Heavens.

Jayden Heavener delivered.

Heavener threw another complete game to lead the Thunderbolts to a 7-2 victory over Impact Gold on Saturday evening at the Huntington Beach Sports Complex in Huntington Beach, CA.

The victory sent the Thunderbolts to the PGF 12U Premier national title game where they take on the Power Surge-Berndes, a 7-3 winner over So Cal Breakers-Brunetti/Cascio, on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. at Bill Barber Park in Irvine, CA.

“We stayed hyped in the dugout,” Heavener said. “We kept hitting and we kept the defense tight. That is all we needed. I was ready for today.”

Heavener fell into some trouble to open the game, giving up two runs in the first inning thanks to an infield single by Brooke Wells that sent Bailey Lindemuth home. Wells scored the second run thanks to Ava Wright getting hit by a pitch.

Despite the two runs, the damage was minimal as Impact Gold left the bases loaded.

Heavener kept Impact Gold off the scoreboard the rest of the game and after striking out 10 batters in the first matchup, Heavener only struck out one in the second match, leaving her defense to shut down the opponent.

“We had faith in her,” Thunderbolts coach Andrew Burns said. “We put her in a position that was tough and she pulled through.”

The Thunderbolts tied the game in the third inning thanks to a two-run single by Shelby McKenzie that sent Mya Holt and Kennedy Stinon home.

Heavener gave the Thunderbolts the lead in the fourth inning with a sacrifice groundout, sending Mariami Hubbard home.

McKenzie added more runs with a two-run double in the fifth inning and an RBI double in the sixth inning to complete her three-hit, five-RBI game, adding on to her explosive week at the plate.

“This week was nerve-racking,” McKenzie said. “It was all my training. I worked really hard.”

Heavener did fall into some jams as Impact Gold left 11 runners on.

“This is going to hurt us,” Impact Gold coach David Wilson said. “Sometimes going to the loser bracket helps you. You get your bats going, you get hot and that is what happen to them. They’re a scary team. I knew when they came around and got hot, I was hoping one of the Southern California teams could knock them out, but they couldn’t. Those girls were hotter than a rocket on the Fourth of July. That’s how it goes some days. That is what keeps us coming back every year.”

Alyssa Burdge went 2 for 3, Alana Ramos went 2 for 4 with an RBI and Bailey Lindemuth went 3 for 4, while throwing six innings for Impact Gold, which finished in third place at PGF.

“I love my girls,” Wilson said. “They fight hard and they’re great kids with great parents. I say it all the time, a bad day on the softball field is a better day than a good day at work. This ain’t too bad.”

Jasmine Green went 3 for 4, Shelby McKenzie went 3 for 4 with two doubles and five RBIs, Mariami Hubbard went 2 for 4 and Brelynne Hughes went 2 for 3 with an RBI for the Thunderbolts, who look to keep their hot streak alive for one more game tomorrow.

“We have to do the same we have been doing,” Heavener said. “We have to stay hyped in the dugout, stay hot with the bat, get good hits and stay tight on defense.”

In other 12U Premier games:

Power Surge-Berndes 7, So Cal Breakers-Brunetti/Cascio 3: With the game tied in the bottom of the sixth inning, Power Surge surged with a four-run sixth inning to defeat the Breakers.

The victory sent Power Surge to the PGF 12U Premier national championship game. They take on the Birmingham Thunderbolts on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. at Bill Barber Park in Irvine, CA.

Power Surge broke the sixth-inning tie thanks to back-to-back walks to Susanna Pate and Peanut Garcia and a bunt from Kailey Sandoval that loaded the bases. Lydia Weldon followed Sandoval’s lead with a bunt that scored Pate to give Power Surge the lead.

Sofia Mujica followed the bunt single with a double that sent Garcia and Sandoval home. Weldon crossed home plate on a sacrifice fly ball from Jessica Phelps. The runs were enough for reliever McKenna Gieger to close the door and get the victory.

“That win took the whole team,” Gieger said. “We have to work together as a family. They were tough to beat. Our bats came alive in that inning. When we start hitting, nobody can stop us.”

Mia Cascio went 2 for 3 with a double and three RBIs, Caylene Nguyen went 2 for 3 with a double and Callie Christian threw five innings and gave up two hits for the Breakers.

Phelps threw 5.1 innings for Power Surge, which looks to go undefeated at PGF Nationals.

“It took pitching and playing great defense today,” Power Surge coach Scott Berndes said. “I thought Sofia Mujica’s double with the bases loaded was big. What is interesting is that a few years ago at 10U, the Birmingham Thunderbolts finished ahead of us as well as Impact Gold. We have to get it done.”

Birmingham Thunderbolts 2024 4, Impact Gold National 1: Jayden Heavener struck out 10 en route to a complete game four-hit victory to keep the Thunderbolts alive.

Shelby McKenzie went 2 for 4 with an RBI double, Jasmine Green went 3 for 3, Brantlee Worham went 2 for 4 with a double and an RBI, Mariami Hubbard went 2 for 4 and Kennedy Stinson went 2 for 2 with an RBI for the Thunderbolts.

“We had to stay confident at the plate,” Heavener said. “We played great defense, offense and were aggressive.”

Birmingham Thunderbolts 2024 11, Beverly Bandits Premier 1 (4 innings): Brelynne Hughes went 2 for 3 with a double and two RBIs to lead the Thunderbolts to victory.

Hallie Meeks went 2 for 3 with a double and two RBIs, Julianna Nieves went 1 for 3 with two RBIs and Mariami Hubbard went 3 for 3 for the Thunderbolts, who got avenged a 9-2 loss to the Bandits on Friday.

“We had a lot more energy than we did yesterday,” Hughes said. “We worked more as a team. We were way more positive today. We hit much better today.”

Sydni Burko went 1 for 2 with an RBI for the Beverly Bandits.

So Cal Breakers-Brunetti/Cascio 2, Texas Glory 2024 1: Like deja vu all over again. Lilliana Gonzalez’s single to right field sent Tatum Alanis home from second base to keep the Breakers alive in their second walk-off victory in two days against Texas Glory.

Gonzalez went 2 for 4 with the game-winning RBI and Caylene Nguyen threw a complete game for the Breakers.

“We had to keep our hitting alive,” Gonzalez said. “Our pitching did most of the work. Our bench was keeping us alive. We were hitting and being loud. This is unthinkable.”

Kaylee Cuevas went 2 for 2 and Jai-Lynn Flores struck out five in five innings of relief for Texas Glory.

Birmingham Thunderbolts 2024 6, Cal Nuggets-Woods 1: Julianna Nieves went 3 for 4 with three RBIs to keep the Thunderbolts alive.

Shelby McKenzie went 4 for 4 with two RBIs, Jasmine Green went 3 for 4 and Mya Holt threw a complete game three-hitter for the Thunderbolts.

Giselle Ortega went 1 for 3 with an RBI and Alexandra Garcia and Elena Weinseimer each went 1 for 3 for the Nuggets.

Texas Glory 2024 2, Suncats-Natividad/Lee/Walker 0: Ainsley Pemberton threw a three-hit complete game shutout to keep Texas Glory alive. Kaylee Cuevas went 1 for 3 with an RBI, Natalee Velazquez went 1 for 3 with a double and Elexis Livezey went 2 for 3 for Texas Glory.

Power Surge-Berndes 5, Beverly Bandits Premier 2: Sofia Mujica went 2 for 4 with a home run, double and two RBIs to push Power Surge closer to the finals.

Lydia Weldon and Addison Duke each went 2 for 4 and Tamara Carranza went 1 for 2 with an RBI for Power Surge.

Allison Gavin went 1 for 2 with an RBI and Breanna Hanik went 1 for 3 with a double for the Beverly Bandits.

Impact Gold National 8, So Cal Breakers-Brunetti/Cascio 0: Bailey Lindemuth went 2 for 3 with a double and an RBI while striking out seven en route to a two-hit complete game shutout for Impact Gold.

Tyra Thompson went 2 for 3 with an RBI, Brooke Wells went 2 for 3 with an RBI and Ella McDowell went 2 for 4 with a double for Impact Gold.

Mia Cascio went 1 for 3 and Yliana Rivera went 1 for 2 for the Breakers.

In the PGF 14U Platinum national championship game:

OC Batbusters-Shockey 5, Athletics-Mercado/Tidd 4 (8 innings): Avery Duran drove in Kanisha Anderson with a walk-off single in the bottom of the eighth as the Batbusters rallied for two runs in ITB to defeat the Athletics to capture the PGF 12U Platinum national title.

Indy Lngford, Regan Shockey, Mia Escujiri and Duran had two hits apiece and Lari Quiroga drove in two runs to lead the Batbusters’ offense.

Danica Acosta and Jasmin Torres had two hits apiece for the Athletics.

In the PGF 12U Platinum national championship game:

Impact Gold National 07-Smith 6, Georgia Impact-Sullivan 0: Kaylee Grace Favors tossed a two-hit shutout with one walk and four strikeouts to lift Impact Gold, which won a PGF 10U premier national title last year, over Georgia Impact in the 12U Platinum national title game at Bill Barber Park.

Addyson Sheppard went 1 for 3 with a triple, a run and two RBIs for Impact Gold’s offense.

Lorelei Sullivan and Morgan Bond each had hits for Georgia Impact.


PGF NATIONALS SCOREBOARD


12U PREMIER

WINNER’S BRACKET A

FIFTH ROUND

Power Surge-Berndes 5, Beverly Bandits Premier 2

WINNER’S BRACKET B

FIFTH ROUND

Impact Gold National 8, SoCal Breakers-Brunetti/Cascio 0

LOSER’S BRACKET A

EIGHTH ROUND

Birmingham Thunderbolts 2024 6, Cal Nuggets-Woods 1

NINTH ROUND

Birmingham Thunderbolts 2024 11, Beverly Bandits Premier 1

LOSER’S BRACKET B

EIGHTH ROUND

Texas Glory 2024 2, Suncats-Natividad/Lee/Walker 0

NINTH ROUND

So Cal Breakers-Brunetti/Cascio 2, Texas Glory 2024 1

SEMIFINALS

Power Surge-Berndes 7, So Cal Breakers-Brunetti/Cascio 3

Birmingham Thunderbolts 2024 4, Impact Gold National 1

Birmingham Thunderbolts 2024 7, Impact Gold National 2

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