Southern California's High School Sports Blog

PGF Nationals Preview: 12U Premier Primer (7/28/19)

Tennessee Mojo-Danley celebrates its 1-0 win over Diamond Sports Hotshots-Jones in the PGF 12U Premier national championship game on Friday, July 27, 2018. Photo/Patrick Takkinen.

Teams from Texas and the Southeast have produced many of the top contenders and the past three national champions at the PGF 12U Premier Nationals, but it looks like a So Cal team might be ready to regain the throne July 31-Aug. 4 in Orange County, CA.

Explosion-Denio/Serrano, OC Batbusters-Mascarenas, Athletics-Mercado 2024-Ornelas and Power Surge-Berndes all have teams that appear to be poised to make a run at a national title. That doesn’t mean that the Texas and the Southeast teams are slowing down. They have plenty of contenders, but So Cal figiures to be right in the middle of all the action.

“Our 12U Explosion-Denio team is poised for a successful and deep run this year at PGF,” Explosion coach Gerry Serrano said. “The team’s core has been together for four years and has added key players, rounding off one of the deepest offensive lineups in the division. Defensively, the infield now on its fourth year together is one of the most fundamentally sound out there. The Team began the season with two of the top pitchers in the division and garnering respect as one of the top 12U Teams in Southern California. At the Jr. Sparkler Tournament in Colorado, the team lost one of their key pitchers to injury which was a significant loss, but the team has added two big pitchers as depth for PGF. For a successful run in PGF, the team will need to continue with its staple mark of high offensive output and strong defense throughout the tournament.”

The ace of Explosion’s pitching staff is Emily “Bugs” Bell, a hard-throwing right-hander who gets stonger as the game goes, to go along with RHP Jazmine Mikel, who has excellent spin, hard-throwing southpaw Melanie Macias and hard-throwing RHP Mia Nicole Sanchez. Explosion has one of the deepest lineups in the nation with SS Kaniya Bragg, C Soraya Lueta, Mikel, C Makayla Cable, 3B Nevaeh Trejo, OF Brooke Washa, 2B Gianna Serrano, OF Kayli Counts, OF Emma Meyer and OF Morgan Haygood.

Arizona Hall of Famer Toni Mascarenashas has had a lot of success coaching young players, including a PGF 12U Premier team that won the national title in 2015, and she has another strong OC Batbusters team this summer. Right-handers Eva Hurtado, Mina Tala and Ovionna Hayes are the Batbusters top pitchers. “All three throw well,” Mascarenas said. “(They) cand hrow to both sides of the plate and also mix up speeds.” Tala, who can hit to all fields, Bree Townsend, a clean-up hitter with pop, clutch hitter Mia Krueger and Maddy Finnerty, who brings speed and power from the left side, lead the Batbusters’ offense.

“My team needs to play defense and limit their mental errors,” Mascarenas said.

Athletics-Mercado 2024-Ornelas is another So Cal team with the potential to make a run at the title. RHP Cambria Salmon, one of the top 2024 prospects in the country who has been clocked at 64 mph, and RHP Miali Guachino, a power pitcher cocked at 62-62 mph, give the Athletics two dominant pitchers. OF Dakota Potter, a speedy leadoff hitter with great defensive skills, C/OF Alaina Chaffold, a slugger with tremendous speed, and SS/UT Brooklyn Wilson-Buehler, a lefty that can slap or hit away, are some of the Athletics top hitters.

“This spring, this team has played up in the 14U division all year, only playing two tournaments in 12U winning the
TCS Memorial Tournament and taking third in Colorado Sparkler. The team looks ready to compete this year at
PGF with a record of 42-10 with most of there games playing up a division. To be successful at PGF this team will
need to do what they have done all year … pitch great, play solid defensively and have timely hitting.”

Power Surge outscored the opposition, 93-10, en route to the Triple Crown World Series title. The Power Surge might have the deepest pitching staff in the nation with Jessica Phelps, Peanut Garcia, McKenna Gieger and Lydia Weldon and a lineup that’s dangerous 1-9.

“Power Surge is very ready for PGF Nationals,” Scott Berndes said. “We are coming off a great run and win at Triple Crown World Series as we won the title scoring 93 runs and giving up only 10 in 10 games. We beat some top teams on the way to the championship.”

The Beverly Bandits has a pair of solid teams at PGF with Beverly Bandits DeMarini-Soliz and Beverly Bandits Premier-Michalski.

Soliz’s Bandits have Grayson LaMarche and Hayley Griggs in the circle and the offense is led by Griggs, C/CF Jenna Kuzara, P/1B Avery Garden, Alexis DeBoer, C/3B Storm Kentros and MIF Kiley Carr.

“Well, as far as top contenders, I know that the Batbusters will be tough,” Bandits coach Nick Soliz said. “I’d also like to think we have a good shot as well. But to be honest we have not seen a lot of teams on that side of the country, so it would be hard for me to say who would be the top contenders. I imagine all the teams will bring something solid to the table.”

Impact Gold National 2024-Wilson, formerly the Texas Boom ’06, which placed third at PGF 10U Premier Nationals, has been together since 8U and has a lot of experience on the national scene. Impact Gold has assembled a top-flight pitching staff with Bailey Lindemuth, a power pitcher (61 mph) with command of a repertoire of off-speed and spin pitches, Brooke Wells, the daughter of a former Division I softball pitcher and pro baseball player, and Aubrey Flores, an off-speed/spin pitcher. C Prisais Quintero, one of the top defensive plaers in 2024 class, SS/RF Ahsunte “Boogie” Specks (12 homers this summer), SS/C Ella McDowell (11 homers this summer), OF Ashtyn Reichhardt, a lefty power slapper, UT Presley Ross, slugger Tyra Thompson, UT Lien Brister, a five-tool player with power and speed, 3B Ava Wright, who hits for power and average, OF Kate Lindsey, a speedy power hitter, flexible UT Alana Ramos and UT Rhylan Wilson, the team’s leader.

“After years of scouting and recruiting, (I) have hand-selected this group of girls and families from among the best select teams across the Southwest, convincing each to set aside their personal egos in an effort to pursue a bigger dream,” Impact Gold coach DJ Wilson said, “and then meticulously developed them into a team capable of competing and winning on the national stage.”

Brandi Macias’ AASA team loooks solid with Kaitlyn Macias, Elle Johnson, and Elisa Gall in the circle. The offense is led by 2B/SS Lainey Macosky, C Matea Muraoka, and SS/2B Emma French.

“This team is tight knit,” Macias said. “They are learning and have played for one another and give everything of themselves to each other. If we play consistent and compete at our own level, defensively and offensively we will be successful.”


PGF NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP LINEAGE


ALL-TIME CHAMPIONS

2018 PGF NATIONALS

PGF HIGH SCHOOL ALL-AMERICAN GAME

West 4, East 2 (West leads the all-time series, 2-1)

18U PREMIER

Georgia Impact-Lewis 6, OC Batbusters-Stith 4

18U PLATINUM

Firecrackers North-Thomas 7, USA Athletics Gold 0

16U PREMIER

Birmingham Thunderbolts-Dorsett 4, Athletics-Mercado 1

16U PLATINUM

Tampa Mustangs-Walford 5, Breakers Labs Blue 2

14U PREMIER

Corona Angels-Tyson 9, Sorcerer-Schroll 2

14U PLATINUM

Northwest Bullets-Rice 7, OC Batbusters-Garcia 1

12U PREMIER

Tennessee Mojo-Danley 1, Diamond Sports Hotshots-Jones 0

12U PLATINUM

Cal Cruisers-Caouette 5, OC Batbusters-Garcia 4

10U PREMIER

Impact Gold National-Smith 7, Beverly Bandits-Trackwell 3

2017 PGF NATIONALS

PGF HIGH SCHOOL ALL-AMERICAN GAME

East 7, West 4

18U PREMIER

Beverly Bandits-Conroy 2, Corona Angels-Tyson 0

18U PLATINUM

Salinas Storm-Heen 5, Batbusters-Gomes/Clark 4

16U PREMIER

Beverly Bandits-Ketelhut 10, Athletics-Mercado/Smith 1

16U PLATINUM

Firecrackers UT-Rollin 7, Birmingham Thunderbolts-01 4

14U PREMIER

Texas Dirt Divas 4, OC Batbusters-Campbell-03 3

14U PLATINUM

Firecrackers-Brashear/Oakes 8, Birmingham Thunderbolts-2003 1

12U PREMIER

Diamond Sports Hotshots Gold 5, Georgia Impact-Langston 1

10U PREMIER

Fury-2024 12, Birmingham Thunderbolts-06 5

2016 PGF NATIONALS

PGF HIGH SCHOOL ALL-AMERICAN GAME

West 2, East 0

18U PREMIER

Firecrackers-Rico 2, California Cruisers-Sievers 0

18U PLATINUM

Iowa Premier 2, USA Athletics Gold 0

16U PREMIER

Beverly Bandits-Conroy 3, South Dakota Renegades 2

16U PLATINUM

Firecrackers-Brashear 3, Midwest Speed 2

14U PREMIER

So Cal Athletics-Mercado/Smith 6, Corona Angels-Tyson 0

14U PLATINUM

Grapettes-Guevara 2, Birmingham Thunderbolts-Dorsett 0

12U PREMIER

Texas Sudden Impact 6, Texas Impact Gold-Esparza 1

10U PREMIER

Tennessee Mojo-2023 11, Intensity South TX 3

2015 PGF NATIONALS

18U PREMIER

OC Batbusters-Stith/Haning 7, So Cal Athletics-Richardson 0

18U PLATINUM

Firecrackers-Pasco 3, Iowa Premier Gold 2

16U PREMIER

Tampa Mustangs-TJ 1, Beverly Bandits/Team DeMarini 0

16U PLATINUM

Sparks Premier 5, KC Peppers-Clinton 3

14U PREMIER

OC Batbusters-Campbell 7, Georgia Impact-Lewis 4

14U PLATINUM

Cal Nuggets Gold 6, Nor Cal Dirt Dogs-Ybarra 4

12U PREMIER

OC Batbusters-Mascarenas 2, So Cal Choppers 02-Gibson 1

10U PREMIER

Diamond Sports Hotshots Gold 8, Texas Chaos 5

2014 PGF NATIONALS

18U PREMIER

OC Batbusters-Stith/Haning 3, Corona Angels-Tyson 0

18U PLATINUM

OC Batbusters-Briggs 5, Illinois Stars 0

16U PREMIER

So Cal Athletics-Myers/McNee 2, Beverly Bandits-Tyrrell 1

16U PLATINUM

California Cruisers-Evans 11, OC Batbusters-Alvarez 3

14U PREMIER

Corona Angels-Tyson 7, So Cal Athletics-Quarles 1

14U PLATINUM

Courage-Weaver 9, Cal Cruisers-Sievers 1

12U PREMIER

So Cal Athletics-Mercado 4, DirecTV Genies 3

2013 PGF NATIONALS

18U PREMIER

So Cal Athletics-Richardson 3, Team Mizuno-Stith 2

18U PLATINUM

Strike Force-Guerra 10, Central California Dirt Dogs 0

16U PREMIER

Beverly Bandits-Tyrrell 2, OC Batbusters-Myers 0

14U PREMIER

Team Mizuno-Campbell 5, OC Batbusters-McNee 4

12U PREMIER

So Cal Athletics-Tidd/Ornelas 9, AZ Suncats 0

2012 PGF NATIONALS

18U PREMIER

So Cal Athletics-Richardson 5, Worth Firecrackers 4

16U PREMIER

Team Mizuno-Stith 5, Corona Angels-Knighten 1

14U PREMIER

Atlanta Vipers 3, So Cal Athletics-Marinacci 2

12U PREMIER

Firecrackers-Quarles 8, Firecrackers-Roman 2

2011 PGF NATIONALS

18U PREMIER

So Cal Athletics-Richardson 8, Worth Firecrackers 7

16U PREMIER

Firecrackers-Blanco 5, Texas Glory-Naudin 0

14U PREMIER

OC Batbusters-McNee 3, Corona Angels-Knighten 0

2010 PGF NATIONALS

18U PREMIER

So Ca Athletics-Richardson 4, Texas Impact Gold 2

16U PREMIER

OC Batbusters-Myers 6, Corona Angels-Howard 4

(Note: Send news tips, stats or story ideas to Carlos Arias via text at 949-606-3602, Twitter @SoCalSidelines or email at punchymcgee@gmail.com)

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