Southern California's High School Sports Blog

Salmon Propels Athletics-Mercado at PGF 12U Premier Nationals (7/31/19)

Cambria Salmon of Athletics-Mercado/Ornelas. Photo/Manny Alvarez.

Diamond Fury coach Mitch Samper knew Athletics-Mercado/Ornelas was one of the favorites at the PGF 12U Premier Nationals, but the Fury wasn’t ready for what Athletics ace Cambria Salmon brought.

Salmon kept Diamond Fury-Samper off balance, throwing a complete game with 11 strikeouts in a 3-1 victory for the Athletics on Wednesday afternoon at the Fountain Valley Sports Complex in Fountain Valley, CA.

The victory moves the Athletics into the second round of the winner’s bracket where they meet Power Surge-Berndas, a 4-2 winner over the San Jose Sting-Moser, on Thursday at 12:30 p.m.

Not only did Salmon dominate on the circle, but she also dominated with her bat, going 2 for 2 with a triple, a walk and an RBI.

“It was exciting,” Salmon said. “It’s nothing I haven’t done before. It’s a PGF game, so it is exciting. I had to stay in my mind and let them get to me and knowing that my defense is behind me. Knowing that I can trust them through any situation and they’re there for me.”

The Athletics scored first in the second inning thanks to a single from Jayde Pagdilao, who advanced to second base on a single by Salmon and scored on a double by Karyme Amaya.

Diamond Fury tied the game in the bottom half of the second after a single by Alexis Rodriguez and a walk from Camrynn Guthrie set up an RBI single for Sarah Allen.

Those two hits were all Diamond Fury could muster, only getting on base on two walks and a hit batter the rest of the way.

“We were just one hit away from being back in that game,” Samper said. “The girls prepared hard. We knew this pitcher was good coming into this game. We worked on her speed, 62-64 miles an hour. The kids were prepared to hit it. It was just one of those days. One hit away.”

The Athletics regained the lead for good in the fourth inning thanks to another single by Pagdilao, who scored again, but this time off the bat of Salmon, who tripled to right field. Alyssa Pereyra ran for Salmon and scored on an RBI single by Amaya.

“It was all just mental,” Amaya said. “I struggled in the past with my confidence. Now I know my teammates have my back and they’ll always be there for me. If I do strike out or hit a groundout, they’ll be there for me. It was being confident and being consistent.”

Diamond Fury pitcher Aubrey Yarnall limited the Athletics’ hitting to only two the rest of the game, throwing a complete game.

Diamond Fury will take on the San Jose Sting on Thursday at 8 a.m. in the loser’s bracket of the double-elimination tournament and look to play a second game later in the day.

Pagdilao, Salmon and Amaya each had two-hit games, while Kayla Latscha and Brooklyn Wilson had the other two hits for Athletics Mercado, which faces another top contender in the PGF 12U Premier Nationals on Thursday.

“It’s going to be another pitching duel,” Athletics coach Fernando Ornelas said. “They have really good pitching over there and we have our two really good pitchers over here. We have to have solid defense. We have to play our ball. If we have our Athletics Mercado mindset, we should move on.”

In other 12U Premier games:

USA Athletics-Davis 9, Explosion-Denio/Serrano 7 (8 innings): The Athletics scored two runs in the eighth inning thanks to two errors to pull off the first-round upset.

Kayla Roe drove in two runs, Natania Leomiti and Miracle McKenzie each went 1 for 4 with a double and an RBI and Tiare Ho-Ching went 2 for 4 for USA Athletics, which returns in the winner’s bracket on Thursday at 2:45 p.m. against OC Batbusters 2024, who were 3-0 winners over Aces Fastpitch.

Kaniya Bragg went 1 for 3 with a two-run home run, Nevaeh Trejo went 0 for 2, but with two RBIs for the Explosion, which takes on Aces Fastpitch on Thursday at 8 a.m.

So Cal Choppers-Tiumalu 4, Jacksonville Storm 3: Natalia Nol came up to the plate with the Choppers down by one and the winning run at second base. Nol hit a line drive down the right-field line, but it was ruled foul. Nol rinsed and repeated with a single to center field for a walk-off victory for the Choppers.

“I was just thinking to put the ball in play,” Nol said. “A base hit would score the runs and we walk-off and win. I was just thinking of the team so we can move on and win.”

The Choppers take on Explosion-Flores, an 11-1 winner over Firecrackers-Martinez, on Thursday at 12:30 p.m.

Hollie Pabst went 1 for 3 with an RBI double and Sydney English went 1 for 3 with an RBI for the Storm, which take on Texas Bombers Gold on Thursday at 10:15 a.m.

Suncats-Natividad/Lee/walker 2, Hotshots Premier 1 (8 innings): With the winning run at third base, Michaella Salvatierra hit a walk-off single just past the third baseman to send the Suncats to the next round.

Salvatierra went 1 for 4 with the winning RBI for the Suncats, who take on Diamond Sports Hotshots, a 10-0 winner over Corona Angels-Moreno, on Thursday at 12:30 p.m.

“It was great,” Salvatierra said of the winning hit. “We all worked as a team and it was a really close game. Hotshots played amazing. It felt great when I got that hit. Their third baseman almost had it, but it went past her. It was so exciting. My plan was to try and hit to second so my teammate could go home, but I got it over the third baseman.”

Francessca Vrazel went 3 for 3, while Camryn Harrison drove in the only run for the Hotshots, who take on the So Cal Athletics-Siofele on Thursday at 8 a.m.

Birmingham Thunderbolts 9, Firecrackers-Weil 8: After scoring two with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning, the Firecrackers left the tying run at second base as the Thunderbolts survived.

Julianna Nieves went 1 for 3 with a three-run double in the sixth inning, Brantlee Wortham went 2 for 4 with two RBIs and Shelby McKenzie went 3 for 4 with a double and an RBI for the Thunderbolts, who take on LTG Lions, a 5-1 winner over Impact Gold-Trevino on Thursday at 12:30 p.m.

Presley Lawson drove in two runs for the Firecrackers, who lost their second game to Virginia Unity-Johnson, 4-2.

Batbusters-Garcia 4, I-5 Softball 0: Jada Villegas struck out six en route to a one-hit complete game shutout for the Batbusters.

Jayleen Scott went 2 for 4 with a double and an RBI for the Batbusters, who take on Corona Angels-Tyson on Thursday at 12:30 p.m.

Hailey Shuler threw six innings for I-5, which stayed alive following a 16-0 victory over So Cal Choppers-Gurule and will take on Firecrackers-Thornburg, which lost to Corona Angels-Tyson, 6-5, on Thursday at 10:15 a.m.

Cal Nuggets-Woods 6, Carolina Cardinals National 2: Alexandra Garcia drove in two runs and Kathryn Munnerlyn went 1 for 3 with two RBIs to lead the Nuggets to victory.

Avery Motroni went 2 for 4 with a double, Abigail Fales went 3 for 3 with an RBI and Rae D’Amato went 2 for 4 for the Nuggets, who take on the So Cal Athletics-Terrones, an 8-1 winner over EC Bullets-Maher, on Thursday at 12:30 p.m.

Baxleigh Arnette and Jasmine Valentine each went 2 for 3 and Melanie Ruthledge went 1 for 3 with an RBI for the Cardinals, who take on the EC Bullets-Maher, an 8-1 loss to So Cal Athletics-Terrones, on Thursday at 8 a.m.

Power Surge-Berndes 4, San Jose Sting-Moser 2: Peanut Garcia struck out seven en route to a four-hit complete game.

Garcia also drove in a run, while Michelle Cervantes went 1 for 3 with an RBI and Susanna Pate drove in a run for Power Surge, which takes on Athletics-Mercado/Ornelas on Thursday at 12:30 p.m.

“We had to hit the entire time,” Garcia said. “I knew my defense had my back. We were a little nervous that they were close, but that’s only because we always want to win. We are a great team and we want to win PGF. That’s our goal.”

Alexis Bojorquez-Nava went 1 for 3 with an RBI double and Kaylani Lim went 2 for 3 for the Sting, who take on Diamond Fury-Stamper on Thursday at 8 a.m.

Atlanta Vipers-Callaway 11, Alabama Firecrackers-Christian 2 (5 innings): Desiree Trudel went 3 for 4 with two doubles and three RBIs to lead the Vipers to a one-sided victory.

Emma Shoemaker went 3 for 3 with an RBI, Brelyn O’Hearn went 2 for 3 with an RBI and Lexie Durban went 2 for 2 with an RBI for the Vipers, who take on Universal Fastpitch-Walling, a 10-5 winner over Jersey Intensity National, on Thursday at 12:30 p.m.

“It took team effort all the way around,” Atlanta Vipers coach Madison Heine said. “We had great defense and great hitting. We came up swinging right away, so that helps a lot. We juts have to keep on hitting and working as a team. That’s a really big when it comes to softball.”

The Firecrackers take on Jersey Intensity, which lost to Universal-Walling, 10-5, on Thursday at 8 a.m.

Corona Angels-Tyson 6, Firecrackers-Thornburg 5: Despite a five-run sixth inning that extended their lead, the Angels still had to put up a fight thanks to a four-run seventh inning from the Firecrackers.

The Angels managed to hold on to a one-run victory thanks to Jazmine Chavez’s performance. Chavez went 3 for 4 with a double and an RBI, while throwing three innings with five strikeouts to take the win.

Ciela Pickett went 2 for 4 for the Angels, who take on Batbusters-Garcia on Thursday at 12:30 p.m.

Sorcerer-Bigley/Everett 8, Texas Glory-Adkins 1: Angelina Romero-Barros went 3 for 4 with two doubles and an RBI to lead Sorcerer to victory. Sorcerer plays Cal Grapettes-McNair, an 8-0 winner over Texas Blaze-Slimp on Thursday at 2:45 p.m.

“We had high energy and great effort,” Romero-Barros said. “We worked as a team instead as individuals. We made some great plays. We have to keep working as a team and have great passion. We have to play one pitch at a time.”

Lucy Crowder went 1 for 3 with a double and Carmen Uribe drove in the lone run for Texas Glory, which defeated Firecrackers TDR and will take on Texas Blaze-Slimp on Thursday at 10:15 a.m.

So Cal Breakers-Brunetti/Cascio 6, Corona Angels-G. Perez 2: Yliana Rivera went 2 for 2 with a double and two RBIs to lead the Breakers to victory.

Mia Cascio went 2 for 5 with two RBIs, Liliana Vasquez went 2 for 4 with an RBI and Caylene Nguyen went 2 for 5 with a double while throwing a complete game for the Breakers.

“It took good hitting and good defense,” Nguyen said. “We beat a really good team and my team is amazing. We just have to play how we did today for tomorrow. We have to keep playing better and keep winning.”

Brianah Alejandre went 4 for 4 with a double and two runs scored, Sophia Avina went 2 for 2 and Jaelyn Toledo went 1 for 4 with an RBI for the Corona Angels, which lost to So Cal Choppers-Franco, 11-4, in the next game.

Ohana Tigers-Quarles 4, Georgia Impact-Sampson/Gusaeff 3: Alyssa Ramos went 1 for 3 with an RBI to lead the Tigers to victory.

Madylyn Wynia went 2 for 3 and Amber Valdez went 1 for 3 with an RBI for the Tigers, who take on Corona Angels-Perez, a 1-0 winner over Arizona Storm-Munoz/Holtorf, on Thursday at 12:30 p.m.

“We just had to focus and not be selfish,” Ramos said. “That was our key word today. I also did not give up on myself. We have to push a little extra harder tomorrow since the competition gets a little harder.”

Mackenzie Pickens went 1 for 3 with an RBI, Caylee Brown drove in a run and Bailey Kendziorski struck out five in 4.2 innings for Georgia Impact, which takes on Central Cal Firecrackers on Thursday at 10:15 a.m.


PGF NATIONALS SCOREBOARD


12U PREMIER

WINNER’S BRACKET A

FIRST ROUND

Corona Angels-Tyson 7, Texas Bombers Gold 1

Impact Gold-Trevino 5, Central Cal Firecrackers-Garza 0

Georgia Impact-Sampson/Gusaeff 3, Virginia Unity-Johnson 1

Jacksonville Storm 5, SoCal Choppers-Gurule 4

SECOND ROUND

Beverly Bandits Premier 9, AASA-Macias 3

Texas Glory RWB 3, Vanetta Arizona-LeFlesch 0

Corona Angels-Tyson 6, Firecrackers-Thornburg 5

Batbusters-Garcia 4, I-5 Softball North 0

Birmingham Thunderbolts 9, FIrecrackers-Weil 8

LTG Lions 5, Impact Gold-Trevino 1

OC Batbusters-Mascarenas 3, Newtown Rock 0

So Cal Athletics-Beck 11, Select Fastpitch 1

So Cal Athletics-Terrones 8, EC Bullets-Maher 1

Cal Nuggets-Woods 6, Carolina Cardinals National 2

Ohana Tigers-Quarles 4, Georgia Impact-Sampson/Gusaeff 3

Corona Angels-Perez 1, Arizona Storm-Munoz/Holtorf 0

Explosion-Flores 11, Firecrackers-Martinez 1

So Cal Choppers-Tiumalu 4, Jacksonville Storm 3

Power Surge-Berndes 4, San Jose Sting-Moser 2

Athletics Mercado-Ornelas 3, Diamond Fury-Stamper 1

WINNER’S BRACKET B

FIRST ROUND

Diamond Sports Hotshots Premier 10, FIrecrackers TDR 7

Central Cal Dirtdogs-Close 4, SoCal Choppers-Franco 3

Hollister Blackjacks-Monroy 2, Breakers Labs-Black 1

Cal Grapettes-McNair 4, SoCal Athletics-Siofele 1

SECOND ROUND

Atlanta Vipers-Callaway 11, Alabama Firecrackers-Christian 2

Universal Fastpitch-Walling 10, Jersey Intensity National 5

Suncats-Natividad/Lee/Walker 2, Hotshots Premier HTX 1

Diamond Sports Hotshots 10, Corona Angels-Moreno 0

So Cal Athletics-Cooper 3, Athletics Mercado-Carroll 2

Texas Bombers-Hays 10, Central Cal Dirtdogs-Close 0

Beverly Bandits DeMarini 13, Fury Premier 0

Impact Gold National 10, AASA-Mortimer 0

USA Athletics-Davis 9, Explosion-Denio/Serrano 7

OC Batbusters 2024 3, Aces Fastpitch 0

OC Batbusters-McDonnell 4, Hollister Blackjacks-Monroy 2

So Cal Breakers-Brunetti/Cascio 6, Corona Angels-G.Perez 2

Sorcerer-Bigley/Everett 8, Texas Glory-Adkins 1

Cal Grapettes-McNair 8, Texas Blaze-Slimp 0

Lady Magic 9, Team Seattle 0

Texas Glory 2024 7, Texas Blaze-Martinez 0

LOSER’S BRACKET A

FIRST ROUND

Virginia Unity-Johnson 4, Firecrackers-Weil 2

I-5 Softball North 16, SoCal Choppers-Gurule 0

Texas Bombers Gold 9, Firecrackers-Martinez 1

Central Cal Firecrackers-Garza 4, Arizona Storm-Munoz/Holtorf 3

LOSER’S BRACKET B

FIRST ROUND

Athletics-Mercado/Carroll 2, Breakers Labs-Black 1

So Cal Athletics-Siofele 5, Corona Angels-Moreno 2

Texas Glory-Adkins 5, Firecrackers TDR 2

So Cal Choppers-Franco 11, Corona Angels-Perez 4

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