Southern California's High School Sports Blog

Storm Brewing at PGF 14U Premier Nationals (8/3/19)

Arizona Storm-Appel advanced to the PGF 14U Premier national title game with a 6-5 victory over Central Cal Dirtdogs-Pickering on Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019. Photo/Carlos Arias.

Arizona Storm-Appel has shown grit and determination all week at the PGF 14U Premier Nationals and it paid off when it faced rugged Central Cal Dirtdogs-Pickering in the semifinals.

The Storm got a walk-off single by Kate Vance in the bottom of the seventh of a back-and-forth battle against the Dirtdogs to pull out a 6-5 victory on Saturday afternoon at Huntington Beach Sports Complex.

“We were excited,” Vance said, “and it was very emotional throughout the game.”

The Storm punched their ticket to the PGF 14U Premier title game for the first time in any age group in the organization’s history.

“It was great to play hard with intensity throughout the game,” Vance said. “We worked hard throughout the season and really came together. It was great.”

The game featured a number of stellar defensive plays by both teams, including home run-robbing catches over/through the fence by Dirtdog outfielders Jadyn Hurtado in center field in the bottom of the first and by Ariana Ruiz in right field in the bottom of the second.

Meanwhile, the Dirtdogs took a 2-0 lead in the top of the fourth. Ryan Maddox blooped a double over the third baseman, moved to third on Gracyn Coleman’s sacrifice bunt and scored on Elizabeth Moffit’s double to right-center field. Ruiz added an RBI single and the Dirtdogs had a 2-0 lead.

Arizona erupted for five runs in the bottom of the fifth. A single by Sienna Solis and back-to-back hit batters loaded the bases. Sierra Daniel had an RBI single, Alexis Dellamonica had a two-run single, Alexa Wohr drove in a run with a grounder to short and Vance drove in a run with sacrifice fly to right field. Just like that the Storm had a 5-2 lead.

But the Dirtdogs didn’t go quietly and rallied for three runs in the top of the sixth to tie it, 5-5. Alexia Rolin drove in two runs with a bloop triple down the right-field line and scored on Ruiz’s perfectly executed squeeze bunt.

The Storm went to work manufacturing a run for the win in the bottom of the seventh. Kaitlyn Terry reached on an error by the shortstop to start the inning for Arizona. Daniel moved the runner over with a bunt single, Dellamonica executed a sacrifice bunt, setting the stage for Vance’s heroics.

The Storm, who beat OC Batbusters-Flores, 11-5, earlier in the day to reach the semifinals, takes on Tennessee Mojo-Fisher for the PGF 14U Premier national championship on Sunday at 4 p.m. at Bill Barber Park in Irvine, CA.

Tennessee Mojo 04-Fisher beat Texas Bombers Gold HTX-Burgess, 7-1, to advance to the PGF 14U Premier national title game on Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019. Photo/Carlos Arias.

The Mojo jumped all over Texas Bombers-Burgess for four runs in the bottom of the first and went on to a 7-1 victory in the other semifinal.

Southpaw Taylor Hess started and pitched 3.2 innings, allowing one run, three hits and three walks to record the vitory and Florida-commit Keagan Rothrock pitched 2.1 innings of scoreless relief with five strikeouts to pick up the save.

“It felt really, really cool to be out there for this game,” Hess said. “Infield and outfield both had my back. I couldn’t have done what I did without them. They did a really nice job.”

Georgia-commit Jaydyn Goodwin went 3 for 4 with two runs, Florida-commit Mia Williams went 2 for 4 with a run and an RBI, Auburn-commit Taylor Pannell went 1 for 2 with a double and two runs, LSU-commit Maci Bergeron went 2 for 4 with two RBIs and Lyla Blackwell doubled and scored a run to power the Mojo offense.

“It helps you settle down a lot because you feel really comfortable out there,” Hess said of the run support, “and you know you can just play your game the whole time.”

Florida-commit Keagan Rothrock tossed a one-hitter with no walks and 14 strikeouts, Florida-commit Mia Williams doubled and drove in two runs, Taylor Pannell went 1 for 4 with a run and two RBIs, Jaydyn Goodwin went 2 for 4 with a run scored and Maci Bergeron went 2 for 4 to help the Mojo knock of Oklahoma Hotshots Premier-Yeatts earlier in the day to reach the semifinals.

The Mojo’s roster is comprised of players from multiple states, including Minnesota where Hess hails from.

“It’s so cool because you get to experience all kinds of different people,” Hess said. “It’s so fun to be on this team because there’s all kinds of different characters on this team.


PGF NATIONALS SCOREBOARD


14U PREMIER

WINNER’S BRACKET A

SIXTH ROUND

Tennessee Mojo 04-Fisher 6, Oklahoma Hotshots Premier-Yeatts 0

WINNER’S BRACKET B

SIXTH ROUND

Arizona Storm-Appel 11, OC Batbusters-Flores 5

LOSER’S BRACKET A

SEVENTH ROUND

Hotshots Premier-Nelson 3, Firecrackers-Brashear 2022 2

Central Cal Dirtdogs-Pickering 3, OC Batbusters-Campbell/M. Stith 1

EIGHTH ROUND

Central Cal Dirtdogs-Pickering 3, Hotshots Premier-Nelson 2

NINTH ROUND

Central Cal Dirtdogs-Pickering 7, Hotshots Premier-Nelson 1

LOSER’S BRACKET B

SEVENTH ROUND

Texas Bombers Gold HTX-Burgess 11, Beverly Bandits DeMarini-Richards 1

Cal Breeze-Fernald 8, Texas Bombers Gold-Torres 3

EIGHTH ROUND

Texas Bombers Gold HTX-Burgess 15, Cal Breeze-Fernald 0

NINTH ROUND

Texas Bombers Gold HTX-Burgess 6, OC Batbusters-Flores 2

SEMIFINALS

Tennessee Mojo 04-Fisher 7, Texas Bombers Gold HTX-Burgess 1

Arizona Storm-Appel 6, Central Cal Dirtdogs-Pickering 5

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