Tools of the Game Carry Team NC Hinde

Team North Carolina Hinde 16U Team Picture

by Ross Jacobs

If your strategy is to try and intimidate Team North Carolina’s 16U – Hinde squad, you may want to come up with a better plan. Despite their relative youth, they are not a team that backs down and they are used to playing older competition.

As a 14U team, head coach Kevin Hinde’s team routinely played the highest level in showcases and tournaments, and often played 16U and some 18U teams. During a challenging 2020, and in their first season at 16U, playing the toughest competition including 18U teams, they finished was 66-27.

Sporting 12 nationally ranked players – including five in the Top 100 – and 73 percent of the player in the 2023, Team North Carolina is primed for a bright future.

Team NC Logo
Team NC Logo
Login or Subscribe to Continue

Power Surge Prepares Players to Win in Softball and Beyond

Power Surge Teamwork

by Rachel Pfeiffer – Fastpitch Network

Like many travel organizations, Power Surge started small. A single rec team who wanted to play better competition led to the founding of the Power Surge organization in 1992, and the rest is history. Now boasting around 25 teams, Scott Berndess credits the organization’s success to the talented girls and coaches who have represented Power Surge the past thirty years.

“We’re all here to have fun but winning was very important. It put us on the map,” he says.

Power Surge has won many tournaments and titles, including two national championships. Winning is not only important for the success of the organization, but also the players themselves.

Power Surge Logo
Power Surge Logo
Login or Subscribe to Continue

Sky is the Limit for Arizona Storm’s Dellamonica

Alexis Dellamonica - Arizona Storm - 2023

by Tracy Yoder – Fastpitch Network

Dominating the 3rd base line for Arizona Storm 16U – Mathis, stands a fearless competitor, Alexis Dellamonica. With amazing raw athleticism and natural talent, Dellamonica is described as “one of the most gifted athletes” Steve Appel has ever coached.

Competing with the Arizona Storm since 10U, Dellamonica represents a 5 Tool Player who excels in speed, power, hitting, fielding, and arm strength. Not only does Dellamonica possess the essential skills for on-field success, she offers so much versatility to her team.

Dellamonica is currently ranked as the No. 16 utility player and No. 39 overall in the 2023 class, according to Fastpitch Network. While she is a stand-out 3rd baseman, Dellamonica is extremely versatile in the field with the ability to play middle infield or could be a dynamite center fielder, according to Appel.

Arizona Fastpitch Mathis-2023
Arizona Fastpitch Mathis-2023
Alexis Dellamonica 2023
Alexis Dellamonica 2023
Login or Subscribe to Continue

Virginia Glory Plays With a Purpose

by Rachel Pfeiffer – Fastpitch Network

All travel teams strive to play with skill, intensity and power, but Virginia Glory teams also play with a deeper purpose.

Founder Suzy Willemssen started the organization with just a single team. As time went on, others asked if she’d consider taking on additional teams. Over 20 teams now represent Virginia Glory, including a couple of teams in the Midwest. Former Glory players compete for Power Five schools and take home both individual and team trophies, a testament to the excellent instruction they received.

In building this organization, Willemssen was, and still is, interested in finding coaches and players dedicated to the organization’s vision of purpose-driven softball.

Virginia Glory Team Chemistry
Virginia Glory Team Chemistry
Login or Subscribe to Continue

Gravity of Tampa Mustangs-Rene Chemistry Pulls Families In

TampaMustangs-Rene

by Rachel Pfeiffer – Fastpitch Network

The 16U Tampa Mustangs have played together a long time, and this longevity translates to an understanding of expectations and conduct that Coach Rene Ciccarello Jr. believes has helped them achieve success.

“We started the team in 2014, and many of these players have been with us a long time. It’s organically evolved, but every player that has joined us understands our team culture and shares our values,” he says. “We have a lot of selfless players, so when you come on this team, I think that it’s refreshing for a lot of players. We’re competitive, but there’s a chemistry we offer that I think a lot of people gravitate to.”

This chemistry helps the team believe they are in any game, regardless of what the scoreboard says.

High School Teams Represented
High School Teams Represented for Playoffs
Login or Subscribe to Continue

Ohio Hawks On The Rise to National Stage

Ohio Hawks Fastpitch Organization

by Kyle Parmley – Fastpitch Network

The Ohio Hawks fastpitch organization had the humblest of beginnings.

After fielding its first team in the spring of 2007, the Hawks started their journey with an 8-24 record through six tournaments.

But the losing didn’t last long. By July, the Hawks had won the organization’s first tournament. Soon thereafter, they expanded to four teams.

The Hawks have been on the rise ever since.

Hawks Gold Ball
Hawks Fastpitch
Login or Subscribe to Continue

Beverly Bandits’ Sage Mardjetko Wakes Up Ready To Compete

Sage Mardjetko 2023 16U Beverly Bandits Conroy Wind Up

by Rachel Pfeiffer – Fastpitch Network

Sage Mardjetko of the 16U Beverly Bandits wakes up in the morning ready to compete.

“Even before I get to the field, that morning when I wake up, I’m already thinking about the game and who we’re playing,” she says.

“Her most redeeming quality is her competitiveness, her just will to win. She doesn’t want to give up anything to anybody, anytime,” Coach Bill Conroy says.

Mardjetko is Fastpitch Networks’ 18th ranked pitcher and 37th ranked player overall for the class of 2023. Conroy believes these rankings are more than justified.

Sage Mardjetko 2023 16U Beverly Bandits Conroy
Sage Mardjetko 2023 16U Beverly Bandits Conroy
Sage Mardjetko 2023 Beverly Bandits Conroy 16U in the Circle
Sage Mardjetko 2023 16U Beverly Bandits Conroy in the Circle
Login or Subscribe to Continue

Mojo Lunsford 2023 Plays to Get Better; Plays to Win

Mojo Lunsford 2023 Team Photo from Facebook Page

by Ross Jacobs – Fastpitch Network

Head Coach Mike Lunsford and Assistant Coach Jason Wade know a thing or two about building winning teams. They won a national championship in Roanoke in 2020 and another in 2018. In 2019, they finished 3rd in PGF platinum. This year they brought their 16U squad to the MOJO organization due to their winning ways and player first approach.

“They have a great group of teams over there,” said Lunsford. “With seven national championships, plus the two we bring with us, this organization has nine championships over the last five years. It’s about the girls – not the organization. It’s hard to grow a team culture, but here in MOJO it’s a winning a culture that is all about the girls. That was well established before we got here and we want to continue to grow that culture and get better as a team.”

Mojo Lunsford 2023 The Play Is Called In
Mojo Lunsford 2023 The Play Is Called In
Login or Subscribe to Continue

Editors Note:

Roster: https://www.mojoathletics.club/roster/show/6128209?subseason=729458

Game Changer: https://gc.com/t/spring-2021/mojo-lunsford-6021796901a5c70a5fe9f82d

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pg/MojoLunsford2023/photos/?ref=page_internal

Explosion-Hilliard: A Local Team Who Found National Success

Explosion Hilliard 2023 Team Picture

by Rachel Pfeiffer – Fastpitch Network

The 16U Explosion (Hilliard) is the rare local, homegrown team that finds national success. The team started in a rec league, then moved to travel ball. Eventually, they joined the Explosion organization and haven’t looked back. Coach Chuck Hilliard explains how the team has been able to win games at the national level.

“We really hang our hat on our pitching. We’ve got a dominant number one pitcher who happens to be my daughter, Lauren. She’s going to be in the circle for us in any high-level game,” Hilliard says. “Offensively we just have a bunch of big bats. Our one through seven can consistently put it out of the park.”

Hilliard believes another important component of the team’s success has been remaining true to their original vision for what kind of team he wanted to build.

Chargy 2023 Explosion - Hilliard
Chargy 2023 Explosion – Hilliard
Login or Subscribe to Continue

Texas Dirt Divas Courtney Blades-Rogers Takes the Reigns in 16U

Texas Dirt Divas Tournament Photo

by Ross Jacobs – Fastpitch Network

On paper, the [ 16U ] Texas Dirt Divas have a strong team primed to compete for the PGF Championship. For many teams that would be the goal, but for new manager Courtney Blades-Rogers, her goals go further.

“If we had all 25 kids (in the 2023 class) verbally committed, that’s a successful season,” said Blades-Rogers. “Wins and losses are great – and I want to win – but the reality is that it is all about their future.”

Blades-Rogers understands softball success quite well. Her accomplishments as a player are extensive. She was the 2000 Honda Sports Award Softball Player of the year as an All-American pitcher for the Southern Miss Golden Eagles. She’s left her mark on the sport with the second most wins in college softball history while ranking fifth all-time in strikeouts. In 2012, she became a member of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame.

Texas Dirt DIvas 16U
Texas Dirt Divas 16U
Login or Subscribe to Continue