By Jason Hanes
Coming in with her team down 3-0 in the first inning, pitcher Jordyn Partain slammed the door for the rest of the way, allowing only a single and a walk while retiring 11 in a row at one point to help Atlanta Vipers Gold 18U Holbrook to a 9-3 win over Prospex Gold 18U in 18U Elite Bracket Play at the Triple Crown Southeast Regionals.
“They win together as a team, and they lose together as a team,” head coach Jason Holbrook said. “They’ve really come together at the right time during the summer. They’ve really been putting in the time hitting, the pitchers have been putting in the extra time pitching. I think they’re hopefully peaking at the right time.”
Nine of the 11 outs Partain recorded consecutively were on balls put in play by Prospex batters. Partain, a University of Georgia commit, was backed by solid defense all over the diamond, with eight of the outs on balls in play coming on ground outs. “I was just trying to get outs in any way I could. A strikeout is great but a ground ball is even better. My defense is great. I really trust them.”
Partain entered after a three-run homer to right-center by Karsi Lentz gave Prospex the early advantage. RBI singles in the bottom of the first by Gatorade Georgia High School Softball Player of the Year Megan Bloodworth and University of Louisiana signee Mackenzie White brought the Vipers back within a run after a frame.
In the second, the Vipers loaded the bases and tied the game on a walk to Ole Miss signee Natalie Ray. White would then lift a sacrifice fly to score the go-ahead run, and when the throw to the infield got away, another run would come in to make it 5-3.
The score stayed the same until the bottom of the fifth, when a throwing error gave Vipers Holbrook a run, and an infield hit by UGA commit Jaydyn Goodwin ended the game with two runs scoring as the time limit expired on the contest.
Partain’s streak of retiring batters ended in the fourth with a walk, but a smooth double play turned by her defense erased the runner from the base. Then, Kyndall Bailey made the defensive play of the game when she dove forward and made a stunning catch in right field to end the inning.
“A play like that just hypes me up,” Partain said. “That would have been a hit if she hadn’t caught that. So I was like, Yes!”
The win gives Atlanta Vipers Gold 18U Holbrook a 10 a.m. contest against EC Bullets 18 Gold – Schnutte. “We just need to be patient at the plate and not chase pitches,” coach Holbrook said. “They’re going to have to be aware of situations. We’ve got to score runs, so they’ve got to have good situational hitting.”
“I feel like we’ve done really well,” said Partain. “We’ve been hitting the ball really well. Our pitching has been doing great. We’ve only given up [eight] runs so far. We just have to keep playing good if we want to keep winning.”
By Jason Hanes
Some teams don’t play well early in the morning, but Firecrackers Bowen isn’t one of those teams. The 16u squad handled the early wake-up call on the first day of the Triple Crown Southeast Nationals with aplomb, defeating Intensity National KOD/Bodell 4-0 in the opening game before turning around and topping Lady Blues Miller 10-2 in the second half of the Pool L doubleheader.
“We always have the eight o’clock game, so we’re used to it,” said head coach Jessica Bowen. “They always come out early in the morning ready to go. I challenge them with that. Usually it starts with hitting, and everything else follows.”
“I think we’re all just really proud and just really excited,” said catcher Breonn Newbille. “We all want to win, but we had a lot of fun the last two games.”
After a shutout based on pitching and defense in the opener, Firecrackers Bowen scored in every inning of the second game, plating six in the fourth to put the game out of reach. “What I was most impressed with my team was that they weren’t swinging at balls,” Bowen said, “but whenever the balls were pitched in there, we weren’t watching a lot of strikes.”
After manufacturing a pair of runs in the first to hold a 2-0 lead, Firecrackers Bowen would allow a run in the bottom of the inning to make it 2-1. A one-out single in the second made it 3-1, and then a two-out knock by Caitlyn Hall in the third would make it 4-1.
The fourth inning would see Firecrackers Bowen put the game out of reach with six big runs. The most exciting play came on what seemed to be a harmless pickoff move to first with the bases loaded. Instead, Ava Gurule sprinted home and beat the throw for a straight steal of home.
“Sixty feet is key,” Bowen said. “We work on taking extra bases in practice because an extra 60-feet can make the difference in a ball game.”
“Every tournament we play, we just try to get better with the things we’re struggling [with],” Newbille said. “The last few weekends, we’ve been focusing on trying to get our hitting up, and we have. We all had each other’s backs today. If one person messed up or if one person did good, we all helped each other and told each other we did good. We really fed off of each other hitting-wise.”
The wins allowed Firecrackers Bowen to win Pool L and move into the Elite Bracket at the Southeast Nationals. “I’m proud of them. I want to play the best competition we can because if we don’t play the best, that’s not good enough for me,” said Bowen. “I wanted them to be in that top bracket.”
TC Fastpitch World Series: 16u/18u Roundup
SAN DIEGO, CA – After two days of action at the Triple Crown World Series, a handful of teams are showing early muscle as the 18u Gold Brackets A and B take shape.
After Wednesday’s games, there are four teams on the highest perch with 4-0 records: West Coast Wolverines (Lincoln, CA), Team Velocity (Tucson, AZ), Arizona Storm Westover (San Tan Valley, AZ) and Athletics Jendro Premier (Wildomar, CA).
Teams will fight it out through Friday for a spot in the eight-team Championship Bracket, with the title game scheduled for Saturday at 1:15 p.m.
In the 16u division, there are some impressive 4-0 squads, including AZ Steel 05/06 (Marana, AZ), WA Angels (Kennewick, WA), Vendetta AZ (Gilbert, AZ), EC Bullets CA (Temecula, CA), EC Bullets Aguirre (San Diego, CA), Firecrackers Leles (Sacramento, CA), USA Phenom (Oak Park, CA) and Batbusters Cougoule (Los Gatos, CA).
The title game for the 16’s is also at 1:15 p.m. on Saturday. One of the hottest hitters in the group is Mackenzie Nervis of Batbusters Gomes Ching, who has two home runs and 13 RBI in just 10 at-bats.
16/18u Schedule & Scores
TC Fastpitch World Series:14u Roundup
PARK CITY, UT – Undefeated teams through two days of pool play dot the brackets, including Explosion Rollin (Salt Lake City, UT), Heat 06/07 (Springville, UT), AASA Johnson (Roseville, CA), Sno Shock (Snohomish, WA), Dynasty 07 (Santee, CA), Firecrackers Workman (Burbank, CA), Colorado Angels (Erie, CO), Utah Heat (Alpine, UT) and the Vegas Valkyries (Las Vegas, NV).
The Gold Bracket championship game is slated for Saturday at 1:15 p.m.
14u Schedule & Scores
Proving that the sports world is hungry for a return to normalcy, and also on the hunt for something special, Triple Crown Sports will welcome a record 1,000 teams to Colorado’s Front Range for the 4th of July (Sparker/Fireworks) event, slated for June 25-July 4, 2021.
Stretching from the northern communities of Fort Collins and Greeley all the way down the I-25 corridor through Denver to Colorado Springs, the 4th of July tournament has rebounded fiercely from the pandemic-related disruptions of 2020 to once again welcome age groups 12u through 18u. The nation’s most competitive and high-achieving club programs will arrive in droves as the TCS fastpitch division puts 33 complexes and 155 fields in motion.
The event has long been a prized destination for college coaches and programs as they look for talent to fortify their rosters. Showcase games as well as tournament play will put athletes in front of more than 500 coaches; added value comes through a series of camps and clinics directed by the coaching staffs from national D-I powerhouses through NAIA and JUCO programs.
New to the 4th of July menu is the TC International Challenge, which kicks off the excitement from June 25-27 at the Christopher Fields complex in Westminster. These 23 teams were built on rosters that give players a unique opportunity to represent their nationalities and will be another recruiting highlight on the schedule.
Tournament officials are gearing up for two powerful convergence moments during the event, on the evenings of June 30 at Christopher Fields and July 1 at Aurora Sports Park. Both nights will feature all-star and power pool games to be broadcast by FloSports along with multiple vendors, food and merchandise options – thousands of people are expected to attend each location.
Other key numbers revolving around the Colorado 4th of July event include:
“Even as the pandemic sidelined so many teams and kept Triple Crown Sports on hold for months, we kept in contact with our customers and resolutely prepared to make the 2021 4th of July event everything it could be,” said TCS fastpitch event director Stephanie Klaviter. “To welcome back so many loyal customers and break participation records is enormously exciting. We’ve missed the competition and the opportunity to help grow the sport, and we will put all our effort into making these 10 days a powerful, memorable experience for players, parents and coaches.”
“We are pleased to welcome Triple Crown Sports back to our community. There is no question about the significant economic effect that tourism brings, and tournaments such as the Colorado 4th of July add a large boost to our city at a time we so desperately need it in the aftermath of COVID,” said Juliet Abdel, president and CEO of the Westminster Chamber of Commerce. “Attendees spend dollars in gas, food, lodging and retail. This is pivotal to key areas of job creation, revenue for the betterment of our community’s infrastructure needs and our economy, which will ensure business doors stay open and families are taken care of.”
“Loveland is thrilled to welcome back the Colorado 4th of July tournament for 2021,” said Chris Bierdeman, group sales coordinator for Visit Loveland. “With the majority of the pandemic restrictions now lifted, we look forward to sharing the beauty of Loveland and northern Colorado with the thousands of players, families, coaches and staff visiting from all over the U.S. The economic impact from an event of this magnitude for a small city like Loveland is huge — that is especially true for our hotels, restaurants, shops and attractions, which really struggled over the past 14 months.”
By David King, founder of Triple Crown Sports
Pitchers as Position Players … Position Players as Pitchers
Kentucky sets the tone on this topic as coach Rachel Lawson seems to be rewarded by hitting her pitchers and pitching her hitters. Autumn Humes leads the way as a No. 1 pitcher option and then comes right back in the lineup and swings as does her counterpart, Grace Baalman. Miranda Stoddard relieved on the mound in the quarterfinals with Alabama straight from third base. Pitchers who hit are still 50/50 but it usually is down to how the coach views it. Lawson sets the tone here – once a player, always a player. This writer loves what Lawson does.
Now take Makinzy Herzog from Texas A&M, a Florida State transfer who came back home to Texas as a true utility player. In what was a breathtaking matchup of Tennessee and A&M, Herzog hit two doubles and two homers in an amazing nine-inning challenge. Then she was asked to close out from the fifth from the circle. Truly an exciting two-way player, one of the best. She lost the game but not the hearts of fans who saw her level of talent and competitiveness.
Flame Throwers and Dart Throwers
When you think it is a 70 mph-plus league, you then see that Greg Maddux/Tom Glavine answer – well, no it is not. There is still room from the true pitcher who can tease the corners and never show the plate. On comes Mizzou’s Jordan Weber throwing 58-61 and taking a victory from the mighty pitching stable of LSU; then Humes from Kentucky hovering around 61-63, Shelbi Sunseri of LSU from 62-66, and Elizabeth Hightower from Florida throwing screwball after screwball for Florida at 63 and leading them to the finish line in both conference play and the SEC Tourney. And the entire Arkansas team under Courtney Diefel is superb at location, location, location with all-SEC Mary Haff leading the way.
In the age-old argument about velocity versus location with movement, it seems that there is room for both skills.
Now with that said, we all were in awe of the specimens on the mound who hit 70 mph: Ali Kilponen, LSU (71), Lexi Kilfoyl, Alabama (71), Maddie Penta, Auburn (70), Alyssa Loza, Mississippi State (70), Herzog, A&M (72), and Lauren Krings, Mizzou (72) to go with a patchwork of others who trended that way during the tourney.
But two really stand out right now on the flame thrower with a dart mentality – Ashley Rogers from Tennessee and Montana Fouts from Alabama. Arguably both are the refinement of movement and velocity with a location that is exact. Then Rogers throws 68 and Fouts top it all at 74.
They stand as all-SEC pitchers with Haff, and their results in the tournament proved nothing less. Rogers kept Tennessee around in the first two games until the miracle workers with the Lady Vols proved they had “no quit” and nipped both Texas A&M and co-conference champ Arkansas. In the semifinal matchup, her body said no more and the bullpen took over from the start to lead a magnificent 7-6 battle and eventual loss to Florida. Fouts in the same Tennessee game paced Alabama to a lead and commanded the game only to leave ahead 4-2 and return in 20 minutes with a 5-4 deficit. She finished it in style, throwing a closeout inside corner drop to star Ally Shipman (who had a dominant tournament) to freeze her for the semi win.
Dominant Players and Upcoming Stars
As good as Herzog is, Fouts is as well. And the first two days saw the SEC Player of the Year, Bailey Hemphill of Alabama, gather more admirers. She managed to bail out the Tide with a two-run homer in the bottom of the sixth to retake the lead on Tennessee and hold it. But her effort in the early games was the difference as she took out that great Kentucky squad with two bombs that left the night air seemingly never to land. And she went the distance behind the plate – the adage that catchers loose about .100 points in average due to wear and tear in the season holds no water with her or the phenom from Kentucky, Kayla Kowalik. Leading off and hitting an amazing .511, Kowalik managed to steal the hearts of many with her abilities to slap, power hit, fight off pitches and lead her roster from behind the dish. And freshman teammate Erin Coffel at shortstop stole my heart with her defense and bat. Aliyah Andrews of LSU continued to roam the outfield with the prowess of a star MLB player. Shipman was ready to take her sister’s ESPN gig as she did it all. What I saw is what many of you have grown to understand -- women’s softball is really good, and the SEC is one of the best platforms to view this. And my story has notes on 20 others that are worthy!
Mizzou is Scary
Missouri has a mentality at the plate that is hard to break. They are top to bottom what all coaches (and pitchers) dread to face. Great patient zones as seen in their OBP, and angry balanced hitters – it’s as complete a batting order as I have witnessed at the SEC in a while. But bats go cold, and eventually the great Florida team got one silent inning out of them after a go-ahead run in the sixth in the semis. Coach Larissa Anderson and Coach Chris Malveaux have got something going on; freshmen Jenna Laird leads off and plays short and is simply a star. Then it just gets tougher and meaner – if their developing pitching staff can hold up, look for Mizzou to make noise in the NCAA Tournament. And that left fielder, who is she? Wow, I counted seven diving or overhead catches from Casidy Chaumont.
COVID Does Something Special
We all have our stories about how the pandemic stopped our lives in many ways. What I saw was needed in sports. What happened in the NBA Bubble is going on everywhere. Opponents are talking at the hotel, pregame, at the plate, on first base, after the game, on the grassy knoll, in the outfield stands, everywhere. And they are remembering that competition can be held between friends of the highest magnitude and nothing will be lost in the game or after it. Their smiles as they talked to each other bring tears to my eyes now. Pure love of each other and of this game. And yes, many of the coaches were the same. They shared with each other in public their respect of all! This fan says thank you!
NCAA Tournament - Who to watch for!
Well maybe just watch for the SEC in general. Alabama has superstars; Florida looks hot and is loaded, and both have deep experience. Mizzou is like the Legion of 300 from Sparta. Arkansas is steady, steady, steady and good. Tennessee is hungry and has a star pitcher. LSU has a stable of great arms and a Willie Mays-style impact bat in Taylor Pleasants. Kentucky will steal your heart and can really play, everywhere. Mississippi State has three big hammers. Texas A&M has a star and potential. Ole Miss is good and on its way up again. Auburn has the arms ready to go but is young, so maybe. Georgia has a great battery and more. South Carolina is dangerous to all. And all these programs have each other to sharpen their skills upon. Look out America. I know the Big 12 is wildly tough this year, the Pac-12 has the defending champs and more ... and the ACC is adding depth at the top. The Big Ten is an unknown in 2021 and the AAC has four good squads. Don’t forget about the group of dangerous independents.
NCAA champion from the SEC? Maybe this will be No. 4 (since 2012) for the conference, but I could not tell you which of those top four or five are best suited for a run. But expect the league to be a true wrecking ball at regionals.
Two softball names with staying power in the Southeast will help players get in front of college coaches with a valuable fall event.
The Louisiana Thunderbolts club program will work in association with Triple Crown Sports to produce the inaugural Top Tier Exposure on the Bayou tournament, set for Oct. 29-31, 2021 in and around Monroe, LA. The event features a five-game guarantee and will be held in three field complexes, including on campus at the University of Louisiana-Monroe.
Teams will play four pool games and then be seeded into a single-elim championship bracket; the intention is to keep the competitive environment of the tournament high while still providing useful exposure to the colleges that have traveled in for recruiting.
"I am so excited to bring the highest level of talent to Monroe for this exposure tournament,” said Renada Davis, tournament director, 14u Thunderbolts head coach and former star at NC State, where she ended her career as the all-time leader in home runs in the ACC. “It is an ideal location with the best facilities to offer a great experience to teams and college coaches alike."
Plans include locating a metrics/measuring station at one of the fields, where athletes can get updated numbers on various topics including throwing velocity, agility and speed, batted-ball exit velocity, and more.
Triple Crown Sports has been producing youth, high school and college events for nearly 40 years and has a coast-to-coast presence in youth softball. TCS runs the Colorado 4th of July event, which draws close to 900 teams in a typical year, as well at the TC Nationals, a highly competitive national championship tournament slated for July 2021 in southern California.
“College programs will spend almost all of 2021 trying to get on top of their recruiting needs after the disruptions of the pandemic,” said Sean Hardy, chief operating officer of Triple Crown Sports. “We are very happy to join the Thunderbolts in producing an event that will put skilled and enthusiastic student-athletes in an easy-to-see setting for college coaches on the hunt for talent.”
There is an early-bird discount on the entry fee, which expires Sept. 24.
Go HERE to register.
There’s a fresh twist on Triple Crown’s Colorado 4th of July fastpitch tournament that might be a world of difference for some athletes.
The International Challenge (which was set to go in 2020 before the pandemic) will take place June 25-27 at the Christopher Complex in Westminster, CO., with 23 teams from 18 countries represented. All the action will be scored and streamed by AthletesGoLive; teams get a minimum of four games, with pool play leading to a single-elim championship bracket.
Rosters for the teams were released last week; it’s a chance for softball athletes to honor their family’s heritage and nationality in a fresh arena of competition. College coaches who are in town early for the Colorado 4th of July tournament (June 27-July 4) will be able to recruit at the event, while directors at multiple international softball organizations will do some scouting and may run a national-team tryout camp on Monday, June 28.
Plans are also coming together for an all-World Game involving International Challenge players; it would take place on one of the Festival Nights (June 30 or July 1). Four countries will have two teams at the event – Canada, Israel, Mexico and the United States.
“One of the biggest reasons I took this idea to Triple Crown was that it would allow some quality players to play for their country, but who never could otherwise because of political issues,” said International Challenge director Manny Travieso. “And on the other side, you can get players seen by certain countries who actually could play for those national teams. We have nine players with Israel who will play on their 19u team that’s headed to Prague (Czech Republic). The names are out there, and national teams noticed.
“Countries that don’t have the resources to run a (national team) tryout have a chance to see one here in the USA, and this is just a little bit more than a travel team experience, which is very powerful.”
To see the rosters for teams in the event, click here:
International Challenge - Triple Crown Fastpitch
by Kyle Koso
After many months of staying cooped up and coping with the feeling that life had grown too quiet, the time is proving ripe for softball teams to get busy again.
The Kupa’a 14u girls team, based on the island of Maui in Hawaii, will be turning the routine upside-down in every way this June when they make the big trip – 3,762 miles – to the USA mainland to play in the 15th annual TC OKC tournament, one of the core fastpitch events on the calendar for Triple Crown Sports. The event features a five-game guarantee and welcomes teams from ages 10u through 18u from more than 20 states.
Kupa’a is the Hawaiian word for loyalty, and the roster for the 14u team certainly has been devoted to the idea of playing in Oklahoma City, hustling at every turn despite COVID shutdowns to fundraise for the trip and work on their softball skills typically all on their own time. The squad will include nine players who are age 14 and two more who are 12; seven of the older girls have played on the same team since age 10.
“Our 14u girls are really excited to have this opportunity to attend a tournament in the Mainland. This is the first time almost all these girls will be going to the Mainland, ever,” said Sherylden Gaspar, 14u team mom and wife of head coach Simon Gaspar. “Our girls had not lost any interest in softball during the pandemic, and there’s lot of the excitement knowing that they’re attending a well-known tournament.”
Typically, the TC OKC tournament (June 4-7) is scheduled so teams can make their way to the Women’s College World Series, which runs concurrently with the event. The NCAA has yet to make a final determination if fans will be allowed in the USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium, but the Kupa’a program feels like the value of the trip is worth it either way.
“We had heard about Triple Crown OKC from our coach, Timmy Tanno. Coach Timmy had mentioned this tournament not only because of the exposure, but because of the experience of playing against other teams outside the state of Hawaii and of course, the WCWS,” Gaspar said. “It will be a great opportunity and have a ‘WOW’ factor to have our girls sit and watch the World Series in hopes that one day it will be their turn to step foot on that field … if it will be available for us to attend.”
The Kupa’a program dates back to 1998, when Maui High School head coach Bobby Medeiros started an alumni fastpitch league featuring prep graduates from Maui County. This evolved into Medeiros wanting to get younger players trained up and more prepared for their own time in high school, with ages 6-16 ultimately being served by the league. Hundreds of athletes have taken part in the spring/summer program, but no teams ever left Hawaii for a tournament.
The current 14u squad and their families had to be patient in working on their games as well as putting together the trip. Hawaii had multiple lockdowns and episodes of re-opening as the COVID-19 case counts varied; the Maui Girls Softball Association ran a private league that offered a short-season schedule so the current crop of freshmen could get precious playing time in preparation for the 2021 club and summer tournament season.
“Last November, Coach Simon, myself, and our assistant coaches had a meeting with our parents about TC OKC … how this opportunity would benefit our girls and how it is their time to see what’s out there,” said Gaspar. “We were honest about the case counts on how it fluctuates and the risks we would be taking in traveling. During our discussion, I specifically mentioned that even though the girls want to attend TC OKC, the final decision will be up to their parents due to health concerns and as always, finances.
“If and when parents said yes, I made the girls promise me that they will be working hard in raising funds to pay for their trip as we are not allowed to do any team fundraising because of the gathering rules Hawaii is enforcing. I gave our families a week to think about it and within three days, 11 out of 14 girls’ parents had responded back saying, ‘YES.’”
Once the trip gets closer, the Kupa’a team will investigate other activities, maybe getting in more games or doing some sightseeing, given how far they’ve traveled.
“We are really, really excited,” said 14u player Kelela Gaspar. “We finally get to play in a different place where we never played before, and we get to experience new opportunities to boost our self-esteem as a softball student-athlete.”
AthletesGoLive becomes the Official Live Scoring and Live Streaming Platform for Triple Crown Fastpitch and Baseball
To help its customers benefit from powerful advances in video and scoring technology, Triple Crown Sports has partnered with AthletesGoLive to become the Official Live Scoring and Live Streaming Platform for TCS youth baseball and youth fastpitch.
Club organizations and individual teams will be able to utilize AGL at no charge, allowing those groups to access live scoring and livestream game action either with their own camera or an AGL setup available for purchase. Clubs and teams will also get access to live boxscores and team stats, all included.
A variety of subscription packages will be offered to fans/parents, allowing them to have access to statistics as well as dedicated video clips of their son or daughter. A Premier subscription will let individual account holders pull clips from games and allow for sharing via email or social media, and also alert parents when a college coach has viewed their athlete’s games and video library. Nearly 2,500 college coaches have established their own free accounts with AGL.
Statistics will be compiled by AGL technology; this also allows for the creation of leaderboards and the selection of all-tournament teams at certain events. For the older age groups, it is an impressive tool that will even help college coaches and scouts schedule their on-site visits at tournaments, so they can see the players who interest them the most.
“AthletesGoLive is putting together a leaderboard that Triple Crown has wanted for years, and we are thrilled to have them serve our teams,” said Keri King, CEO of Triple Crown Sports. “AGL’s scoring and streaming solution is exactly what the marketplace needs right now.”
A percentage of subscription fees will then be returned back to organizations as a fundraiser.
“We are excited to be partnering with Triple Crown Sports. They have not only been an industry leader but the standard for premier events for close to 40 years,” said Andrew Biele, CEO of AthletesGoLive. “We feel our two companies working together will help create an even greater experience for the athletes and fans.”
AthletesGoLive is a live scoring and live streaming service for amateur sports and athletic events. With an app that focuses on highlighting the athlete and providing them with an aid to compete at the collegiate level, AGL is truly innovating streaming, scoring and stats for fans and athletes. Providing a useful platform to high-school aged competitors is the core foundation of AGL’s mission. With a rapidly growing customer-base, AthletesGoLive is forging the future of aspiring collegiate athletes.
About Triple Crown Sports
Based in Fort Collins, CO., Triple Crown Sports has been producing events in youth athletics and the college ranks for more than 35 years. TCS runs both the preseason and postseason WNIT basketball events, powers the “WNIT” model of the NIVC (volleyball) postseason event and produces the men’s and women’s Cancun Challenge tournaments in November, which have been recognized by Sports Illustrated as a top-5 destination tournament for D-I basketball programs. TCS youth events in baseball include the Omaha SlumpBuster (which runs concurrently with the College World Series); the fastpitch division produces the 900-team Colorado 4th of July event, which draws the nation’s finest club programs. TCS youth sports also welcome hundreds of college coaches, from JUCO to NCAA D-I, who attend for recruiting purposes.
As part of the 2021 Alliance Softball regional series, Premier Heartland Softball and Triple Crown Sports have announced they will work in association for two autumn gems on the travel schedule, the Stars of Tomorrow Invitational and the Triumph Challenge, both in the Quad Cities.
Both events feature a five-game guarantee for aged 12u-18u and will be played on top-notch facilities in and around Bettendorf and Eldridge, Iowa, including the TBK Bank Sports Complex, featuring 10 lighted turf fields. The Stars of Tomorrow tournament runs Aug. 27-29, and the Triumph Challenge is slated for Oct. 1-3.
“Heartland Fastpitch is excited about this new association with Triple Crown Sports for 2021,” said Greg Dickel, event director with Heartland Fastpitch. ”This relationship was fueled by the creation of Alliance Fastpitch; Heartland is associated with the Alliance program and the Heart of America Fastpitch League.
“These connections have allowed us to collaborate and create events in the Midwest, something we are all striving for. These events will bring out the best of what both Triple Crown has to offer and what Heartland Fastpitch brings to the table.”
Triple Crown Sports has been producing youth, high school and college events for nearly 40 years and has a coast-to-coast presence in youth softball. TCS runs the Colorado 4th of July event, which draws close to 900 teams in a typical year, as well at the TC Nationals, a highly competitive national championship tournament slated for July 2021 in southern California. Triple Crown has multiple events in the Midwest as well, including the Super 72 NIT, set for Sept. 10-12, 2021, in the Chicago suburbs of Orland Park and Midlothian.
“This is another positive step for 2021, working closely with others like Premier Heartland and Alliance to provide a meaningful tournament experience and grow the game of youth fastpitch,” said Sean Hardy, chief operating officer for Triple Crown. “Both of these fall events will be an exciting setting for teams that desire a competitive challenge.”
Visit the links below for more information:
STARS OF TOMORROW | TRIUMPH CHALLENGE
PREMIER HEARTLAND FASTPITCH