Fast Pitch Softball

USSSA Northern Illinois B State: 2009


71 Teams Shine at USSSA Northern Illinois B State: Four Fastpitch Champions Crowned


One week after the 4th of July holiday, there were still plenty of fireworks to go around at three different softball complexes in Rockford and Loves Park, Illinois, as 71 teams vied for state titles in four different age classifications.
With sunny conditions and temperatures in the mid-80’s, field conditions were excellent for the competing teams and their fans, during the entire July 11-12 weekend.

(16 and Under at Sportscore Complex)
Illinois X-plosion Shuts Out Rage

In the 16 and Under division, following two pool placement contests, 27 teams entered single elimination & consolation play at the Sportscore Complex.  From the start of play, it was evident that the Illinois X-plosion of Roselle and the Berwyn Bash were on a collision course for the Illinois title. The Bash, with a high powered offense rolled through their first four elimination contests, as they outscored their opponents 34 to 9 to reach the final. The Illinois X-plosion however relied on their pitching and defense to propel themselves to the title match, as they shutout two prior opponents before outlasting the Lake Zurich Lightning in an exciting 3-2 semi-final.

In the title game, defense proved to be the victor, as the X-plosion blanked the Bash 2 to 0 for the state title thanks to the efforts of tournament MVP Diane Denson, the pitching performances of Laura Behnke and Hannah Hoffman, and the outstanding play of all-tournament team selections Nicole Bloch, Sanatha Vega, and Jenna Gorniack.
Other all-tournament selections included all-tournament defensive players, Christina Sandstedt of Lake Zurich and Rebecca Doyle of the Bash, joined by Erin Balwin, Karen Caithamer, and Rachel Denneny of the Bash, Katrina Klausing and Alyssa Vichiola of Lake Zurich, and Lauren Thresh and Alica Salata of the Bartlett Silver Hawks.
Awarded the “Bob Papich Memorial Sportsmanship Award” for best team sportsmanship was Aurora Raiders-OE.  Illinois X-plosion advanced to Columbus, IN for the 16B World Series.

(14 and Under at Forest Hills Complex)

The Xplosion of Batavia outlasted 17 other 14 and Under teams to capture the state title with an impressive 8-1 victory over the Patriotsof Palatine. The Xplosion survived a close quarter-final contest against the Ottawa Renegades 1-0 enroute to a perfect 6-0 tournament record, while the Patriots reached the final with a hard earned win over Oak Park Huskies 5 to 4 in the semi-finals of the single elimination event.

The X-plosion was led by tournament MVP Lanie Callagahan and MVP pitcher Katie Neubauer, while being joined on the all-tournament team with teammates McKinzie Mangers, Megan Fabian, and Courtney Hicks. The Patriots placed Defensive MVP Tori Walzak, along with team members Kathryn Risher, Kristine Herdegen, and Claire Brady on the tournament squad. Other members of the all-tournament team included Emily Wakeley, Abby Foulk, and Emma Floit of Kisswaukee Valley and Karina Sanchez and Olivia Shagam of Oak Park.
The “Bob Papich Team Sportsmanship Award” was presented to the Palatine Patriots.
Xplosion advanced to the 14B World Series at Disney Wide World of Sports in Kissimmee, FL and Palatine Patriots advanced to the 14B World Series at Shawnee, KS

(13 and Under Open at Sportscore Complex)

In the 6 team, double elimination tournament held at the Sportscore Complex, the Heartland Havoc of the Quad Cities prevailed with an impressive 7-2 win over the Duneland Flyers of Chesterton, Indiana. The Havoc advanced to the final by defeating the Algonquin Aces 7-4 in semi-final action, while the Flyers advanced out of the losers bracket by besting the Aces 5-2.

The Havoc was led to the title by the outstanding play of tournament MVP, Miranda Marion, along with all-tournament selections Sadie Mosher, Avery Nelson, and Genna Flaherty. Tournament Co-Defensive Player selection Megan Matheny and Outstanding Pitcher selection Sydney Cooley were joined by Flyer all-tournament selections Karessa Sweeney, Lesette Martinez, and Hannah Hilzley. Co-Defensive player Kelsey Cummings, was selected along with Ace’s teammates Amanda Eissler and Courtney Cotagno, while the 4th place Twisters-Orange placed Megan Reidy and Emily Owens on the all-tourney squad.
The “Bob Papich Team Sportsmanship Award” was presented to the Algonquin Aces.
The Heartland Havoc 95 and Duneland Flyers both advanced to the 13U World Series at West Des Moines, Iowa.

(12 and Under at Harlem Complex)

In the 12 and under division in the 2 games of pool play, single elimination & consolation bracket tournament, the Team Oak Stars of Bourbonnais captured the crown with a hard fought 4 to 2 title game win over the Carol Stream Storm. The Stars bested the 20 teamfield with outstanding defense and timely hitting enroute to a perfect 6-0 tournament record. The Storm of Carol Stream advanced to the title game with a slug-fest victory over the Aurora Raiders, while the Stars advanced with a close encounter win over Triple Play Express of Machesney Park.

The star of the Stars was tournament MVP Sydney Mayo, who along with Holly Kropp, who was awarded the most outstanding pitcher award. They were joined on the all-tournament team with teammates Laine Madison, Emily Carstens, and Kathrine Rolniak.
Tournament best defensive player selections were Alex Caliva and Dana Paul, along with Caitlyn Beckler, Holly Pagan, and Jessie Ewald of the Storm. Additional members included Arianna Kim and Jordan Olson of Triple Play, with Paige Miller and Airianna Quintanilla of the Raiders.
The “Bob Papich Team Sportsmanship Award” went to the Northern Illinois Thunder team of Sugar Grove.
Carol Stream Storm advanced to the USSSA World Series in Independence, MO.