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Most of the softball community will descend upon Colorado this week for the Boulder Independence Day Tournament.
The top 18U, 16U and 14U club teams will be competing in five tournaments in and around Boulder under the Boulder IDT umbrella. This is easily the top gathering of club teams before the PGF Nationals and USA Softball Junior Olympic Cup in August.
“This tournament is always entertaining to watch with the amount of good teams it contains,” said Arizona-bound pitcher Taylor McQuillin, who helped the OC Batbusters (Calif.) win the PGF 18U Nationals last year. “Definitely a great way to get tough games in before PGF.”
Boulder IDT is definitely an event where players start to fine-tune and elevate their game.
“The Boulder IDT is one of my favorite tournaments,” South Carolina-signee Alexis Mack of the Beverly Bandits (Ill.) said. “Some tournaments have great competition but the overall energy of the tournament isn’t there. This tournament has both tremendous energy and competition. Every single team here wants to win and has the talent to do it, and it really raises your game as not only a team but as a player.
“You want to be the best and you come into the tournament as a good player, but by the end of the tournament you leave as a better one. The competition here is as good as it gets, the facilities are awesome, the weather is always beautiful, and you always leave here with a week full of great softball and unforgettable memories with your teammates. That’s what the IDT tournament has given me and my teammates in the past, and I expect it to continue to be just that this year.”
The OC Batbusters-Haning/Stith (Calif.), So Cal Athletics-Richardson (Calif.), Corona Angels-Tyson (Calif.), Beverly Bandits-Conroy (Ill.), Explosion (Calif.), Jersey Intensity-KOD (N.J.), Birmingham Thunderbolts (Ala.), and East Cobb Bullets (Ga.) are among the top teams that are in the field of teams at the 18U Boulder Tournament.
Pool play games will be held Wednesday-Friday, July 1-3, and elimination bracket play is on Saturday and Sunday, July 4 and 5.
FIVE TEAMS TO WATCH:
OC Batbusters-Hanng/Stith (Calif.): The Batbusters have a deep pitching staff led by McQuillin, Oklahoma-commit Mariah Lopez and Florida-committed Natlie Lugo and a loaded lineup that features Florida-bound outfielder Amanda Lorenz.
Beverly Bandits-Conroy (Ill.): The Bandits have a number of speedy players in their lineup and they utilize that speed to play an aggressive brand of softball, forcing teams to make plays. Notre Dame-commit Alexis Holloway and Oregon-commit Miranda Elish give the Bandits a solid 1-2 punch at pitcher.
So Cal Athletics-Richardson (Calif.): Bruce Richardson guided the So Cal A’s to PGF national titles from 2010-13, so he knows how to win and he has a solid squad once again that should stir things up in Boulder.
Corona Angels-Tyson (Calif.): The Angels won the 18U Boulder tournament last year and look like they will be a factor. The Angels have an explosive lineup that is led by Tennessee-bound infelder Abby Lockman and Oklahoma-bound middle infielder Shay Knighten.
Lady Lightning Gold Team Miken (N.C.): The Lady Lightning are led by South Carolina-committed Cayla Drotar, who was the Gatorade South Carolina State Player of the Year.
FIVE PLAYERS TO WATCH:
Megan Faraimo, Corona Angels-Tyson (Calif.): Faraimo, a 2018 right-hander, is tall, strong and has great velocity. She led the Angels to the PGF 14U national championship last year and this year she has moved up to help the Corona Angels in 18U.
MK Bonamy, Jersey Intensity-KOD (NJ): The power-hitting infielder was on an absolute tear at the So Cal A’s Invitational a couple of weeks ago in California and should help the Intensity make a splash in Colorado.
Cherish Burks, All-American Sports Academy (Calif.): The Oregon-bound outfielder is a five tool layer with speed.
Libby Sugg, Birmingham Thunderbolts (Ala.): Sugg, who has signed with BYU, is a proven and clutch power hitter for the T-Bolts.
Brooke Vines, So Cal A’s-Richardson (Calif.): The Tennessee-bound outfielder is one of the most dangerous hitters in the country because of her speed. She is a threat to wreak havoc on the base paths whenever she makes contact.
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