From coast to coast, top teams in the 14U, 16U, and 18U division will compete at the USA Junior Olympic Cup in St. Louis, Missouri July 23-28 LIVE on FloSoftball.
What To Watch For At USA JO Cup
Scrap Yard Internationals
One of the early favorites to take this year's USA JO Cup would have to be Scrap Yard. Loaded with SEC talent, Connie May's team recently took third place at Triple Crown Nationals. LSU-bound Taylor Pleasants is the stud to watch for in the infield and she has a beautiful left-handed swing to compliment her skills on defense. Auburn-bound Haley Nillen is as solid as they come behind the plate and Georgia-bound CJ Landrum is lightning fast on the bases.
The Outlaws are flying under the radar and they could easily be the last team standing. Tenacious at the plate and stealthy in the circle, Outlaws pitcher Miami of Ohio signee Brianna Pratt has been crafty all summer long mixing a late-breaking drop and off-speed. St. Francis signee Sarah Seamans takes her hacks and can easily lead off with a double or a dinger. Pennsylvania Gatorade Player of the Year Oregon signee Lexi Wagner had a stellar senior campaign batting .680 with 14 home runs and 39 RBIs. Look for Wagner to be a big contributor on offense.
Rick Waye’s Rock Gold bullpen is deep with Danni Farley (2018, Florida), Jenna Khantzian (2019, Virginia Tech), and Kylie Kenney (2019, James Madison). All three pitchers combine an arsenal of pitches that compliment each other well. Look for South Florida-bound outfielder Megan Sheehan to light it up at the plate. Sheehan bats from the left side dropping bunts or bombs at any given at-bat.
Hot 100 player Lauren Sciborski commands the field from behind home and will be a huge factor at the plate for Finesse. She’s a strong athlete that hits for power and average. Lauren Esman is crucial in the circle. A southpaw committed to Michigan, she’s primed for the big games. Up the middle, look for Hannah Cady who possesses good speed and athleticism. She typically leads off or is in the two-hole.
NE Gold Gerdes
With pitchers Jordyn Bahl and Lauren Krings in the circle, Nebraska Gold will make a tremendous run towards the USA JO Championship. Krings is a new player to NE Gold’s summer roster. She’s proved to be a solid pitcher who can also swing the bat. One of the most versatile players to watch will be 2020 utility player Gabriel Moser who can play anywhere.
Lindy Milkowski brings power and savvy behind the dish and at the plate. A first team all-conference player, Milkowski is as solid as they come. Another big bat in the lineup is Sara Roszak who plays middle infield and has experience leading her high school team to a state championship. On the mound, 2021 pitcher Clara Edwards will likely get the ball in the big games. Edwards held a 22-1 high school record this past season with a trip to the state tournament.
Top Gun Academy – Angels
2020 Daryn Lamprecht had a phenomenal sophomore season setting the school record in home runs and RBI production continues for Top Gun Academy. A proven winner, she’s won championships in both volleyball and softball. Karly Johnson is the arm behind the plate who won the Newcomer of the Year Award and also made First Team All-Conference. The burner on the bases will be Marrit Mead who leads the team in stolen bases and is one of the fastest runners in the state at the 100-meter dash.
Wichita State-commit Ellee Eck and Kansas-commit Sophia Buzard are the dynamic duo in the outfield that ignite the offense. Both righties who were converted into lefty hitters, Eck and Buzard combine speed and power that make for one dangerous combo. If you’re looking for a power hitter, 6-foot catcher Abby Gordon is sending the ball out of the park leading her high school team in dingers.
St. Louis Chaos 03
Coach Rachel Gill is guiding the St. Louis Chaos 03 team this season and she is known for developing raw young talent. Julia Crenshaw stands out in the leadoff to three-hole spot in the order. She brings power and speed and leads the team in stolen bases. One of the smoothest infielders to watch will be Chloe Rhine. On the mound, power hitter/pitcher Abby Robbins mixes pitches on all axis and changes speeds.
The captain of the team Peyton Norvelle is a stud behind the dish but she can also play the middle. Her presence and leadership are respected by all through her steady contributions on offense and defense. If you want to see a middle flash some leather look no further than Bella Cabral who has excellent footwork, glove work, range and a solid arm. In the outfield, Ieesha Christian will be the speedster to watch on the bases and on defense.
Gametime Stars Lyon
The Gametime Stars alum played a huge role in the WCWS with studs Cayleigh Clifton and Sydney Sherrill. A new generation of GT Stars are rising through the ranks. Be sure to watch Texas Tech-commit Kaylee Lyon at shortstop who hits for power and average. Lyon’s counterpart second baseman Malorey Outon compliments Lyon up the middle making for one of the top pairs to watch. On the mound, Jade Sanders will lead the way leading the team in wins and ERA. The strikeout pitcher is also a terrific hitter batting nearly .500.
In the circle for Vision, Kinsey Kackley leads the way and is touted as one of the best pitchers in the program. You’ll find Cierra Simon playing behind her up the middle or at third base. She’s the type of player that can play anywhere with her speed, power, and skill. Another game changer for Vision would have to be utility player Alissa Suarez who can pitch and play infield.