The Sweet 16 Revealed At 18U PGF Premier Nationals

Road To PGF: Cal Cruisers Sievers

The massive field at the PGF 18U Premier Nationals has been whittled down to the Sweet 16 after Wednesday's action at Huntington Beach Sports Complex in Orange County, CA.

Some teams have had easier paths to the penultimate day of the PGF Nationals than others. California Cruisers-Sievers, which reached the national title game in 2016, was one of the eight teams that took the path of least resistance by knocking off Jersey Intensity-KOD, 2-1, in the third round of the winner's bracket on Wednesday morning.

All of the teams that won their winner's bracket games only had to play once, while the rest of the day was filled with teams playing loser's bracket games to stay alive in the double-elimination tournament.

"It's definitely super important because obviously playing softball is a full body workout, so we're getting to rest and go home," said Ole Miss-bound pitcher Savannah Diederich, who has emerged as the Cruisers ace this summer. "We get to do some team bonding tonight. It's going to help us get through tomorrow and push through to Friday."

Diederich, who was So Cal Sidelines' LA Pitcher of the Year, allowed four hits, one earned run and three walks, while striking out six and pitching out of several jams. She did give up a solo blast to Notre Dame-commit Karina Gaskins in the bottom of the second, but other than that she shut down Intensity's dangerous lineup and the defense played error-free.

Oregon-bound Jasmine Sievers singled and eventually scored on an error and BYU-commit Huntyr Ava drove in a run with a sacrifice fly to left field to give the Cruisers a 2-0 lead in the top of the first, which was just enough for Diederich.

The Cruisers were off to get snow cones after their big win, while the rest of the day was devoted to the loser's bracket and survival. The Cruisers face So Cal Choppers-Ensey in the fourth round of the winner's bracket on Thursday at 8 AM on Field 4.

OC Batbusters-Stith and So Cal Athletics-Richardson both lost their first games on Day 1 before the opening ceremonies and have battled their way through the loser's bracket ever since to reach the Sweet 16.

"He (So Cal A's coach Bruce Richardson) just said to keep playing, just keep on competing, because, you know what, we fought really hard in that first game," So Cal A's pitcher Devyn Netz said. "There's nothing you can do about it. It sucks. It stings, but you know what? We had to come back. We had to keep competing. It is (a tough day), but we're having a lot of fun and we're here playing softball and that's the one thing that we love."

South Dakota Renegades, which reached the PGF 16U Premier finals in 2016, and Texas Glory-Shelton both lost their second-round games on Tuesday and fought their way through the loser's bracket to make it into the Sweet 16. The Renegades upset East Cobb Bullets-Schnute, 7-1, in one of their three loser's bracket games on Wednesday.

In other winner's bracket third round games:

Oklahoma Athletics-Madden 6, Beverly Bandits-Conroy 5

Tulsa-bound Chenise Delce connected on a walk-off homer in the bottom of the seventh to help the Athletics knocked the Bandits, the defending PGF 18U Premier national champion, into the loser's bracket.

Oklahoma State-bound Chyenne Factor went 2 for 3 with two runs and Audrey LaValley went 2 for 4 with two RBI to help the Athletics' offense.

Firecrackers-Brashear 1, NorCal Firecrackers-Sjolie 0

Cal State Fullerton-bound Dani Martinez threw three scoreless innings to pick up the win and BYU-commit Carley Brown pitched four scoreless innings to record the save as Firecrackers-Brashear knocked the NorCal Firecrackers into the loser's bracket. Long Beach State-bound Jacey Bourgeois went 2 for 3 with a double and BYU-commit Megan Delgadillo went 2 for 3 with a run scored and a stolen base to provide the offense for Firecrackers-Brashear.

Firecrackers-Brashear takes on the Oklahoma Athletics in the fourth round of the winner's bracket on Thursday at 8 AM on Field 1.

Georgia Impact-Lewis 6, Sparks Softball 0

Florida-commit Julia Cottrill smashed a grand slam and Auburn-commit Kelley Lynch and Penn State-committed lefty Vanessa Oatley combined on a two-hit shutout for the Impact. Oatley allowed one hit, one walk and struck out seven in five innings to pick up the victory.

Impact Gold-Jackson 8, Athletics-Mercado/TO 0

Texas A&M-bound Haley Lee went 2 for 2 with two doubles and five RBI, Texas A&M-commit Jourdyn Campbell went 3 for 3 with a double, two runs and an RBI, Texas A&M-bound Morgan Smith went 2 for 3 with two runs and Houston-bound Rachel Hertenberger allowed three hits and struck out two in five innings to pick up the victory for Impact Gold.

Impact Gold faces Georgia Impact in the fourth round of the winner's bracket on Thursday at 8 AM on Field 2.

Corona Angels-Tyson 1, Northwest Bullets-Campos 0

UCLA-bound Megan Faraimo, the Gatorade National Player of the Year, continued to dominate the field at PGF Nationals, shutting out very solid Bullets squad on two hits with one walk and 12 strikeouts to help the Angels advance in the winner's bracket. It was the third consecutive shutout for the Angels.

Sorcerer-Williams 2, Michigan Finesse 1

Kiana Parrish drove in Sacramento State-bound Brianna Bowers, who went 2 for 3, with a walk-off, two-out single in the bottom of the seventh to lift Sorcerer over the Finesse.

Northwestern-bound Danielle Williams continued her stellar pitching, allowing three hits, one run, no walks to go along with 11 strikeouts to record the complete-game victory for Sorcerer.

Sorcerer goes up against Corona Angels Tyson in the fourth round of the winner's bracket on Thursday at 8 AM on Field 3.

So Cal Choppers-Ensey 6, East Cobb Bullets-Caymol 4

Alyssa Caulford, an uncommitted 2020 OF/P, connected on a two-run blast in the top of the 10th and the Choppers held on to beat the Bullets.

Follow Carlos Arias on Twitter @SoCalSidelines.

PGF NATIONALS SCOREBOARD

WINNER'S BRACKET A

THIRD ROUND

Oklahoma Athletics-Madden 6, Beverly Bandits-Conroy 5

Firecrackers-Brashear 1, NorCal Firecrackers-Sjolie 0

Georgia Impact-Lewis 6, Sparks Softball 0

Impact Gold-Jackson 8, Athletics-Mercado/TO 0

WINNER'S BRACKET B

THIRD ROUND

Corona Angels-Tyson 1, Northwest Bullets-Campos 0

Sorcerer-Williams 2, Michigan Finesse 1

So Cal Choppers-Ensey 6, East Cobb Bullets-Caymol 4

Cal Cruisers-Sievers 2, Jersey Intensity-KOD 1

LOSER'S BRACKET A

THIRD ROUND

OC Batbusters-Gomes 3, Cal Nuggets 1

Athletics-Mercado/Smith 9, Corona Angels-Howard 7

Oro Valley Suncats 2, Team Mizuno Impulse 1

OC Batbusters-Stith 12, Texas Intensity 0

Virginia Legends 7, Iowa Premier 3

Texas Glory-Shelton 5, Arizona Athletics 2

South Dakota Renegades 7, East Cobb Bullets-Schnute 1

Sorcerer-Gabales 4, Lady Lightning Gold 0

FOURTH ROUND

Athletics-Mercado/Smith 5, OC Batbusters-Gomes 4

OC Batbusters-Stith 4, Oro Valley Suncats 1

Texas Glory-Shelton 10, Virginia Legends 3

South Dakota Renegades 3, Sorcerer-Gabales 2

FIFTH ROUND

Beverly Bandits-Conroy 4, Athletics-Mercado/Smith 3

OC Batbusters-Stith 10, NorCal Firecrackers-Sjolie 0

Texas Glory-Shelton 9, Sparks Softball 5

South Dakota Renegades 5, Athletics-Mercado/TO 2

LOSER'S BRACKET B

SECOND ROUND

Louisville Sluggers 6, Rhode Island Thunder 4

So Cal Athletics-Richardson 8, Wisconsin Lightning Gold 4

Vienna Stars 1, So Cal Athletics-Briggs 0

Oklahoma Exclusive 4, DeMarini Aces 0

Tennessee Fury Platinum 5, Lil Rebels 4

Firecrackers-Rico/Weil 11, Intensity-Hannigan 0

THIRD ROUND

Firecrackers AZ 1, Louisville Sluggers 0

So Cal Athletics-Richardson 8, Texas Bombers 0

Tennessee Fury Premier 12, Vienna Stars 1

Oklahoma Exclusive 5, Nebraska Gold 3

Tennessee Fury Platinum 3, So Cal Breakers-Beddow 2

Firecrackers-Rico/Weil 6, Santa Fe Inferno 2

So Cal Choppers-Fausett 7, Explosion-Denio/Jackson 4

Illinois Chill 3, Courage-Weaver 0

FOURTH ROUND

So Cal Athletics-Richardson 7, Firecrackers AZ 5

Tennessee Fury Premier 9, Oklahoma Exclusive 0

Firecrackers-Rico/Weil 4, Tennessee Fury Platinum 2

So Cal Choppers-Fausett 10, Illinois Chill 3

FIFTH ROUND

So Cal Athletics-Richardson 3, Northwest Bullets-Campos 2

Tennessee Fury Premier 1, Michigan Finesse 0

East Cobb Bullets-Caymol 5, Firecrackers-Rico/Weil 4

Jersey Intensity-KOD 9, So Cal Choppers-Fausett 6

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