Empire stars have Easton Elite in running at national softball championships

By TED SILLANPAA
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Petaluma High pitcher Dana Thomsen and St. Vincent’s Ursyla Baumgarten shined in pool play to lead the Easton Elite to a 2-1 record entering today’s first round of double-elimination action in the Under-18 ASA/USA Softball National Championships in Clearwater, Fla.

Thomsen pitched a shutout on Monday, while Baumgarten collected four hits, to propel the Elite into action this morning against Sneaky Cleats, of Tyler, Texas. The winner of that game advances to play the winner of a game between the Gold Coast Hurricane (Davie, Fla.) and Tropic Wave of Florida this afternoon. The loser of the Elite game will try to avoid elimination in a loser’s bracket contest on Thursday morning.

The Elite, made up of stars from Sonoma, Marin and Napa counties, finished tied atop their pool with the Washington Angels (Richland, Wash.). Both ended with 2-1 records, but the Angels outscored foes by eight runs in pool play while the Elite only scored five more runs than their opponents. They started pool play with a 4-2 win Monday over the Richland, Wash.-based team.

Baumgarten went 2-for-3 and scored a run. Paige McIntosh had two hits, including a home run, and three RBIs. Samantha Spina had a hit and scored a run. Hayley Gazdik and Petaluma’s Joelle Krist each had singles and scored runs.

Thomsen followed with her masterpiece against the Washington Illusion (Kelso, Wash.) in a 5-0 Elite victory. The Petaluma grad gave up the four hits in tossing a complete game. She struck out four and didn’t walk a batter.

Baumgarten had two hits, with a double, two RBIs and two runs scored. Petaluma stars Krist and Nicole Wiecks each had hits. Wiecks doubled and drove in two runs to help her high school teammate pick up the victory in the circle.

The Texas Storm, from Newsom, Texas, clipped the Elite 6-4. Two errors hurt the losers, while the Storm pounded out 10 hits. All four Elite runs came trailing 6-0 in the sixth inning.

Windsor’s Angelica Terrel, the designated hitter, had a double and a single. She drove in two runs. Brie Gerhardt singled in a run and scored another. Casa Grande’s Courtney Ludlow and Spina had singles and scored runs.

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