By Adam Dunivan
DENVER -- There wasn’t much that 18U Game Day Gold could do wrong on Wednesday afternoon at Waddell Park.
In fact, hardly anything or anybody got in the way as Annelise Garcia and her teammates outscored their two Pool F opponents, 33-4, in the 18U Sparkler Open division of the Colorado 4th of July tournament.
Behind the dish and at the plate, Garcia’s confidence was fully on display in an 18-3 victory over American Thunder Simons, and after the game the catcher did not hesitate to say she was just as confident in her younger club mates as she was in her own game.
“We had a lot of momentum from our games (Tuesday) … we finally found those holes and it all just came together,” Garcia, who graduated this past spring, said. “We had a good week before coming here to Colorado, so it was good to see the hard work pay off.
“I have a lot of trust in this team, especially on defense. We’re young, but I don’t think you can tell that when we get up to hit.”
By racking up 18 hits to beat the Thunder -- who had earlier made the Pool F winner’s game with a 9-3 victory -- the Game Day Gold lineup proved it was eager to swing at anything close to the zone. Yet, it also showed some patience in getting aboard via walk four additional times.
And there were some big hits, too. Garcia homered in her first at-bat and then tripled in her second one. Also with doubles in the game were Keira Cahalan, Isabella Lester and Kaydence Kinder, and Lainie McClintick and Kinder added to the team’s home run count in the fourth and fifth innings.
For Kinder, the performance at the plate was a source of pride after she was forced out of the batting lineup in the prior game due to injury.
“After that first at-bat, I felt really strong and just like, OK, I can get over this injury and be able to figure it out,” Kinder said. “You can see the confidence from everybody. It’s so cool to see everybody cheer for each other and also be proud of each other.”
Despite getting down big early in the game, American Thunder Simons did get some runs across the plate in the third and fifth innings. Dasia Triplett’s two-run double in the third frame was the highlight hit of the afternoon.
Both teams get back on the fields on Friday morning, with Game Day Gold entering the Mt. Elbert A bracket and American Thunder going to the Mt. Elbert D bracket.