By Adam Dunivan
COMMERCE CITY -- The All American Sports Academy Macias 18G fastpitch team isn't all about power hitting, but those who didn't follow the team prior to the Colorado Fireworks tournament could very easily adopt that impression.
That propensity for power played out on Thursday at the Pioneer Park fields in Commerce City, where in two games of the CC Elite Box Bracket play, AASA-Macias smacked six home runs from six different girls en route to a 2-0 day and a position in the top tier of elimination play for the weekend. In the CC Elite pool winner's game, Kelsey Hall's grand slam in the third inning was followed by fourth-inning blasts from Madi Mays and Lainey Hanehan, and AASA-Macias 18G went on to beat Breakers Labs 18U by an 8-4 score.
"I definitely can say that we can hit the ball for power but I think now we are just starting to turn it on and everyone's starting to get comfortable again," said Hall, who hit leadoff and saw the rest of her teammates produce nine total hits in their second game. "We're feeding off each other and each other's energy. For me, I just want to hit for my team, and that's what everyone else wants to do, too."
"The girls are taking care of one another, and that's what we preach. There's no one girl stepping up, it's everyone stepping up in that moment, and I think the girls are just seeing the ball well, obviously," head coach Brandi Macias added. "We started a litte slow, but something you want to see for any team is to peak as we go, and I feel like we're climbing that ladder."
AASA, based out of Brentwood, Calif., has come to the Fireworks tournament loaded with Division I softball commits and a clear vision of trying to win the event. Macias is carrying just three girls, one being Hanehan, that have not at least verbally pledged to a school. Macias said she is proud of how the team has come together to play for those uncommitted girls so far, as they have gone 4-0 and have outscored their opponents 34-10.
Hanehan has carried a lot of the pitching load so far, and against the Breakers got some key early outs after giving up an unearned run in the second inning. The Breakers (San Diego, Calif.) scored three times in the fourth inning, but Catherine Jensen was able to come on in relief and close the door with 2 1/3 innings of scoreless pitching.
AASA-Macias 18G was ahead 7-1 after Hanehan's two-run home run. Olivia Maglalang, an uncommitted rising junior, had two hits and scored twice, as well.
"The team is playing for those (uncommitted) girls because we collectively want all of them to go somewhere great to get an education," Macias said. "Triple Crown allows that by putting us in front of great (college) coaches, too. Lainey has shown, in my opinion, consistency. That's what these coaches within these universities want to see."
"It feels great to see our team playing good defense and scoring runs," Hanehan said. "When someone gets one hit, it just feels like we all can keep going."