Whatever the bracket, whatever the location, the 18u Minnesota SnoCatz Black is looking to make a dent in the Colorado 4th of July tournament.
Making their way through the Sparkler 18 Open Mt. Elbert II bracket, the SnoCatz were sizzling at the plate and lock-down tough on defense in posting two wins Friday, 8-1 over the NJ Heist Elite and then 10-1 over the Next Level 18-Mena squad.
That sets up Saturday’s matchup with Team TFS Elite, with a chance to advance to the bracket championship on the line.
“This was a continuation - I’ve had this team for five years now, and we’ve kept the core together. They practice even harder,” said SnoCatz head coach Jeremy Schauer. “They’re doing what they are supposed to, and I’m very proud of them. We play all year, on the carpet in domes (in bad weather). We work hard, practice even on game days in the morning. It’s a different breed of girls.”
Game 2 on Friday featured the SnoCatz at their sharpest, grabbing early control of the game. A two-run double by Morgan Strombeck broke the game open, and starting pitcher Samantha Pederson sailed through the Next Level lineup. In the second inning, the SnoCatz had seven straight hits, which led to five runs.
“Sam’s our fireballer; she can bring the heat but today she really didn’t need to. She was at 60-62 (mph) but she will hit 68,” Schauer said.
“Coming into the tournament, we knew we were going to have some big competition, but I feel our team is good enough to battle anybody,” Strombeck said. “I expect us to go to the championship. Earlier today I wasn’t hitting that well, so other I was thinking was to keep my weight back and turn my knee as fast as I can. We don’t like to let any team back in; we want to keep scoring.”
Cassie Sinn scored two runs, as did Coryn Jacobson and Cassie Schuster.