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Anthony Medina’s Artesia Punishers 14-Under team begins strong before loss to sister team

By Loren Kopff

IRVINE-After winning all three pool play games in the Premier Girls Fastpitch National Championships, which had no bearing on the bracket portion, the Artesia Punishers 14-Under team managed by Anthony Medina won its first playoff game.
But the Punishers fell to the (Rancho Santa Margarita) California Cruisers before being eliminated by Danny Guerrero’s Punishers group 8-4 this past Wednesday afternoon at Harvard Park.
“We really don’t look at the undefeated part,” Medina said. “We knew coming into [the tournament] were going to have to compete, regardless. It was unfortunate. I was down players in the first game [today]. I was down my [No. 2] pitcher. I was down an outfielder and my second baseman. So, this team really works on chemistry.”
The Punishers began this past Wednesday morning with an 8-2 loss to the Cruisers. The Punishers trailed 3-0 after the first inning but scored twice in the top of the third inning.
With one out, second baseman Alyssa Medina (Cerritos High School) singled and went to third on a single from shortstop Alyssa Hana (La Mirada High School). The former would then come home on a base hit from pitcher Alyssa Olague (Whittier High School). Hana would steal home for the second run to make it a one-run contest.
But the Cruisers put the game away with two runs in the bottom of the third inning, one in the fourth and two more in the sixth. Alyssa Medina and catcher Lauren Edmiston (Lakewood High School) each had two hits.
That set up the meeting with Guerrero’s team which marked the second time this summer Medina’s team was facing an Artesia Punishers 14-Under squad in a major tournament. In the PGF Arizona Qualifier in late May, his team met the one managed by Jr. Vasquez in a quarterfinal contest. That one went to Vazquez in a 2-1 decision.
“The good thing about playing Jr.’s team was it wasn’t our elimination game,” Anthony Medina said. “Playing Danny, we knew it was an elimination [game]. It was just unfortunate one of us was going to go home. His team came well prepared.”
This past Tuesday morning, the Punishers picked up a 1-0 win over the (Carlsbad) Southern California Breakers as Olague scattered six hits and struck out four. The lone tally came in the top of the fourth inning when Alyssa Medina singled, moved to third on a ground out and came home on a base hit from Olague.