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Editor’s note: Due to an unfortunate situation, the Chinese National Team has to cancel two games scheduled against a pair of Artesia Punisher teams. The Chinese National Team was scheduled to play Danny Guerrero’s 14-Under team and the 16-Under squad, coached by Armando Canizales, on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively at Cerritos College. The Artesia Punishers organization sends its thoughts and prayers out to the Chinese National Team, its family and friends.
By Loren Kopff
The Triple Crown Sports 16-Under World Series in Reno, NV has been very kind so far for the Artesia Punishers team coached by Chris Paiva. His team won all four pool play games and as a result, has been put in the Gold bracket of the playoffs.
The Punishers began pool play action this past Tuesday morning with a 1-0 win over the (Arvada) Colorado Invasion-Browdy and a 10-0 romp over the Bakersfield Babes-Puente. Both games were played at Bishop Manogue High School. The next day the Punishers blanked the (Burlingame) California Gamers 5-0, then followed that up with a 6-4 victory over the (Fremont) Lady Wolfpack. Those two games were held at the Centennial Park Complex in nearby Carson City.
The team’s first playoff game in the Gold bracket was on July 23 against the (Mission Viejo) Firecrackers-Ensey/Singer and the Punishers fell 4-0, which sent the team to the loser’s bracket where it will face the (Granada Hills) INSANITY (Mendoza) today.
Also in the tournament, the Artesia Punishers 16-Under team, coached by Mike DiMase, had a tough time in its four pool play outings. This past Tuesday morning, the Punishers tied the (Thornton, CO) American Freedom 6-6 before falling to the (Buena Park) Orange County Strikeforce-Bustamante 9-0. Those games were played at Tighe Park. This past Wednesday, the Punishers fell to the (Sanger) Central California Insanity 8-0 before knocking off the (Concord) Lady Hawks 6-4 at the Centennial Park Complex.
DiMase’s team began the playoffs on July 23 against the (Pengrove) Northern California Impact in the Bronze bracket and came away with a 7-2 victory. That set up a meeting with the Bakersfield Babes, the same team that Paiva’s squad crushed in pool play action.
Elsewhere in the Artesia Punishers organization, the 14-Under team, coached by Danny Guerrero, will compete in the USA Preps Showcase this weekend in the Antelope Valley. Unlike most of the other showcase tournaments where college coaches from across the nation come out to scout prospective players, the coaches actually get more involved, i.e. running several camps, sitting in the dugouts and more interaction.
“You get to meet with the college coaches for an hour before their camp; that’s if you go to their camp on Friday and then you have a camp for three hours with them,” Guerrero said.
A total of 82 14-Under, 16-Under and 18-Under teams will compete in the USA Preps Showcase, which will take place at the Best of the West Park in Palmdale and the Big Eight Softball Complex in Lancaster. The Punishers are one of eight teams in one pool and will play three games on Saturday with more on Sunday.
In addition, second baseman and outfielder Danielle Lew (Los Alamitos High School) is one of 103 all-stars who will compete against each other later today.
Guerrero’s team will also face the Chinese National Team from its younger division on Tuesday at 11:00 at Cerritos College. The next day at the same place and time, the Artesia Punishers 16-Under team coached by Armando Canizales will play the same Chinese National team. The entire Artesia Punishers organization would like to invite everyone to one or both games.
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