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NEWS AND NOTES FROM PRESS ROW: Artesia Punishers 10-Under team goes out quickly at PGF National Championship

The Artesia Punishers 10-Under (all red jerseys) and 18 Gold teams pose for a group picture following their pool play games this past Sunday at the Premier Girls Fastpitch National Championship. The Gold team went 2-1 in pool play action, then split their four playoff games while the 10-Under team failed to win a game in their first trip to the end of the summer event.


By Loren Kopff

@LorenKopff on Twitter


The first trip to the Premier Girls Fastpitch National Championship for the Artesia Punishers 10-Under team, coached by Matt Haynes, didn’t go quite the way the team wanted. The Redlands-based team failed to win a pool play game, then went two and out in a span of 24 hours.

The Punishers were blasted by the (Riverdale) Central California Dirtdogs 14-4 this past Wednesday morning at Bill Barber Park in Irvine. The Punishers grabbed a 2-0 lead after half an inning when shortstop Ci’ella Pickett singled with two outs and came home after first baseman Tyrah Paopao hit a home run.

The Dirtdogs scored once in the bottom half of the inning, three more in the second and put the game away with a seven-run third. The final two runs for the Punishers came in the fourth when catcher Rylee Dirks singled on a full count with one out and was replaced by courtesy runner Gloria Paez. Third baseman Jenna Stevens then singled on a 2-2 count and on another 2-2 count, left fielder Amanda Waymire tripled in Paez and Stevens.

The Punishers began the double elimination playoffs with a 9-0 loss to the Benicia Outlaws this past Tuesday morning. Second baseman Kamryn Caldwell went two for three and Pickett went one for two for the only offense the Punishers would get. Defense was an issue for the team in the two games, combining for 13 errors.

Artesia got off to a slow start in the pool play games, which have no bearing on the playoff games, falling to the (Lodi) Sorcerer 10-4, the (Las Vegas) Lil’ Rebels 8-3 and the Outlaws 11-3.

In other travel softball action, five other Artesia Punisher teams are competing in the American Fastpitch Association West Coast Nationals in Fontana. The 10-Under team, coached by Andy Macias, fell to the Orange County Batbusters 11-1 this past Tuesday to begin pool play action before bouncing back to knock off the Monarchs 8-1 this past Wednesday and the Moreno Valley Militia 11-4. The team had two more pool play games on July 27 and will begin the double elimination playoffs either this afternoon or tonight.

The 12-Under team, coached by Hil Hernandez, has split its first four games with one more on July 27 before beginning the playoffs this morning. The Punishers lost to the Corona Angels 7-2 and the (Newbury Park) Southern California Victory 4-1 this past Tuesday before defeating the (Rancho Cucamonga) Firecrackers Eastside 10-3 and the Orange County Elite-Cook 4-1 this past Wednesday.

The 14-Under squad, coached by Isaac Sanchez, dropped its first two pool play games. This past Tuesday, the Punishers lost to the (West Covina) A Cut Above-Lemaster 10-9 and the next day, it was an 8-1 setback to the Firecrackers-Corrubias. The team had three more pool play games on July 27 and will open playoff action either this afternoon or tonight.

Vince Gonzales coaches the 16-Under Artesia Punishers and his team has won two straight games after falling to the (Garden Grove) American Pastime-Yslas 10-3 this past Tuesday. Later in the day, the Punishers got past the (Diamond Bar) Powernet Southern California Hawks 7-4 and this past Wednesday, they blanked the (Concord) Ladyhawks 7-0. After two more pool play games today, the team will begin the playoffs on Saturday morning.

Finally, the 18-Under team managed by Armando Canizales, is off to a good start, knocking off the (Riverside) Southern California Dynasty 8-2 this past Tuesday and the (Riverside) Southern California Dynasty-Cusa 14-3 this past Wednesday. After three more pool play games on July 27, and one more today, the team begins the playoffs on Saturday morning.


Recent Cerritos High graduate Brett Wells has received a scholarship to play at the University of Dayton. Wells, a catcher who had eight hits but also drew 12 walks in 12 Suburban League games this past season, is believed to be the first Cerritos High baseball player to sign at an NCAA Division 1 school in recent memory.