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Artesia Punishers’ teams staying busy in preparation for July tournaments



By Loren Kopff
@LorenKopff on Twitter


As July approaches, the weather isn’t the only thing that’s going to heat up. It’s also the time that several travel softball national championships, as well as the final major college showcase tournaments, take place and the Artesia Punishers will be right in the middle of them.

By virtue of finishing in third place in last year’s Premier Girls Fastpitch National Championship, the Artesia Punishers 18 Gold team received a free pass to this year’s event, which will begin in four weeks. Head coach Bobby Medina’s team has been in the Triple Crown Series Zoom Into June as well as the Surf City Tourneys June Premier Showcase, both held the weekend of June 7-9. The next major event his team will participate in will be the prestigious Amateur Softball Association’s Champions Cup in Irvine, held July 10-14.

The 16-Under team coached by Vince Gonzales, was in the USA Softball Father’s Day Legacy Tournament at South Gate Park where it went 3-0 in pool play action, outscoring the opposition 22-5. The Punishers took that momentum all the way to the championship game where they knocked off Team Miller 7-1 and the Ohana-Estrada 3-2 in the playoffs. The Punishers will be in the PGF Fresno Qualifier this weekend. After that, his team will be in the Triple Crown Sports World Series in Park City, Utah from July 15-20.

Another 16-Under team, this one coached by Joseph Alvarez, was also in the Father’s Day Legacy Tournament and won its two pool play games before defeating the California Ladyhawks 6-3 in its first playoff contest. The Punishers proceeded to capture wins over the Firecrackers-Ramos/Valenzuela and the other Punishers team to win the tournament. The Alvarez-coached Punishers will play in some friendlies the rest of this month and be in a showcase tournament the first weekend of July.

The 14-Under team, coached by Andy Macias, will be in the Triple Crown Sports Red, White, Blue Tournament this weekend at Dana Hills High before taking next weekend off. His team will then spend the first two weekends of July playing friendlies before going to the USA National Championship July 17-21.