LOUISVILLE — Maddie Foster and Casey Wagner have taken their hacks against the best that Colorado has had to offer for years.
But as both are mere weeks away from heading off to their respective colleges, they're taking their shot against some of the nation's best at the IDT Louisville Slugger Boulder Tournament with their Colorado Stars U18 team in the Louisville bracket.
On Thursday they were both instrumental in helping their team bounce back to .500 with two wins, including a 9-3 victory in the lightning-delayed nightcap against the Oregon Batbusters.
"You see some very good pitchers and that is what you are going to see in college, so the experience is invaluable in getting used to the next level," said Wagner, a recent Silver Creek alum, who will join the Roadrunners of Metro State this fall.
"It's just about preparing yourself for college."
True to her form from this past high school season, Wagner — who rotated in the outfield on Thursday night for Rob deThouar's squad — made the most of her three plate appearances before Mother Nature intervened. She doubled and scored in her first plate appearance and also stole two bases.
"We had a few rough games at the beginning, but we are starting to get used to the pitching and defense is playing well," said Wagner, who hit .474 this past season with five home runs and 10 doubles. "It's definitely better than the start."
And Foster, an Erie grad, was sparkling with the glove against the Batbusters, making multiple nifty plays in the second inning to keep the shutout alive and then again in the third.
It's an aspect of her game — which she will continue to pursue at Santa Barbara City College — that she is comfortable with, not she wants to focus on rounding out the offensive aspect.
"I think I am pretty ready for it, I just have to keep putting in the work," she said. "Just have to work at having more quality at-bats. I jump ahead on the first pitch and dig myself into a hole right away.
"I think if I sit back and work hard, I'll pull it together."
The Stars will finish out pool play on Friday with two more games, including an early 8 a.m. start at the Louisville Sports Complex.