Softball: Team Mizuno bests rival for 16-under title

CLIFF GRASSMICK
Hannah Flippen, left, and Alyssa Palomino of the California Team Mizuno, holds the 16-under Championship hardware after their team beat the Corona (CA) Angels on Sunday.

BOULDER — Back in California, 16-under Team Mizuno and the Corona Angels face each other all the time.

On Sunday, the two California ball clubs met up far from home in the championship game of the Louisville Slugger Independence Day Softball Tournament.

In a 2-1 win over their in-state rival, Team Mizuno was paced by its youngest players, in particular 14-year-old pitcher Kaley Winegarner. After missing the first inning with an unexpected nosebleed, Winegarner held the Angels scoreless through the final five innings, allowing five hits, three walks and striking out two batters.”That doesn’t happen too often but I knew that I could get the job done for my team,” Winegarner said. “I knew that, as a team, we would be able to get the job done. On the mound, I felt like everything was working very well. I was able to hit my spots in order to let me team do what they needed to do.”

Winegarner said winning the Independence Day Tournament was a good midseason accomplishment for Team Mizuno. But the end goal remains a Premier Girls Fastpitch national title.

“With the Corona Angels, they’re a very good team and it’s always gonna be a struggle,” said Winegarner, who ranges around 60 mph with her fastball. “But our team has been on this whole week and I knew we were gonna be able to get the win. It means a lot but it’s just the beginning. We still have a lot to look forward to. The big prize will be Premier.”

Team Mizuno trailed 1-0 after Andy Formby allowed the Angels’ only run in the first inning. But 14-year-old third baseman Tannon Snow drove in Team Mizuno’s two runs with a fourth-inning double that scored center fielder Amanda Lorenz and right fielder Justine McLean.

“I was really pumped up even though it wasn’t that good of a hit,” said Snow, who finished 2-for-3. “I still scored them and we needed it. We came through and did it.”

As familiar as the two teams are with one another, Team Mizuno head coach Mike Stith said runs are often hard to come by when they meet up.

“Everybody knows each other so much. Everybody knows each others’ tendencies and what people are capable of doing, what they’re good at,” Stith said. “So, it’s like a chess match. Everything is planned out and very deliberate because they know what we’re gonna do and I know what they’re gonna do.”

Team Mizuno finished 11-0 at the tournament.

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Team Mizuno 2, Corona Angels 1

At Stazio Ballfields

Team Mizuno 000 200 — 2 6 0

Corona Angels 100 000 — 1 7 0

W — Winegarner. L — Garcia.

Team Mizuno hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Lorenz 3-1-1-0, McLean 3-1-1-0, Palomino 2-0-0-0, Snow 3-0-2-2, Palacios 3-0-0-0, Romero 3-0-0-0, Wheaton 2-0-1-0, Flippen 2-0-0-0, Marquez 2-0-1-0, Winegarner 0-0-0-0, Formby 0-0-0-0, Hernandez 0-0-0-0. Totals 23-2-6-2. 2B — Lorenz, Snow. SB — Snow.

Corona Angels hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Casas 3-0-0-0, Knighten 3-1-2-0, Goodwin 3-0-0-0, Garcia 3-0-0-0, Seroggins 3-0-2-1, Ili 3-0-0-0, Espinosa 1-0-0-0, Ingraham 3-0-1-0, Laxomono 2-0-2-0, Warner 0-0-0-0, Henderson 2-0-0-0, Aniona 0-0-0-0. Totals 24-2-7-2. 2B — Knighten, Seroggins.

Team Mizuno pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Formby 1-2-1-1-1-0, Winegarner 5-5-0-0-3-2.

Corona Angels pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — 6-6-2-2-0-5.