LOUISVILLE — Known as the largest college recruiting showcase tournament in the nation, the Louisville Slugger Independence Day Tournament fills participating players with excitement, anticipation, and anxiety.
With those players who already have signed to play collegiately, the pressure is not too bad. But for those unsigned players entering the prime recruiting period between their junior and senior year, their desire to impress inquiring eyes can be crushing.
Tess Cartin, who will enter the 12th grade at Holy Family High School next year, was one of many rising seniors having to battle butterflies on the fields at the Louisville Sports Complex on Wednesday while playing with Colorado Stars Beavers.
“The fact that you can say you’re even in this tournament is such an honor,” Cartin said. “It’s pretty nerve-racking because everywhere you look there is a college coach. It puts the pressure on but I like the pressure.
Cartin said she was primarily focused on showing her hitting talents as well as her attitude on Wednesday. She did that in her first trip to the plate.
In a 6-4 loss to Texas Storm Newsom in the Stars’ first pool-play game, Cartin worked the count full and hit a three-run home run in her first at-bat of the tournament to give her team an early 4-2 lead.
“It was kind of a sense of relief, actually, just knowing that the college coaches saw that I can hit and they know what my swing looked like,” Cartin said. “So I was just really happy that I could get the job done.”
Stars head coach Ryan Beavers said it was good to see Cartin make the most of her first opportunity.
“She’s one of those kids that gets it done in the classroom and out on the field so she’s got the work ethic,” Beavers said. “Her work ethic and the drive she shows can take her a long way. One thing we talked about after the game was about how at this level and this kind of tournament a lot of times you’re going to get one mistake an at-bat. The best of the best don’t miss the mistake. Her first at-bat was an example. She gets the mistake and doesn’t miss.”
As a team, the Stars’ day dimmed quickly after Cartin’s first plate appearance.
The Stars stopped hitting and committed three errors after the first inning to lose the lead in Game 1.
With a 1-0 lead in Game 2 against the Washington Angels, mistakes doomed the Stars with two outs in the bottom of the fifth. The tying run scored when an infield popup dropped between three Stars players at the pitcher’s circle. The go-ahead run scored from third on a wild pitch. An RBI single put the Angles up 3-1.
Still with two outs, Angels right fielder Carlie Richards hit a two-run home run and Emily Benson followed with a solo shot to put the Angels up 6-1. A Stars error followed by another home run from Elli Rassbach ended the game with the run rule.
“I think it was a good thing that we stayed in it in Game 1 because this tournament has the best teams in the nation,” Cartin said. “Personally, I think that we got on top and then we backed down a little bit because we thought four would be enough. But it was a hard-fought game.”
Pool play continues at the Louisville tournament on Friday.
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Pool play game 1
Texas Storm Newsom 6, Colorado Stars Beavers 4
At Louisville Sports Complex
Texas Storm Newsom 201 010 2 — 6 9 1
Colorado Stars Beavers 400 000 0 — 4 6 3
W — Miller. L — Smith.
Texas Storm Newsom hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Sorosiak 3-2-2-2, Anzaldua 3-2-1-1, Miller 3-1-2-0, Troutt 3-0-0-0, Pufal 3-0-1-2, Janis 3-0-0-0, Dryden 2-0-1-0, Crawford 2-0-0-0, Molenaar 3-1-2-0, Bobo 3-0-0-0. Totals 28-6-9-5. 2B — Molenaar, Miller. HR — Sorosiak (solo in 1st).
Colorado Stars Beavers hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Lamirato 4-0-1-0, Child 2-0-0-0, King 2-1-0-0, O’Dell 3-1-1-0, Hamilton 3-1-1-1, Cartin 2-1-1-3, Martinez 2-0-0-0, Sparks 3-0-1-0, Smith 3-0-0-0, Beavers 2-0-1-0, Artzer 0-0-0-0, Bakovich 0-0-0-0. Totals 26-4-6-4. HR — Cartin (2 on in 1st).
Texas Storm Newsom pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Troutt 2/3-3-4-4-1-0, Miller 6 1/3-3-0-0-3-5.
Colorado Stars Beavers pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Smith 7-9-6-5-4-2.
Pool play game 2
Washington Angels 8, Colorado Stars Beavers 1
At Louisville Sports Complex
Colorado Stars Beavers 000 01 — 1 6 2
Washington Angels 000 08 — 8 7 1
W — Rema. L — Gilliam.
Colorado Stars Beavers hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Lamirato 3-0-1-1, Child 3-0-1-0, Hamilton 2-0-1-0, O’Dell 2-0-0-0, Cartin 2-0-0-0, Martinez 2-0-1-0, Smith 2-0-1-0, Artzer 2-1-1-0, Gilliam 2-0-0-0, Bakovich 2-0-0-0, Beavers 0-0-0-0. Totals 22-1-6-1. 2B — Smith, Child.
Washington Angels hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Weber 3-1-1-1, Ca. Richards 3-1-1-2, Benson 3-1-2-1, Jesse 3-1-0-0, Rassbach 3-1-1-2, Griffin 2-0-0-0, Fletcher 2-0-0-0, Cy. Richards 1-1-0-0, Bishop 1-1-1-0, Merwin 1-1-1-1. HR — Ca. Richards (1 on in 5th), Benson (solo in 5th), Rassbach (1 on in 5th).
Colorado Stars Beavers pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Gilliam 4 2/3-7-8-6-1-1.
Washington Angels pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Nesbitt 2-4-0-0-1-3, Rema 2-2-1-1-0-4.