La Crescenta’s Girls 14U softball team earns first place

La Crescenta Thunders are (first row): Kayla Oliver, Karina Moreno, Ginnes Paladini, Jessica Madeira, Faith Rousey, Chloe Fairbrother, Shawna Shipers, Hailey Saurenman. Second row are Manager Tom Oliver, Coach Bridget Smith, Taryn Neal, Clair O’Connor, Coach Ashley Fisher, Sydnee Wells and Head Coach Shon Wells.

Playing over Father’s Day weekend, La Crescenta Thunder, the community’s only 14U girls fast pitch tournament team, went undefeated in the “Hit It Like It’s Hot” Sylmar tournament winning the division championship on June 20.

Thunder defeated Sylmar 9-5 and Montebello 3-0 on Saturday. Thunder rolled to its second win over Montebello with a 6-2 outcome. The three wins led to facing off with Hacienda Heights, the only other undefeated team. An tough-fought championship game, La Crescenta came out on top with a final score 5-4.

Chloe Fairbrother, Kayla Oliver and Hailey Saurenman who made significant contributions gave outstanding performances on the mound. Fairbrother pitched 10 innings with 13 strikeouts, allowing only two runs. Oliver struck out six hitters over four innings and Saurenman allowed only two runs in seven innings with eight strikeouts. Saurenman closed the final game striking out Hacienda Heights’ last two hitters. Fairbrother and Oliver enter Crescenta Valley High this September.

Defensively, Oliver, as shortstop, had an unassisted double play with a diving catch of a rocketed line drive. In centerfield, Karina Moreno covered significant territory sliding to nab the final out of the first Montebello game. There were four unassisted outs by Shawna Shipers at first base during the championship game.

Faith Rousey, who with Shipers will start at Rosemont Middle School this year, had one triple, five singles and racked up six stolen bases. Oliver also tripled. Fellow Rosemont students third baseman Jessica Madeira singled five times and catcher Clair O’Connor had a two hit home run and six singles.

The victory made for a tremendous Father’s Day gift to head coach Shon Wells and manager Tom Oliver. The team’s other coaches are Dave Fox, Ashley Fisher and Bridget Smith.

Contributed by Patty O’Connor