Today marked the first day of the inaugural USA Elite Select World Fastpitch Championship in Kansas City. This tournament is hosting teams from 25 different states and one team from Mexico.
Softball isn’t the only thing this tournament offers its athletes. There are educational seminars and different events like our tailgate and Pride games throughout the week.
The 14U teams heated up during their two exhibition games at Mid-America West Sports Complex in Shawnee, Kansas. These games are played so that the athletes can get a feel for the tournament and see the competition that is out there this week.
These girls may just be 13 and 14 years old, but they can really play.
An example of that is Ariell Romero of the Ohana Tigers. They traveled all the way from California to be here this week. Romero was the offensive star of the team with a 3-run homer and a double during their first exhibition game today.
“It feels really good to just be out here playing with these great teams,” Romero said. “I want to come out and perform great.”
Everywhere you look at this park you see these athletes giving it all they’ve got. Although this is just exhibition day, there are many college coaches in the stands looking to recruit.
Recruiter for Wichita State, Nicole Hudson, finds the convenient location and competitive teams to be a real appeal for her.
“They have done a great job with this tourney bringing teams in from all over the country,” Hudson said. “A lot of the teams I’ve been tracking and following all summer are here.”
Some may think that 13 and 14 is too young for colleges to start recruiting, but a lot of the athletes here this week have already committed to play at colleges across the country.
In fact, Pete D’Amour, Recruiter from the University of Missouri, said that his program is already recruiting the ’19-’20 graduates this season.
The athletes don’t think they’re too young either.
Gabi Carra of the Beverly Bandits from Chicago has committed to play for the University of Wisconsin. She doesn’t think she is too young to commit to a college and says that “it just felt like the right time” for her to accept.
A team that knows all about the importance of recruiting at elite tournaments such as this one is the OC Batbusters (Campbell). Seven of their athletes have already committed to playing softball at colleges across the country.