Recruiting 2025 – The Legend of Clubb Grows

Recruiting 2025 – The Legend of Clubb Grows

By Jeff Strange

Way out west of St. Louis, MO – about 50 miles or so – lies a small, semi-rural community of about 4,800 people. Wright City, MO once claimed fame from the large Big Boy Restaurant sign off of Highway 70 and the Elvis is Alive Museum, which delved into the proposition that the King of Rock was still living.

These days, folks around these parts know well about a new hot-topic. Wright City High School Junior softball player Lydia Clubb has gained interest for her academic achievements, genuinely good-natured personality and her extraordinary athletic feats.

But who exactly is this 2025 Infielder/Outfielder starring for Wright City High School and the Missouri Bombers 18u softball team?

“She’s just a dynamic athlete,” said Brian Veselske, head coach of the Missouri Bombers 18u squad. “She’s very humble, she doesn’t boast about herself. But when she steps between the white lines, you just know that you’re going to get 110% from that kid every game.”

That blue-collar work ethic – combined with her elite athleticism – has helped propel this young athlete into local folklore that the residents of her hometown and her club coach speak in awe of.



Some True or False quizzing about Lydia Clubb:

  • Lydia Clubb once scored from second base on a passed ball?
    • Her elite speed and high-energy motor on the base paths allowed her to cross home plate in a recent High School game while on second base and a pitch getting away from the catcher.
  • A natural right-handed hitter, Lydia Clubb once turned to the left side of the plate and homered.
    • Lydia’s dad Jason taught her how to switch-hit when she was younger and she will still occasionally move to the left side of the batter’s box. She smoked a gap shot home run last fall.
  • Lydia Clubb holds records in track for her school in the 4×400 relay, the 4×200 relay, the 100-meter dash.
    • Lydia has been running track since 8th grade and has gained a reputation as one of the top runners in the state.
  • Lydia Clubb is an accomplished trapshooter.
    • Lydia has shot since around the age of 11, participating in her school’s trapshooting club.
  • Lycia Clubb is faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive and able to leap over the old Big Boy sign along Highway 70 in her hometown.
    • Ok, Ok…they can’t all be true. But you get the point…this young athlete is making a name for herself. And just when you think that she’s trumped about every accomplishment that can be listed, she manages to amaze everyone in her presence with her talents.

So what drives this young athlete?

 “Ever since I was little, I’ve had a love for softball,” said Clubb. “Anytime I was at practice, I would always try to put forth 110% effort all of the time. Then after practice, I would work by myself at home. I would hit off a tee nonstop, I would just throw a ball up in the air to try to catch it or I would throw a bouncy ball off of a piece of wood. Just anything that I could think of to try to get better.”  

As she has grown as a young athlete, Clubb has learned to pick up on the finer points of the game to help set herself apart.

“She’s got outstanding softball IQ,” said Missouri Bombers 18u coach Brian Veselske. “Her approach at the plate is that she is looking for 60 feet, and always looking for the extra bag. She reads the defense well; she is an exceptional bunter but also has gap-to-gap power. As a leadoff hitter this past summer, she led our team with in home runs. If you were to watch this kid, she gets your attention. You never know what is going to happen because of her athleticism. She reads a defense and will drop a bunt. If it bounces once or twice, forget about it. Her speed is going to put her on the bag.”

With a growing reputation as an athlete that can play all over the field – she is well known for her range and arm at shortstop, but has also seen time in the outfield – and an explosive athlete at the plate and on the bases, Clubb has her sights set on the next levels beyond her high school years.

 “I would love to play college softball,” said Clubb. “My academic goals are to hopefully find a school with an engineering program that I could also have an opportunity to play at.”

Those who know her best believe in her as an athlete, a student and a person.

“She’s a country girl,” said Coach Veselske. “She works hard. When she’s not practicing or playing softball, she works with her dad on construction projects. She’s just gifted with a lot of quality attributes. She’s got exceptional speed, she’s versatile in the field, she’s always shown a great dedication to the sport and she does very well in school. She can play at the next level, there’s no doubt in my mind about it.”

Heartland College Showcase powered by Top Gun Events

Heartland College Showcase powered by Top Gun Events

By: TGE Staff

Heartland College Showcase is getting a makeover!

We are excited to announce the collaboration between USA Softball of Kansas City and Top Gun Events to bring the experience of hosting a next level elite showcase with the history and governance of USA Softball of KC bringing teams an impactful meaningful experience.  This event will have two divisions.  An open division and a division a team can enter by application or by invitation. The Open division will be running June 7th- 9th with an opportunity for those Junior and Seniors who are uncommitted to play in Spotlight Games, Monday the 10th.  The application-based division will run Saturday, June 8th- Monday, June 10th.     

With the collaboration with our two great organizations, we hope to truly give the teams an exceptional experience here in Kansas City. 

R.O.I Midwest Claims Top Gun Events Futures Invite Championship

R.O.I Midwest Claims Top Gun Events Futures Invite Championship

By: Rob Else

The inaugural Top Gun Events Futures Invite was held at Central Bank Sporting Complex over the weekend.  R.O.I Midwest claimed the 14u championship with their 7-2 win over the Aces Fastpitch NWA.  R.O.I, formally the Midwest Firecrackers, won the USSSA Nationals and finished top 3 in all the tournaments they played last spring.

ROI started the Futures Invite with a pair of wins on Friday night.  They beat the Prodigy Decker 9-0 and the Aces Fastpitch NWA 5-3.  Saturday, mother nature tried to ruin the day, but the turf fields at Central Bank Sporting Complex and Mid-America Sports Complex kept the games on track.  ROI was able to beat the KC Rebels 9-2 before rallying with 6 runs in the last inning, to beat Nebraska Gold 8-4.

Three more quality wins on Sunday sealed the championship victory for ROI.  They beat Ankeny Extreme Black 5-2 before getting back-to-back wins over Aces Fastpitch NWA.

In the circle, ROI was led Maisey McCarty and Raegan Brandt.  McCarty threw 12 innings allowing 6 earned runs with 19 strikeouts.  Brandt allowed 5 earned runs and had 13 strikeouts in her 12 innings of work.

Gabriyella Kessler led ROI at the plate.  She hit .556 for the tournament with seven RBI and five runs scored.  Kessler’s stats included two doubles, a triple, and a home run.

Overall, the Futures Invite was a great tournament with lots of high-quality teams from the Midwest region.  It was a great way for many teams to kick-off their fall season.

Top Gun Futures Event Preview

Top Gun Futures Event Preview

TGE Staff

Team name: Nebraska Quakes Gold Borgeson

Coach: Rich Borgeson 

Facebook: Nebraska Quakes Gold Borgeson


Spring & Summer Successes:

  • Ring Neck champions
  • USSSA State 3rd place
  • Silver bracket national champs 


Key players:

  • Teagan Stroud
  • Raelee Tackitt
  • McKinley Grojean
  • Josilyn Pieper 


Expectations for Fall: We are looking for lots of progression and mental toughness going into a new age bracket, we will be playing high level tourneys and win or lose we will keep getting better. 


Team Name: Nebraska THUNDER 2012

Coach Name: Chad Scebold (asst by Clay Tibke, Jacq Worth)

Twitter Handle: @NEThunder2012


2023 Spring/Summer Successes:

  • Nebraska Class A State Runner-Up
  • CIS Des Moines Stars & Strikes Champs
  • USSSA MidWest 3X Tournament championships


Key Players: Elite pitching staff lead by Jaycey Hargens, Emma Rehmann and September George.  Kennedy Grose & Skylar Fitch behind the dish, making these 5 players a dangerous battery combination.

Expectations for 2023 Fall Season:  Our team is truly focused on players having fun and getter better every day.  

Our players are “all-in” … meaning they and understands that success occurs when our preparation meets opportunities.  That said, our coaching staff expects players to show up, work hard, compete and have FUN every time they step onto the field!


Team Name: Nebraska Gold 11u

Coach Name: Kyle Naughton

Twitter Handle: @negold2012s


2023 Spring/Summer Successes: 65-18, won 7/13 tournaments including Quakes Classic, Class A state, IA/IL state, and 6 in the spring (KC); runner-up in PG Elite 20 invite & USSSA Nationals


Key Players: ALL 11 players 


Expectations for 2023 Fall Season: play free, play fearless, and have lots of fun!


Team Name: Nebraska Quakes Fessler

Coach Name: Nick Fessler


2023 Spring/Summer Successes:

  • 5th place out of 31 national teams in 12 Open at Road to the Show in OKC.
  • Hastings Hitfest Champions
  • 3rd place Quakes Classic. 


Key Players:

  • Kenzi Stoll
  • Cora Fessler
  • Kenna VonFeldt
  • Tessa Berner
  • Gianna Dannelly
  • Adrianna Moore
  • Tesni Lashley


Expectations for 2023 Fall Season:

Our expectations are to seek out the best competition we can find to develop these girls leading up to next summer in preparation for high school softball next year. 


Team Name:  Nebraska Wave Kroll 11U

Coach Name: Jeremiah Kroll


2023 Spring/Summer Successes: 

  • 5thplace USSSA Midwest National Championship


Key Players:

  • Zaniya Castor
  • Tatum Buckley
  • Millie Krueger
  • Piper Brown

Team Name: Top Gun 2K12 Premier

Coach Name: Jimmy Gallaway

Twitter Handle: 2K12TopGun


2023 Spring/Summer Successes: Newly formed this fall with girls from MO, KS and OK


Key Players: Every player is going to be equally important for us


Expectations for 2023 Fall Season: Play an extremely tough fall schedule to get these players familiar with each other ready for the spring season.


Team Name: Originals-Campbell

Coach Name: Tory Campbell

Twitter Handle: @OriginalsCB


2023 Spring/Summer Successes: New team


Key Players: All players are key as we start to gel as a team


Expectations for 2023 Fall Season: Development & gelling


Team Name: R.O.I. Midwest

Head Coach: Brad Kessler

Twitter Handle: @ROIFASTPITCH


2023 Spring/Summer Successes:

Formerly Midwest Firecrackers, finished top 3 of all tournaments played and won USSSA Nationals and finished 3rd at Alliance Nationals Tier 1.


Key Players:

  • CC Mateo-00-Catcher
  • Gabriyella Kessler-#77-Shortstop/Pitcher
  • Raegan Brandt-#7-Pitcher/3rd base
  • Maisey McCarty-#55-Pitcher/1st Base


Expectations for 2023 Fall Season:

To continue to grow as players and a team and to continue to compete with the best in the country. 


Team Name: Aces NWA 14U

Coach Name:  Joel Garcia & Brittany Hoskins

Facebook: AcesFastpitchNWA14U


2023 Spring/Summer Successes: 

Finished 5th place in TX Southern Nationals out of 34 Teams


Key Players: 

  • Brooke Dixon
  • Aubrey Eiland
  • Harper Jernigan
  • Mallory Harvey
  • Emillie Curry
  • Taryn Stoner


Expectations for 2023 Fall Season:

Continue to improve. Get ready for tough Spring/Summer 2024

Already won Six in September Tournament in Kansas City and the Back to School Bash in Rogers, AR


Team Name: Ottawa Raptors 12 Beers 

Coach Name: Jason Beers 


2023 Spring/Summer Successes: Quality At Bats 


Key Players: All of THEM! 


Expectations for 2023 Fall Season: Growth in all aspects of the game. Raise IQ, take extra bases and hit with runners in scoring position. 


Team Name: Nebraska Gold 13U Zach       

Coach Name: Matt Zach

Twitter Handle: NeGoldZach13

2023 Spring/Summer Successes: 47-29-1 as a Fury Gold team. We were promoted to a Nebraska Gold team.

Key Players:

  • Brooklynn Rhode
  • Justice Love
  • Peyton Boone
  • Lily Thompson
  • Lillee Zach
  • Teagan Nielsen
  • Addy Smart
  • Jolie Eber
  • Maddie Craig
  • Kristyn Hayduk

Expectations for 2023 Fall Season: As a new team, we need to build a solid foundation with trust, communication, and just to get to know each other


Student-Athletes Find Ways to Cope, Manage Mental Health

Student-Athletes Find Ways to Cope, Manage Mental Health

By TGE Staff

Things To Remember . . . 


  1. You don’t have to be perfect.
  2. Having a bad day is ok.
  3. Small steps are also progress.
  4. Asking for help is strength.
  5. People love and appreciate you.


*     *     *


In what has recently been referred to as the “quiet crisis” in college sports, student-athletes are finding different ways to manage exhaustion, anxiety, depression and other conditions leading to their overall mental health.


Being a college student-athlete is the pinnacle of most players’ careers, but the journey to reach that goal can certainly take its toll, not just physically, but mentally as well.


Along the trek to make it to the highest level, student-athletes face pressures and challenges that come with extra training, preparation and competition, and learning to deal with those has become imperative.


Athletes, and especially amateurs still in the college ranks, don’t want to appear weak or like they can’t handle the pressures. But mental health is a condition that has demanded a call to action, just like that of a physical injury, and more and more athletes are speaking out about the pressures they face and skills that they use to find a medium among the madness.


I met Molly Heidrick in 2019.  At the time, she was a 15 year old pitcher and she and my daughter were on the verge of becoming teammates with a new team for both of them.  Molly and her father and my daughter and I made plans to meet for lunch so that the girls could meet.  On the outside, Molly was just like any other 15 year old girl; giggy, bubbly and fun.  But what I didn’t know then and I learned over the years of eventually becoming one of her coaches is that, on the inside, Molly dealt with performance anxiety.  


Performance anxiety is real and it is said to be caused by negative thinking, fear of failing, inability to deal with adversity or uncertainty, problems with focusing and feeling the need to be overwhelmingly perfect.  It is a manageable condition, and now a sophomore pitcher at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, MIssouri, Molly has found her own ways.


-Telling someone about it

“When I got to school here at Lindenwood, I actively sought out my coaches and teammates and spoke to them about my anxiety. I told them about what could lessen or worsen my symptoms and how they can help me if I were to be feeling very anxious one day. I am also very upfront about it when it is happening. Some days I just show up to weights or practice experiencing a lot of anxiety, so I simply tell my coaches and teammates that I’m feeling very anxious that day so that they can offer me some extra support if I need it, which they are wonderful about!”



“If you are someone who has seen me play or be in a game environment, I like to keep the energy very high. I am always singing, dancing or celebrating every small thing while I am on the mound. I’ve found that if I throw myself into whatever is happening at that moment, my anxiety will fade into the background. Obviously, there will always be moments where anxiety will be harder to look away from, but putting my entire focus onto something else has always helped me.”


-Being “in the arena”

“Our mantra here at Lindenwood softball is being “in the arena”, which basically means going all out every single play, even though you know that you could fail. A lot of my personal performance anxiety comes from fear of failure and judgement. But adopting this mantra and knowing that my teammates have done the same really calms me down on the mound. Judgement is something that has been harder for me to overcome, but over my first year of college, I found out that the people who would judge me based on my performance on the field and not by who I am and how hard I work are not people that I would want in my circle. At the end of my day, I know who my supporters are, and those are the people that matter, not the critics.”


-Acknowledging my anxiousness

“It took me a long time to realize that there is a difference between performance anxiety and being nervous. But it also took me a long time to realize that it is ok to be either. The best athletes in the world get nervous. There are Olympic gold medalists who struggle with performance anxiety, and that’s ok! But what sets them apart is that they recognize how they are feeling and harness it towards their goals.”


*     *     *


More specifically, Molly was open to the recognition of the anxiety and nerves that came with her recruiting process just a short time ago.  It was a choice that would ultimately change the trajectory of her life.  Like others, she received mail and she got phone calls and emails.  She was receptive to advice that she got from peers and coaches.  But while everyone’s journey is their own and it doesn’t come with instructions, Molly handled the process and the anxiety that came with it the best she could.


First, she made a list of things that she wanted and didn’t care to have in a school.


Next, she asked herself, “Would I attend this school even if I didn’t play softball here?” and “Is this somewhere I would be happy if softball were taken away from me?”


Her next step was talking through the process with her family and coaches while also coming to realize that the decision she would make would be hers.  Molly admits that input from others was considered and respected, but when it all culminated, it would be her who was moving and beginning a new life in a new town.


And lastly, Molly trusted her gut.  


She said,  “Anxiety is the body’s natural process to signal to you that something is not quite right. When you’re on a visit, you should feel comfortable at the school or with the coaches and players. If they are just increasing your anxiety, listen to it and take that into account. But remember, there is a difference between being nervous and being anxious.”


“Softball is something that has never come to me naturally,” Molly added. “I have always seemed to struggle with it more than the girls I played with. I only started being successful in softball once I stopped fighting my anxiety and started working with it. Part of why I am so animated on the field is because I allow myself to fully feel my emotions; the excitement, the disappointment, the joy. The more you fight negative emotions, the more they will fight back. Once I started to let myself feel and accept my anxiety, the quicker it faded. But for better or worse, it is a large part of who I am.”


They are sons.  They are daughters.  They are students.  And they are athletes.  But it is important to treat athletes as more than just their sport.  It can be easy to forget that they have a whole life outside of the sport they play.  


They have a whole life; just like you and me.



PICTURE CUTLINE: PERFORMANCE ANXIETY has always been a condition that Molly Heidrick, 19, has managed.  Molly never let it deter her from her goals, however, and she is now a sophomore pitcher in the Ohio Valley Conference for Lindenwood University.


Recruiting 2025 – Robbins Builds on Foundation of Family and Friends

Recruiting 2025 – Robbins Builds on Foundation of Family and Friends

By Jeff Strange

For Farmington, MO class of 2025 LHP/1B/OF Elly Robbins, softball runs in the family. Having grown up and watching her older sister Abby play with Top Gun Fastpitch (and now a sophomore playing at Southeast Missouri State University), Elly developed a curious interest in the game at a young age.

My sister had a lot to do with my motivation behind starting to play softball,” said Robbins. “I would watch her practice and watch her games. That got me started and on my feet from there.”

The game had an immediate impact on Elly, as she took to working with her sister along with a group of friends from the Farmington, MO area.

“My sister Abby and I would work together to make each other better, ever since I started playing,” said Robbins. “There’s also a group of girls from my hometown that I’ve played together with for a long time. We play high school ball together now and we’ve always hung out together, whether it was on the softball field or just socially.”

It was at around the age of 10 years old that the idea of pitching came to the forefront of Elly’s pursuit.

“I can clearly remember one night sitting at the dining room table,” said Elly. “My dad mentioned after talking about my older sister Abby’s pitching that it could be cool to have two pitchers in the family; one that is right-handed (Abby) and one that is left-handed (Elly).”

Shortly after that conversation, Elly added pitching to her game, along with a strong bat and a good glove. She starred as a high-level athlete at a young age, achieving success in the pitcher’s circle, in the batter’s box and in the field.

Elly now finds herself as a well-regarded 2025 recruit, playing with the Top Gun National 17u team, sought after for her left arm in the circle and bat from the left side.

“Elly’s a left-handed pitcher that sits low-mid 60’s and spins it very well,” said Randi Davis-Shanks, Robbins pitching instructor and coach for the Top Gun ’08 National team. “She’s just a very smart, level-headed kid. Her curve, rise and change are great strengths. When she works ahead and manages counts, she is dangerous.”

Davis-Shanks also believes that Robbins could be a legitimate two-player at the next level as well.

“She hits very well,” said Davis-Shanks, emphasizing the word “hits” in her statement. “I absolutely think that Elly can play on both sides. She is a disciplined enough kid that she’ll continue to work on both. She works her tail off, she’s super respectful and overall just a great kid.”

That work ethic has included weekly visits with a personal trainer, weekly pitching lessons and countless hours of tee work and front toss on her own. She also has participated in the Inner-Circle Pitching program that her travel organization Top Gun Fastpitch ran last winter, which was a 16-week structured combination of a throwing and workout blueprint that according to Robbins helped her gain some speed on her ball.

Robbins overall commitment to developing herself has led to interest from multiple college programs eager to bring her into their system. With a strong academic background and a desire to play on both sides of the ball, Robbins is weighing her options carefully.

“I’m not rushing anything by any means,” said Robbins. “But I hope that I can find somewhere to call home sometime over the next several months. Ultimately, I’m looking for a school that can help me meet my academic goals along with my softball goals.”

With a positive perspective on the present state of the game and a mature respect for what opportunities the game can offer, Elly Robbins offers an inspiring outlook to the next generation of athletes with similar goals.

“The softball community is doing well,” said Robbins. “The game is getting plenty of recognition. I would say find something that you enjoy and work hard. It’s not easy to be a student-athlete, but if it’s something that you enjoy and love, it’s something that you can run with and it can help you develop a good work ethic and lead to great friendships.”

College Prospect Series set for Unique Showcase Event

College Prospect Series set for Unique Showcase Event

Mid America West Sports Complex located in Shawnee, KS will be the host of the first ever KC College Prospect Series powered by Top Gun Events this upcoming weekend. A unique feature of this event will allow athletes to be coached by college coaches during games. Teams will change fields each game to allow the athletes the experience of being managed by different college coaches.


Additional features of the College Prospect Series will include:


  • Camp Friday night
  • During pool play, college coaches will be in the dugout and on the field serving as head/assistant coach of the team assigned to their dugout for each game.
  • Travel ball coaches will write their respective team’s lineup before pool play starts. Travel ball coaches will not be in the dugout during the game in pool play.
  • Sunday will start bracket play. During bracket, Travel Ball coaches will then coach their teams and college coaches will be free to float as they recruit.


With 18 teams in attendance between a 16u Division and 18u Division, Top Gun Events Media has outlined details of some of the clubs attending this weekend’s showcase. Here’s a look at some of the key elements for squads participating, as indicated by their head coaches:




Team Name: AFA Vasquez ‘08/‘09


Coach Name: Anna Vasquez


Twitter Handle: @AFA_Vasquez


2023 Spring/Summer Successes: Developing together as a team, so we can age to 16u this fall and be ready. 


Key Players: All of our players play a key role on our team. Bella Diggs and Danielle Steenkamp are both 2026!


Expectations for 2023 Fall Season: We want to expose ourselves to 16u softball this fall. We want to be prepared for high caliber softball for the summer. 



Team name: Purple Crush Platinum 16u


Coach name: Amber Slaughter


Twitter handle: @PCrush_Platinum


Spring/Summer 2023 successes: 

We got our feet wet playing at the National level as a 14u team. We are a small town club from Pittsburg, Kansas competing with some bigger name/city squads. We beat and definitely competed with some top teams at bigger tournaments, such as both Tulsa Elite events, Team One, and World Fastpitch Championships. Looking forward to competing at the 16u level as well!


Key players:  

1) Bryleigh Webb, who is a 2026 grad already has an offer from Central Methodist University. She had 6 home runs last spring and summer…3 just at Team One. Ended her 14u season with 44 RBIs.  She plays 3rd base and has recently started catching. Bryleigh is a powerhouse! Strong arm and good mechanics!  


2) Breck Slaughter is another 2026 grad that is a big component to our team. She is a fierce competitor who is a RHP, topping 59mph, just turning 15 in July, but she is climbing fast. She is also an aggressive SS or catcher, or wherever she is needed. She has speed and strength. Breck is also a consistent hitter, finishing her 14u season with a .442 BA and 36 RBIs and 58 runs.  


3) Gracen McLaren is another big time player, who has become a powerhouse hitter. She is a 2027 grad that has a great glove at middle infield. We call her “Hoover” because not much gets past her! Gracen finished her season with a .362 BA and 20 RBIs. Gracen just started high school and is getting stronger every day!


4) Kyleigh Pinion is another standout 2026 player!  She usually leads us off in the lineup and is very consistent. Kyleigh ended her season with .464 BA and 24 RBIs and 47 runs. She is a mean center fielder, and will dive for anything she thinks she can get! She is also a great RHP! 


5) Peyton Morey, is our main catcher, and also a 2026 grad. She has a very strong arm and has had several put outs a bases. She also plays tough at MI and 3B as well!  


6) Kallie Griffin is a 2027 grad, and our main LHP, topping 56mph, but definitely gaining. This girl works hard. She is always smiling no matter the situation and has the biggest heart. She’s got power in her swing as well!


*We have some new players that are definitely stepping up to the plate to become great players, so I definitely do not want to leave them out!*

Gracin Riggs 2025

Emma Cook 2027

Maddie Cook 2025

Gabbie White 2025 (filling in)

Emmy Stark 2027 (playing high school right now)


Expectations for fall 2023:

We really just want to see the girls compete with these top level 16u teams as their first year at 16 & under. Being from a small town and being a small club, we don’t have all the choices of players, but rather we work with what we have. We want to see them have fun and enjoy the game (win or lose), gain experience, play hard, and get some exposure for their futures. The girls are getting stronger all the time, so it will be fun to see their growth along the way.



Team name: Select Fastpitch Adams 


Coach name: Brandon Adams


Twitter Handle: @SelectFP09


Spring/Summer 2023 successes: 

Top 12 World Fastpitch Championships 

2nd place 13u USSSA nationals 

Usssa 16A 2nd place 

Usssa KOKO 1st place 

USSSA 3rd place 

Usssa 3rd place 

Competed well in Top Club and Top Gun invite Maverick. 


Key players:

Trinity Deters C/3B 2027 

Kenley Sutton P/1B 2028

McKenna O’Leary C 2028 

Olivia Adams P/utility 2028

Landri Adams P/1B 2027

Audrey Beeler OF/P 2028 

Harper Allin P/1B 2027 


Expectations for fall 2023:

We are a second year team but still a young one. 3 2010s and 8 2028s on the roster. They are a very talented group though with lots of potential. To start our Fall 2023, we took 2nd out of 32 first weekend out in a USSSA event. We are playing up at 16A in this Top Gun event. We will also play PG fall showcase, Easton Rawlings invite, Top Gun Select Invite, and Fall Top Club Invite. Hope to compete and finish with the top teams each weekend. 



Team Name: Athletics Mercado Bonola 16u 


Coach Name: Rebecca Bonola 


Twitter Handle: @AMBonola16u


2023 Spring/Summer Successes: Played in power pools for Top Gun, IDT and Hotshot National. 


Key Players: Adelaida Sierra (2026-RHP) and Jaylene Rodriguez (2025 RHP) will be a big one-two punch for us. We have some great lefty hitters with speed & who can run the bases well with Chipper Mayorga (2025- Utility), Gabby Alves (2026 – OF) and Kyana Liparado (2025- Utility). Defense will be held down by our SS/3B Novalee Gloria (2025) who has a great field presence & Mia Perez (2026) as our center fielder with amazing range and an arm! 


Expectations for 2023 Fall Season: We will be playing and competing mostly local this fall. We expect to be competitive and get recruited along the way with the majority or all 10 of our 2025s being committed going into summer season. 



Team Name:  Midwest Power Legacy

Coach Name: Brian Smith

2023 Spring/Summer Successes: 2nd place finish, 16open NSC Recruiting Tournament; 3A All-State Team Honorable Mention – Gretchen Huizenga 

Key Players: Returners – Gretchen Huizenga, Peyton Ganger, Kennedy Meredith, Madison Davison, and Kinsley Smith. 

Newcomers – Aubrey Warren, Sophia Halton, Sydnee Sleichter, Kayleigh Neill, and Addison DeChant 

Expectations for 2023 Fall Season: We have several new players this fall, so we are looking to learn each other and how to play together. There is some talent here that we are hoping to build on. We are excited for the girls to see some bigger competition and hopefully get some looks! 


Team Name: Midwest Firecrackers 16U-Wildey 


Coach Name: Aldyn Wildey 


Twitter Handle: MWFC_Wildey 


2023 Spring/Summer Successes: Finishing Top 32 in the 16U Colorado Fireworks Supplemental Power Pool our first year competing in the power pools. 


Key Players: 

2025 CIF Maddie Bruson 

2025 RHP/OF Kaelyn O’Rourke 

2025 C/UTL Addie Callaway 

2025 C Katie Gillihan 


Expectations for 2023 Fall Season: I’m very fortunate as a coach to get to work with so many talented players from around the KC Metro area. This team is a mix of newer players and some that have been with me for 5 years. My expectations for the fall season are to see this team buy-into the “why”, so why we do the things we do to develop them for the next level and just simply enjoy the game of softball. This group is super talented, so I’m very blessed with that, but now I need them to understand how to use their specific talents to market themselves for the next level. 




Team Name: Select Fastptich 15/16U Heinemann


Coach Name: John Heinemann


Twitter Handle: @SelectHeinemann


2023 Spring/Summer Successes: Had a lot of success playing in a shortened Summer Season with so many Kansas girls, but saw lots of good competition at several national tournaments.


Key Players: Reagan Chapman, Pilar Cox, Emma Heinemann


Expectations for 2023 Fall Season: This fall, we are looking to have a great showinig with several new key additions to the team along with continuing to get better and competing at a high level. Our goal is to get every athlete ready to compete at the next level.





Team Name: Athletes United 18U

Coach Name: Steve Jaso

Twitter Handle: @AUFastpitch18U

2023 Spring/Summer Successes: We started our season in February 2023, winning the USSSA High School Warm Up in Wichita. After the high school season, we went 25-14-2, winning the Top Gun Nebraska Thunder Gold tourney in Omaha, NE.

Key Players: I feel that each and every one of our girls are key players. They have all contributed to the success of this team. 

Expectations for 2023 Fall Season: To continue to develop our skill and knowledge of the game and to prepare the girls for success at the next level. 

Team Name: KC Rebels Gold Jenkins

Coach Name: Mark Jenkins

Twitter Handle: @KCRebelsJenkins  /  KC Rebels Gold Jenkins

2023 Spring/Summer Successes: We had a great summer and placed eight girls on college rosters. That was quite a few girls to send to college and we have added eight new girls to the roster. Of the eight, we added four seniors, giving us a total of six seniors overall.

Key Players: Everyone of the girls will play a key role for our team. We will be leaning on our seniors, they are Hanah Forlow OF/C, Rylee Griffin P, Makayla Ekis P/OF, Reagan Wiehe C/3, Abbi Minton P/U and Maggie Richardson P/SS.

Expectations for 2023 Fall Season: I feel we will be a contact hitting team and have above average speed. Will put the ball in play and move the girls around. We have had a great start to our fall season and looking to keep improving week after week.

Gretna defeats Papillion-LaVista for Third Straight Metro Conference Championship

Gretna defeats Papillion-LaVista for Third Straight Metro Conference Championship

By TGE Staff

The weather was beautiful, the stands were packed, and you had two talented teams on the field for Monday night’s Metro Conference championship game.  Gretna beat Papillion-LaVista 4-1 to claim their third straight Metro Conference championship. 

Gretna (17-1) was led by Nebraska commit Alexis Jensen (2025).  The junior threw a complete game with 11 strikeout’s and allowed three hits while only allowing one walk.  Hitters were finding it difficult to lay off her rise ball.  Her change up was effective at keeping hitters off balance.  Jensen needed only 96 pitches to get through the game.

In the bottom of the 5th inning, following a Megan Marshall (2026) single and an Annisten Travarrow (2025) walk, Jensen drove in the first two runs of the game with a double to right-center field.  Marshall finished 1-for-2 on the night with a walk. 

The Dragons added two more runs in the 6th inning on an Emerson Johnson (2026) home run and a throwing error.  After Brylee Rupiper (2025) was hit-by-a-pitch, courtesy runner Maddie Kurrus (2027) reached second on a passed ball then stole third.  She later scored on a throwing error by Monarch pitcher Amanda Gibilisco (2025).

Papillion (12-5) got on the scoreboard in the 7th when Kloey Hamblen (2025) hit a one out home run.  It was her 5th home run of the season.  Hamblen, a Peru State commit, finished the night 2-for-3 with a run and RBI.  Gibilisco pitched 5.1 innings with six strikeout’s and three walks.

Gibilisco kept the Dragon hitters off balance most of the night by hitting spots and mixing up speeds.  She located her fastball well and showed command of her change up leading to several ground balls or routine pop fly’s.  Carly Bertolini (2025) came in to get the final two outs.This was the 31st annual Metro Conference softball tournament.  For Gretna, it was their third straight Metro Conference title.  They beat Papillion in 2021 and Omaha Marian in 2022 while finishing runner up in 2019.  Papillion has won 15 Metro Conference titles and finished runner up five times. 


IL College Prospect Series

IL College Prospect Series

By: TGE Staff

Over Labor Day Weekend we debuted a new event style called the TGE College Prospect Series. The premise of the College Prospect Series is that college coaches coach the teams, while the club coaches sit back and relax for the weekend.

In this new event style, there are three exhibition games that do not count towards bracket seeding. The brackets are pre-determined but are played out to completion to ensure a champion of the event. This allows the event to still have a competitive nature, while maintaining a showcase style event.

The IL College Prospect Series was the first installment of the format and was widely liked among teams and college coaches.  Fontbonne University coach said, “I really enjoyed being able to pass on my knowledge to the girls as well as get the opportunity to work with other coaches,” while St. Mary of the Woods coach said, “Great experience for me and the recruiting process. Live game interaction was a great success!”

The Southeast Iowa All-Stars showed up ready to compete in bracket play on Sunday. The Allstars were division champions in each division, 14u, 16u and 18u.

Tournament Results

We look forward to the next installment of the College Prospect Series taking place in Kansas City September 16 and 17, 2023.

Preview KC Schedule