By: Madison Feldhahn

The Nebraska Thunder Fundraiser powered by Top Gun Events runs from April 5 to April 7 in Papillion, NE. Top Gun Events is excited to host the event in conjunction with the Nebraska Thunder/Gold Organization. This event will feature thirty-nine teams from Nebraska, Iowa and Canada.

Each team will play three pool play games before starting bracket play. This is a single elimination bracket and the champion of each division will receive a berth to the 2024 Top Gun Invitational. Pool play for both the 16U and 18U division will kick off at 6:00 PM on Friday. 14U will begin at 7:35 PM Friday. Games will run from 9:00 AM to 8:05 PM on Saturday and from 9:00 AM to 6:30 PM Sunday.

Gate Fees:

Children (1-12): $5.00

Teens & Adults (13-64): $10.00

Senior (65+): $5.00

Military: Free

Take a closer look at some of the teams joining us below.


Iowa Aries Elite Ohorilko

Coaching Staff: Brian Ohorilko & Kari Price

Team Social Media Handles: @Iowa_Aries (X), Iowa Aries Fastpitch (Facebook)

2023 Summer & Fall Successes: Fall Champions of: Team 1/Alliance FP STL Xposure Fall Invite in St. Louis, MO, PGF Diamond Legacy Shootout & Showcase in Broken Arrow, OK, PG Iowa City Scouting Showcase #1 in Iowa City, IA, PG Elite 16 Illinois Scouting Showcase in Peoria, IL, PG Elite 16 Minnesota Scouting Showcase in Minneapolis, MN, USSSA CIS Spooktacular in Des Moines, IA

Key Players: Berkley Weiland (SS/OF) – RH/Throw, LH/Hit. Slapper. Amazing speed. Great defensive player. Kaylan Pray (SS/UTL) – RH/Throw & Hit. Excellent hitter & defensive player. Ivy Ohorilko (C/UTL) – RH/Throw & Hit. Power hitter, excellent defensive player. Karter Price (P/UTL) – RH/Throw & Hit. Excellent pitcher. Leela Appeldorn (MIF/UTL) – RH/Throw, LH/Hit. Excellent hitter and defensive player.

Expectations for 2024 Spring Season: Iowa Aries encourages our high school players to participate in high school softball this time of year. The program will have a very light tournament and travel schedule this spring and summer supplement our player’s high school workouts. We cannot wait to get back in full swing fall of 2024.

Millard Fury Gold Vance

Coaching Staff: Mark Vance, Ryan Boozikee & Charles Starkovich

Team Social Media Handles: @FuryGoldVance (X)

2023 Summer & Fall Successes: Finished the year 56-25, NE Class B USSSA State Champions, USSSA Midwest Nationals Open Silver Bracket National Champions, Finished the year off winning the 14U Boo Bash in Lincoln, NE

Expectations for 2024 Spring Season: For 2023-24, we have changed organizations to provide better exposure for our players and enable us as coaches to assist those that want to play college softball. We are playing a very tough schedule at A and Open level and, with the move to the new organization, we are getting opportunities to play against better competition to help our team grow. We have very big goals for the year and it might not show at the end of the year in our record. But we, as coaches, wanted to challenge our girls and we have seen them step up already through winter workouts. We have never had a more cohesive team and such a great group of girls from attitude to effort across the board.

Nebraska Quakes Carson ‘09

Coaching Staff: Jen Carson (Head Coach) & Assistants Lynn Griffis, Susan Stagid & Sarah Gutschow

Team Social Media Handles: @NEQuakesCarson

2023 Summer & Fall Successes: Tied for 9th in the USSSA Midwest Championship, 1st Place at Under Armour Championship in KC, 1st Place in York in 16U Division, 3rd Place in USSSA Super 48 Invitational in KC, 1st Place in Blair Invite, 2nd Place at Heroes Classic in Hastings, 7th Place at USSSA 16U State

Key Players: Paityn Spencer, Alex Finley, Lexi Skradski, Hope Stadig, Liv Wenz

Expectations for 2024 Spring Season: We are looking to challenge ourselves each time we step foot on the field. We want to compete with the best teams locally and out of state. Win or lose, we seek to get better each game and practice to develop as a team, as individual players, and as humans.

Nebraska Quakes Chonis

Coaching Staff: Don Chonis (Head Coach) & Assistants Karlie Chonis, Casie Volkmar & Bryan Nielsen

Team Social Media Handles: @NEQuakesGold13U (X), nequakesgold_13u (Instagram) & Nebraska Quakes Gold Chonis (Facebook)

2023 Summer & Fall Successes: New Team

Expectations for 2024 Spring Season: To compete at the Class A/Gold level & get ready for the jump to high school

Nebraska Thunder Bennett

Coaching Staff: Jenny Bennett, Kurt Pohlmann & Jake Bergren

Team Social Media Handles: @NThunderBennett (X)

2023 Summer & Fall Successes: 1st Place in the Jayhawk Slugfest, 2nd Place in the Kansas City Memorial Tournament, 2nd in the Nebraska State Tournament

Key Players: Kaylee Huffman, Addalynne Bergren, Allie Bergman, Aurelia Gramd

Expectations for 2024 Spring Season: We are looking for our girls to compete with confidence, have fun and continue to love the game.


Nebraska National Taylor 16u

Coaching Staff: Brett Taylor & Kirsten Dargy

Team Social Media: @NENational08 (Twitter)

2023 Summer & Fall Successes: 42-29-3 playing an elite level schedule last season, 1st Place at Top Gun NE National Tourney, 2nd Place at Top Gun Thunder/NE Gold Tourney, 2nd Place at USSSA 16) Swing into Spring, 3rd Place at Top Gun Swing into Spring Tourney, 4th Place at USSSA SEC National Championship, 7 Top 4 finishes out of 10 tournaments (not including rain shortened/cancelled tournaments), 14U PGF Nationals at large bid (Platinum Division)

Key Players:Maizey Carpenter, Toria Rother, Lauren Schneider, Elli Ridgley, Alexa Taylor

Expectations for 2024 Spring Season: We are an improved team over last year. We have a great group of girls and parents. Our goal as coaches is to continue to develop our players to help them reach their potential.

Nebraska Quakes Gilpin

Coaching Staff: Don Gilpin (Head Coach), Steve Asher (Assistant Coach) & Rob Novak (Assistant Coach)
Team Social Media:
@NEQuakesGilpin (X) & NE Quakes Gold 15U Gilpin (SportsRecruits)

2023 Summer & Fall Successes: 51-23-5 record in 2023, in 14A/HS class, 1st place USSSA Battle for the Bling 14A NIT, 2nd place Bennington Spring Bash HS, 2nd place Quakes Classic, 1st place KS/MO 14A State Tournament, 3rd place Ringneck 14A

Key Players: A strong core group of players that has grown together for several years. Each player on this roster has a high set of expectations and will contribute greatly to our successes in 2024.

Expectations for 2024 Spring Season: As a young 15U team returning our entire roster from 2023, we will be looking to continue challenging our players and building upon previous successes, as we prepare them to compete at the next level. A serious pitching staff, backed up by solid defense, and a dangerous batting lineup sets the bar high for this young group of outstanding athletes!

Nebraska WAVE Bergantzel

Coaching Staff: Head Coach Blaine Bergantzel, Assistant Angela Hagaman, Assistant Rich Chubbuck and Student Assistant Madison Tilson
Team Social Media:
@NEWavesFastpitch (X) & Nebraska Wave – Bergantzel (Facebook)

2023 Summer & Fall Successes: NE WAVE 15U is a newer team for 2024.

Key Players: Team consists of players from Hiawatha, KS., Gretna, Lincoln and surrounding communities

Shaylee Heidtbrink (2026 P/UTL), Allarie Wilson (2027 P), Molly Bergantzel (2027 P/UTL), Taylor Price (2027 2B/P), Samantha Hagaman (2027 SS/3B), Madison Chubbuck (2026 C/SS), Chloe Torticill (2026 SS/IF), Bella Determan (2027 MI/OF), Morgan Tilson (2026 1B), Kylee Thompsom (2026 OF), Sahara Meyers (2026 OF/C), Emmy Sheldon (2026 OF)

Expectations for 2024 Spring Season: Off the field, player expectations are focused around mentally preparing for game management, game knowledge, and understanding at a fast pace has been a focus this off season.

Primetime Chavez

Coaching Staff: Juan Chavez, Brooke Campbell & Lisa Timmins
Team Social Media:
@Primetime07_ (X)

2023 Summer & Fall Successes: Primetime 07 was able to overcome several challenges last summer, making them a better team. One of our catchers had a torn labrum, and we had a pitcher that had an arm injury. Despite having significant injuries to a couple players we had a successful season. In the fall, we had 3 of our players lead Ashland HS to its first state softball title in school history in Class C. The 3 players were Reese Fisher, Ellie Milburn, and Sofia Dill. A group of sophomore that led the way and became the team leaders while motivating and supporting the rest of their team to a championship. We had another player, Jordyn Campbell, win a state championship in girls wrestling at 125 as a sophomore. Plus, we have several other players that contributed to their high school softball season this past fall as sophomores and juniors.

Key Players: Chloe Rauner, Reese Fisher, Jordyn Campbell, Ellie Milburn, Sloane Gregory, Tessa Carrell, Morgan Timmins, Teagan Noelle

Expectations for 2024 Spring Season: Expectations for the team are to be a better player and person after the season. To make more memories with each other and to always battle to the very end. This is a resilient group of girls who love to compete at everything they do.

Primetime Eadus

Coaching Staff: Mike Leapley
Team Social Media:

2023 Summer & Fall Successes: Winter Warmup Champions, Eggstravaganza Champions, 2nd Place USA Memorial Day Weekend KC, Pink Out Champions

Key Players: Hannah Miller, Hadley Hansen, Jaycee Woodard, Mace Cruse, Kennedy Drummond

Expectations for 2024 Spring Season: Play at a high level and compete

Primetime Weis

Coaching Staff: Kaitlyn Weis, Ron Weis, Chris Barton & Dan Gudenrath
Team Social Media:
@primetimeweis (X)

Key Players: Audrey Kohl – Pitcher from Missouri Valley, Emerson Anderson – Catcher/3B/Utility from Missouri Valley, Amanda Weis – SS/Catcher/Utility from Gretna East HS, Rylan Anderson – OF from Gretna East HS, Kenadie Barton – OF from Gretna HS, Cindy Xiong – Pitcher/Utility from Millard South HS

Expectations for 2024 Spring Season: Compete with the best and grow individually and as a team


Nebraska Echoes Madsen

Coaching Staff: Brad Madsen, Brandon Brink, Abigail Brink & Jeff Rasmussen

Team Social Media: @bradm198 (Twitter) & NE Echoes 18U National Madsen (Facebook)

2023 Summer & Fall Successes: 52-19-4 in summer, Runner-up at Memorial Day USA 16U, 6-0 in fall, CIS Winner

Key Players: Teya Speltz, Charlie Pryor, Teygan Rasmussen (new addition), Brianna Kutschkau (new addition)

Expectations for 2024 Spring Season: As a 1st year 18U team, the plan is to keep competing at a high level. Be that team others don’t want to see on their schedule.

Nebraska National 18u Bahl

Coaching Staff: Head Coach Hayden Bahl & Assistant Coaches Emma Walbert & Jordy Bahl
Team Social Media:
@NENational18u (X)

2023 Summer & Fall Successes: Champions of the 18u Quakes Classic, Runner-up in the 16u Nebraska Thunder Fundraiser tournament, 16u Perfect Game OKC Challenge, Team record of 33-16-5

Key Players: We are very excited about what each player on our team is capable of, as we have seen amazing growth from so many of them!

Addison Burdorf (P/2B), Macie Wyman (3B/1B), Maycie Grant (SS/2B), Alivia Courter (C/2B), Lauren Frihauf (CF/LF)

Expectations for 2024 Spring Season: We are very excited about what we have seen from the team this offseason, and we love how this team has grown on the physical and mental sides of the game. The expectation for our team is that each time we step on the field, we play hard, smart, and together. While we will be one of the youngest teams in each tournament we play, we know that this team will be ready to show up and compete at a high level.

Nebraska Thunder Fox

Coaching Staff: William Fox (returning to the head coach position after 3 years as an assistant) & Brent Wonder (10 years of head coaching experience in both baseball and softball)

Team Social Media: NeThunder Fastpitch (Facebook), @nebraskathunder18u2024 (IG), @Nethunderf (Twitter) & 18U Thunder Gold (Fox) (SportsRecruits)

2023 Summer & Fall Successes: Our 4 graduating seniors committed and continued their athletic careers at the collegiate level (Barton College, Chadron State, Northwestern College and Highland CC), Fall resulted in 2 additional commitments (Concordia & Central CC)

Key Players: Ayla Mathney – committed to Calumet College of St. Joseph, a leader in the circle, Joslyn Sargent – junior at Ashland High School, new to our roster, she looks to make a statement at SS and in our lineup, Kaylee Tanuis – senior from Papillion-LaVista Class A State Champions, she is a vital and diverse player on our roster, Macey West – multi-sport athlete expanding her abilities and strengths as a UTL

Expectations for the 2024 Spring Season: With 3 returning players, we are looking for a season of growth and development. Develop a new team culture, drive athletes to become competitors, teammates, and family, achieve player goals on and off field, and continue the tradition of collegiate commitments

Nebraska Thunder Gold Johnson

Coaching Staff: Head Coach Bruce Johnson & Assistant Coaches Alana Crollard & Antonio Torrez
Team Social Media:
@nethunder22 (X) & @nebraskathundergoldjohnson (IG)

2023 Summer & Fall Successes: Top Gun NE Memorial Day Classic Champions in Omaha, USSSA Big Opener Runner-ups in Minnesota, USSSA Angels for Autism for Runner-up (HS Division) in Omaha, USSSA Easter Egg Strikeout Champions (HS Division) in Omaha, USSSA Season Opener GG 3rd place overall finish in Overland Park, USSSA Stand UP to Cancer 3rd place overall in Kansas City

Key Players: Ada Jantzen, Kendall Johnson, Kinnley Wehrle, Peyton Johnson, Ava Crollard

Expectations for 2024 Spring Season: We expect to compete for championships at all of our tournaments and start to make a name for ourselves nationally

Nebraska Venom 18u National

Coaching Staff: John Parsons, Samantha Hislop & Suzy Shanks
Team Social Media:
@18uVenom (X) & Nebraska Venom National 18u (Facebook)

2023 Summer & Fall Successes: We were 74-20 last year and 10-1 through the fall

Key Players: Ava Kuntz (1B), Kylie Baumgard (C), Chloe Jewitt (P), Kynzee McFadden (SS), Lillian Harris (CF)

Expectations for 2024 Spring Season: Last season, we were able to show top 2 in 13 tournaments. We are looking to duplicate those results in ’24! We were also fortunate enough to get this season’s seniors all signed and committed to continue playing. We look to get the current juniors on the team offers to continue playing the game they love at the highest level, while furthering their education.

Nebraska WAVE Shepherd

Coaching Staff: Head Coach Luke Shepherd & Assistant Coaches Cory Claussen & Peyton Glatter
Team Social Media:
@NEWaveFastpitch (X) &

2023 Summer & Fall Successes: USSSA State Runner Up Class A 18u, Went 3-0-1 in KCKCC Tournament

Key Players: Hannah Allen (Midland University commit), Alexis Shepherd (Midland University commit), Alexis Adams (Doane College commit), Kloey Johnson (Southeast CC commit), Jill Johnson (1B/OF, Uncommitted), Brooklyn Stutzman (P/1B, Uncommitted), Jerzey Wiechman (P, Uncommitted)

Expectations for 2024 Spring Season: Will be traveling throughout the Mid-West playing in several Top Gun Showcases/Invites

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