Stars shine on Florida, California diamonds

A slew of high-profile tournaments graced softball diamonds nationwide last weekend, providing teams an opportunity to make a move in Wednesday’s POWERADE FAB 50 national rankings and separate themselves as strong contenders for deep runs in their state tournaments.

In sun-drenched Kissimmee, Fla., senior pitcher Shelby Turnier of Palm Beach Gardens (Fla.) caught fire and uncorked easily the best individual performance of the Kissimmee Klassic, hurling four consecutive shutouts, including one no-hitter, en route to tournament MVP as she led the Lady Gators to the Klassic championship. Joining her on the Blue Bracket's All-Tournament Team was junior teammate Ta'Coia Williams, who garnered the Defense Award in addition to hitting .643 on the weekend. Junior Megin Eskew of Sickles (Tampa, Fla.) won the Hitting Award after going 9 for 13 at the plate (.692 BA). In the Gold Bracket, senior pitcher Cristina Sacramento of Pembroke Pines (Fla.) didn't give up an earned run all tournament, either, and pitched Pembroke Pines to a 4-1 win over Clay (Green Cove Springs, Fla.) in that bracket's championship game.

On the other side of the country, Pacifica (Garden Grove, Calif.) enjoyed a plethora of offensive output as it steamrolled through the Michelle Carew Classic in Anaheim Hills, one of the more competitive high school tournaments in California, defeating Canyon (Anaheim, Calif.) 7-2 in the semifinals before a 13-4 win over Los Alamitos (Calif.) in the championship game. Cinderella also made an appearance in Southern California over the weekend, as Orange Lutheran (Calif.) scored a massive 2-1 second-round upset over Norco (Calif.), which entered the Carew Classic as the undefeated No. 1 ranked team in the POWERADE FAB 50 national rankings.

Farther north in California, Amador Valley (Pleasanton, Calif.) made a huge statement at the Livermore Stampede. Amador ace Johanna Grauer and company handled both Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, Calif.) in a colossal semifinal tilt before disposing of host Livermore in an 11-0 run-rule victory for the championship. Grauer was named MVP of the tournament.