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Grapettes Compile 5-3 Record In Champions Cup Competition
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The Oakdale based California Grapettes under-16 softball team went 5-3 among a field of 54 teams at the recent Champions Cup premier tournament in Irvine.With an expected 40 college scouts in attendance, the team was 4-2 in pool play and 1-1 in a difficult single elimination bracket.“It was an outstanding team performance, and one the girls should be proud of,” Oakdale coach Kelly Olson said. “They faced some very tough teams, and it was an excellent tune-up for Nationals.”The Grapettes opened the tournament on Thursday with two straight losses, including a 5-1 defeat in the first game to All American Sports Academy of Tracy. It was the same team Oakdale had defeated twice in Stockton to qualify for the Amateur Softball Association Nationals.The Grapettes lost to the Arizona Hotshots, 4-1, in the following game, and bounced back with five straight victories against some of the top tier programs in California. The team ousted the California Cruisers, San Diego Renegades, and The Next Level, who would go on to finish 10-1 and win a tourney title.“It wasn’t that we played poorly that first day, we just couldn’t string together the hits when we needed them,” Olson said. “We stranded 18 base runners in two games.”The Grapettes contingent of local players, including Oakdale’s Shelby Cordova, Karlie Linn-Snow, Sarah Peterson, Kaila Olson, and Deryn Halkias, combined for 28 hits in the tournament.Peterson hit her first career home run over the fence in a two-run shot against the Fort Collins Stars. Cordova added a grand slam in a 5-4 win over the eventual tournament champs and also secured a win from the mound in the same contest.“Those two were absolutely pounding the ball,” Olson said. “It was fun to watch.” Kaila Olson and Halkias both belted RBI doubles in a big comeback win over the San Diego Renegades, who had previously led the contest by a 6-2 score.The Grapettes will play in the Best of the West Tournament in Garden Grove this weekend as a final tune-up before heading to Nationals in College Station, Texas on Aug. 1.