MEDFORD, Ore. – North Medford High School just added some new hardware to their trophy case.
Black Tornado Fastpitch, from North Medford High School, recently went undefeated to win the USA Softball Western National Championship.
Coming off a second-round exit in the State Playoffs, and an overall disappointing spring season by their standards, Black Tornado Fastpitch knew they were capable of much more going into the summer.
“It just wasn’t there in the spring, everyone could see it. This summer has been a lot different for everyone, you can just tell. The chemistry is there, the talent is there, I mean the talent’s never not been there, and we all did so good,” Centerfielder Rhyan Hamlin said.
Black Tornado ended the summer playing their best ball of the season and went on a run like no other.
Coming off an unbeaten run in the 16-and-Under Summer State Tournament, the girls claimed the USA Softball 16-A Western Nationals Championship in absolute dominant fashion.
The team ended the tournament 7-0, allowing just ten runs in their five bracket-play games.
Going into the championship game, Pitcher Gabbi Urban was rolling with confidence, thanks in large part to how well she was able to trust her teammates playing behind her.
“Honestly, I just felt good and I felt confident with the team, so I just knew we were going to do well,” Urban said about her mentality going into the championship.
Combined with shutdown pitching from Urban, Black Tornado turned it on offensively.
Samara Miles led the way hitting over .600 throughout the national tournament.
And it is safe to say she is pretty amped about getting back on the field with her team next high school season.
“Oh my goodness, I am so excited. I just feel like after we won these two tournaments, like all of us are a lot more confident now. I feel like we can beat any team now,” Hamlin said.
The team was clicking on all cylinders thanks to some lockdown defense up the middle with Hamlin in Centerfield and Araseli Guerrero at Shortstop.
Catcher Sadie Hall caught every inning of the team’s seven-game championship run despite playing in triple-digit temperatures all tournament.
Bonding outside of team practices and games to start the summer helped the girls get closer and make relationships that will last a lifetime.
“Your team, I mean they’re your family. And I can confidently say that they are my family. They’re who I want to spend all my time with,” Hamlin said.
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