Goleta 12U Thunder start tourney season with a title

Goleta Valley Girls Softball Association’s 12-under Gold All-Star team opened its tournament season with a championship at the Moorpark Girls Softball All-Star Tune-Up Tournament, beating W.AG.S., 10-2, in a five-inning, mercy-rule final.

The Goleta Thunder went 4-1-1 in the tournament, with consecutive victories over Fillmore (16-3), Thousand Oaks (2-0) and Ventura (11-3)leading them to the championship game. Their only loss came at the hands of Thousand Oaks (4-0) in a pool play game.

Ali Borden (2-0, 0.82 ERA, 17 innings for the tournament) led the Thunder in the pitching circle with two complete-game victories on Sunday. Sierra Laughner (2-1, 2.15, 13 innings) also won two games along the way.

Offensively, it was a complete team effort throughout the tournament. Left fielder Sarah Baker led the team with 6 hits, Laughner batted .333 with 6 RBI, shortstop Emilia Kling hit .385 and stole 7 bases, center fielder Al’asha Aparicio scored 7 runs and first baseman Allison Gasper had 5 hits (all with runners in scoring position .714) and knocked in 4 runs.

Akshaya Ramko starred defensively in right field and managed 2 hits in just 4 plate appearances. Jessica Yamasaki (4 hits), Marlee Stout (5 runs scored), Kyla, Robbins (1 RBI), Morgan Jensen Magne (.429 AVG) and Savannah Tait (3 runs, 3 RBI) also contributed to the offensive onslaught. Catcher Brianna Castro gunned down 3 out of 4 attempted base stealers and, according to manager Keith Laughner, made the play of the tournament, backing up first base and tagging out an unsuspecting Thousand Oaks base runner that had rounded the bag.

GVGSA’s 12U Thunder are back in action this weekend in San Diego and will travel to Clovis next month for the National Championship qualifier, with hopes of bringing home a National Title later this summer in Medford, Ore.