One of our goals as an organization is to prepare our girls to play softball at the next level. We have had a lot of success at this in the last four years. We have girls currently playing softball in college at all levels from NAIA up to NCAA Division 1, many of our girls stay here in Oregon to play, but we do have a few that have decided to go places not so close to home such as, Louisiana, Boston, and Alabama. Our Gold team plays at the highest level available for youth fastpitch. They currently have 7 players signed to play in college and are working with college coaches on placing the remaining players. We emphasize throughout their careers as Thunder players how important it is to do well in school. While it is fun to play at the college level the most important thing is to use softball to help you get a good education. We are very happy to say we have a lot of former players taking advantage of this opportunity. I am attaching a link to our current roster which shows where these girls have committed to. You can also click on the Alumni link to see where our former players are now playing. We are very proud of all of the girls and their accomplishments.
Fall of 2011 brings us a new team. They are a group of 9-10 year olds just starting out in competitive softball. They played in a fall ball league and finished their fall season with a tournament where they took third place. We are very excited as an organization to have a 10 and under team again. The team's assistant coach is a long time Thunder player who is now playing for the NCAA division II national champion Linfield Wildcats. She is very excited to be working with these young athletes and loves that she can give back to the game and organization she loves so much.
The Thunder girls have been very busy this summer improving their skills and going to tournaments in Oklahoma, Colorado, Washington, and Oregon. We have four teams going to a national tournament this year so they have been busy preparing for that. National tournaments kick off next week with our 18 Gold team (the highest level of competition for youth softball) they head to San Diego and are sure to be met with great competition. Our 16U and 14U will head to their national tournaments the following week in Huntington Beach, CA and Midland, TX respectively. Our second 16U team will be participating in Western Nationals in Kent Washington. We have been very successful in getting these girls college scholarships and theses tournaments are one more avenue for the girls to be able to show off their skills. We wish our teams best of luck with the last couple weeks of their seasons.
Spring in Oregon brings softball season and in between rain storms we play some great softball. Our Thunder girls and coaches are very busy practices and games and putting tarps on and off of their fields so they can actually play still find time to help our community by hosting skills clinics. Every April for the last eight years we have taken two days to hold clinics for the recreational league in our city. Our coaches and players volunteer two Sundays to work with girls from Hillsboro Girls Softball Association (HGSA) to help them improve their skills in fielding, hitting, and pitching. This is a win win situation for Thunder Softball and HGSA. The Thunder Girls get to share the skills they have learned over many years of hard work with girls who are just getting started in this great game of fastpitch softball that we love.
At the end of December we had three girls from our Thunder program invited to play on an allstar team. The three girls, Alexandra Flores, Stephanie Meeuwsen, and MacKenzie Spencer traveled to Florida to play in an international tournament. The team was coprised of girls from the Northwest and they finished in 4th place at the tournament. It was a great experience for the girls getting to play teams from other countries.
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