Oregon Thunder '02 finishes Top 25 at the 12u Premier PGF National Championships
Huntington Beach, California - July 24 - July 31
Oregon Thunder '02 headed down to the 12U PGF Premier National Championships to play the best 12U teams from around the country. There were 52 teams entered and after the dust settled the group finished Top 25 in the Nation. The highlight of a spectacular week was the come from behind victory versus the OC Batbusters - Blake. After trailing 1-3 in the bottom of the 7th the scrappy group of girls was able to pull of a 4-3 walk-off win. The level of competition at this tournament was amazing and it was great to see these Northwest girls "Compete" against the best competition in the Nation. The girls back in July spent a week in Colorado at the Triple Crown Sparkler Juniors playing against some of the same competition. They played 5 teams from Texas, 2 from California and 1 from Illinois and finished 4-4. This National level tournament they finished 13th which really got them ready for the competition at the PGF nationals.
As the post season for college softball is winding down, former players for Thunder are seeing great success. From Alyssa Davis and Emilee Eastman at Oregon Institute of Technology, to Montana McNealy at Linfield College and finally Alyssa Gillespie at the University of Oregon. Alyssa and Emilee a Junior and Freshman respectively at Oregon Tech just finished the NAIA Women's College World series where they finshed 4th in the nation. Both Alyssa and Emilee played from U10 - U18 with the Thunder organization. Montana McNealy is a Senior pitcher at Linfield college. Linfield came on strong at the end of the seaon winning their regional and super regional to make it to the Division III Women's College World Series where they placed 4th. McNealy had a great tournament including pitching a no hitter to advance Linfield to the semi finals. Montana played for the Thunder organization from U14-U18. Last but not least Alyssa Gilesspie will be playing in her second Women's College World Series with the University of Oregon. Alyssa started her competitive softball career with the Thunder organization from U10 - U12. The Ducks start their run for a national title tonight at 6:30 pm pacific time. We are very proud of all our girls and have many having success in life both in softball and careers. Go Thunder!
Brad who has been a part of Thunder Softball since 2011 as a coach and board member was honored at the Oregon ASA Hall of Fame Banquet held in December with the Chuck Quinn Memorial Award, Youth Coach of the Year. Brad was nominated by girls that have played for him over the years. Here are some of the nomination letters the committee received in Brads nomination.
Brad was truly the best coach I’ve ever had. He taught me so much about the game and even more about life in general. He taught me that your character, your schoolwork and how you treat your family and friends were more important than anything on the field. I am so lucky to have been able to play under him for so many years and I will never forget the fun memories we’ve shared traveling and playing ball across the country.” -Morgan
Brad was not just a coach to me he was like my second father! :) I have known him and his wonderful family since I was in the 4th grade and not at one point (from the 4th grade to my last game in my career) did I not enjoy being on his team. Bradley was very supportive of my deciosions to let me run freely around the bases or pitch what I wanted (as long as I didn't hit people haha) but most of all he was a great mentor for me in my life. He helped ease me and my dad when we would get in fights. Him, his coaching style and love for each one of us girls made me love the game of softball! I remember all the girls on other teams were jealous of our coaches cause they didn't yell at us or make it a job lol the best memories I have of my childhood are on the Oregon Thunder with Bradley son and the gang :) -Courtney
I'm a little biased because I am his daughter, but I have played softball for over 13 years and all of those years my dad has been my summer ball coach. He is the most kind hearted coach I have ever met and not only cares about the player you are and will become, but also you as a person. He has taught not only me, but all of his other players throughout the years so many life lessons that I would not have learned if it were not for softball. He has spent countless hours volunteering for the Oregon Thunder organization and has dedicated over 15 years helping athletes get better and grow as players while helping them along the way to get recruited to play in college. He has given up so much of his own time to help girls like me to make their dream come true. If it weren't for my dad who was also my coach, I would not be where I'm at today, playing D1 softball. I love you dad! - Maria
We are very lucky to have Brad as a part of our organization and want to send our sincere congratulations to him for this honor!
Liberty High Schools softball program has been a great partner to work with over the years. Allowing a majority of our teams to use their fields each summer and fall for practices and games. This does not sound like a big deal, but let me tell you practice fields are hard to come by and to have this kind of relationship with the softball program at Liberty is priceless. It was our pleasure that we could help the program financially this fall in doing some much needed renovations to their varsity field. We have helped over the last couple years with the infield and it has become one of the nicest around. The problem now was with the outfield, with us being in Oregon our spring softball seasons tend to be WET. The field at Liberty has always been dangerous in the spring because the outfield would not drain and therefore turned very soft and mushy. The Liberty varsity coach researched what could be done to fix this problem and came to us to see if we could collaborate with the school district financially to get the work done. We jumped at the opportunity to help out. We felt as an organization it is the least we can do to thank the program for all they have given us over the years. We are happy to report the field work has been done and there are high hopes that the high school team will be able to have more of their games on their home field next spring.
With the 2014 summer season coming to a close, Thunder Softball has had quite a bit of success. This summer we fielded ten teams which serves 120 + young ladies. The best story line this summer has been our team that was put together at the last minute. This team consisting of girls who have played one year of college ball decided to put a team together for their last summer of ASA softball. They have attened three tournaments and won all three with an 18-0 record in tournament play. These girls were looking for someplace to play because as college freshman you don't always get the playing time you are looking for and they wanted to keep their skills sharp over the summer months. I would say they have done that. We are proud that we could support these girls as an organization as they look to further their softball careers. Many of these girls played for Thunder previously but some came from other local organizaitons. The picture attached we are most proud of is from the first tournament they won. They took a picture with the second place team showing great sportsmanship by both teams. We had many other teams place at tournaments with several of them playing in regional and western national tournaments to finish out their seasons.
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