GOLD Nationals Day One Recap

July 17, 2018, 11:32 a.m. (ET)

PLANO, Texas—It may have hit 100 degrees in Plano, Texas but the players of the 2018 USA Softball 16-Under (16U) and 18-Under (18U) GOLD Nationals bats were even hotter in their first day of pool play. The 70 competing teams cumulated over 600 hits at Heritage Fields in Plano to kick off National Championship season for USA Softball. 

It was exciting to be in Plano to watch the 2018 GOLD Nationals today”, said USA Softball Executive Director, Craig Cress. “The players are getting physically and mentally stronger at this level, and every year at this tournament we get to see some great talent of USA Softball’s Junior Olympic division. There’s no exception this year, with players making incredible catches and hitting with such great power on just the first day of pool play.”

In the 18U division, Virginia Unity grabbed the day’s largest victory, plating 15 runs in a shutout of Team TFS STX 18U Gold. KC Peppers Gold also earned double-digit runs in a 13-3 victory over American Freedom Express Gold Soefje off the hot bat of Lauren Mills, who blasted both a homerun and grand slam.

The 16U division saw similar offensive success as almost 100 runs were scored in just 18 games. The Germantown Red Devils dominated in their first outing of the tournament, earning a 16-2 victory over the Tulsa Eagles.  Both the Georgia Impact National-Lewis and Texas Elite Gold Bancroft 16U matched their offensive prowess with their dominant pitching, shutting out their opponents collectively 10-0.

Pool play continues today with the outcomes from pool play games determining the seeding for tonight’s seeded draw. The seeded draw will determine each team’s position in double-elimination bracket play, with the champion of both the 16 and 18U divisions crowned on Saturday evening. All games for the entire tournament will have free live stats, courtesy of GameChanger, and free live streaming for fans, friends and family on USASoftball.com.