1997 ASA Girls’ 18-Under Gold Fast Pitch Nationals

1997 held at ASA Hall of Fame Complex in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on August 4-10.

Champion – Orange County Batbusters, Santa Ana, California
Runner Up – Gordon’s Panthers, La Palma, California

There is an Ada in Oklahoma, and OC in these parts stands for Oklahoma City.

But the 1997 Junior Girls’ Gold National Championship trophy for softball, which Ada predicted and the OC Batbusters won, is going back to California.

The OC Batbusters, who call Orange County home, beat Gordon’s Panthers from La Palma, Calif., 1-0 in Sunday’s final at the Hall of Fame Stadium. An estimated 500 fans were on hand for the event, which concluded a week of intense competition by the top 18-and-under girls teams in the country.

A total of 57 teams — including four from Oklahoma — qualified to compete in the tournament. But Ada Barents could have told everyone at the very beginning who was going to win. Her granddaughter, Jennie Finch, pitched the final four games for the OC Batbusters.

“I told Jennie what I wanted for my birthday,” said Ada, who was celebrating both her 77th birthday and her granddaughter’s victory on Sunday. “I told her just a win. The sky was the limit. “But we didn’t take no airplane ride. We drove 1,200 all the way to get here. It was a good week.”

It was an exceptionally good game for Finch in the final. The 16-year-old had a perfect game through four innings and a no-hitter through five. In the, final two innings, however, she walked two batters and gave up two hits.

“I just wanted to win,” said Finch, who was thinking more of her grandmother and her teammates than a possible perfect game. “And it was good to come out on top. I feel good.”

The win, which was secured in the second inning when the OC Batbusters managed three of their four hits and the only run of the game, stopped one streak. Gordon’s Panthers were the tournament’s defending champions.

Gary Haning, coach of the OC Batbusters, hopes this victory will start another streak, however.

“We tied for 13th last year, but the year before we were national champions,” he said. “But now we want to be national champions every year instead of every other year.”

The Batbusters went 6-0 in the double-elimination event and handed the Gordon’s Panthers (5-2) their only losses. Earlier on Sunday, the Batbusters beat the Panthers 4-2 to send them to the losers bracket.

Not only were the tournament’s champions and runners-up from California, but so were the third-place finishers (Southern California A’s), the fourth-place finishers (Lady Sharks) and one of the fifth-place squads (California Cruisers).

The Northwest Outlaws from Vancouver, Wash., also tied for fifth. Two of Oklahoma’s teams tied for 33rd (the Oklahoma Stealers from Stillwater and the OKC Naturals) and the other two tied for 49th (the Tulsa Eagles and the Ultimate Teal from Washington).

“This is the most competitive tournament we’ve ever played in,” said Hailing, who was also an assistant coach for the Junior World team which scored 126 runs and gave up none in 1995. “This is far more competitive than the Junior Worlds, and our team was brilliant. Our team never stopped trying, never stopped working and never gave up.”


P – Amanda Freed, Gordon’s Panthers
P – Jennie Finch, Orange County Batbusters
P – Jocelyn Forest, Southern California Athletics
C – Jenny Topping, Gordon’s Panthers
1B – Kristin Dennis, Orange County Batbusters
2B – Kelsey Kollen, Gordon’s Panthers
3B – Shawna Feldt, Northwest Outlaws
SS – Andrienne Ratajczak, California Cruisers
OF – Lizzy Lemire, Southern California Athletics
OF – Lindsey Collins, Orange County Batbusters
OF – Anna Smith, Gordon’s Panthers
OF – Arlette Sunseri, Strikkers
DH – Samantha Kimura, Gordon’s Panthers
UTIL – Chrissy Buck, Southern California Athletics
UTIL – Kirsten Voak, San Jose Lady Sharks


P – Crystal Draper, Northwest Outlaws
P – Sarah Caudle, San Jose Lady Sharks
P – Shannon Walsh, Valencia Choppers
C – Briana Chambliss, Running Rebels Gold
1B – Veronica Nelson, San Jose Lady Sharks
2B – Amanda Melton, Valencia Choppers
3B – Erica Reynolds, Running Rebels Gold
SS – Christie Rosenblad, Orange County Batbusters
OF – Shyamala White, San Jose Lady Sharks
OF – Nicole Giordano, Valencia Choppers
OF – Jade Gosse, Strikkers
OF – Sasha Campbell, Southern California Athletics
DH – Robin Peet, Southern California Athletics
UTIL – Robin Walker, Gordon’s Panthers
UTIL – Marissa Young, Gordon’s Panthers


P – Crystal Draper, Southern California Stealth
P – Sarah Caudle, California Pirettes
P – Shannon Walsh, Houston Renegades
C – Briana Chambliss, Northwest Outlaws
1B – Veronica Nelson, Houston Renegades
2B – Amanda Melton, Valencia Choppers
3B – Erica Reynolds, Nor Cal Tremors
SS – Christie Rosenblad, Orland Park Sparks Red
OF – Shyamala White, PGSA Force
OF – Nicole Giordano, California Cruisers
DH – Jade Gosse, Southern California Athletics
UTIL – Sasha Campbell, California Cruisers
UTIL – Robin Peet, California Pirettes
UTIL – Robin Walker, Fresno Force
UTIL – Marissa Young, Humble Cobras


1. Orange County Batbusters, Santa Ana, CA (6-0)
2. Gordon’s Panthers, Le Palma, CA (5-2)
3. Southern California Athletics, Foothill Ranch, CA (6-2)
4. San Jose Lady Sharks, San Jose, CA (4-2)
5t. California Cruisers, La Palma, CA (5-2)
5t. Northwest Outlaws, Vancouver, WA (4-2)
7t. Strikkers, San Jose, CA (5-2)
7t. Valencia Choppers, Valencia, CA (3-2)
9t. Fresno Force, Fresno, CA (4-2)
9t. Southern California Stealth, Santa Clarita, CA (4-2)
9t. California Pirettes, Corona, CA (2-2)
9t. Houston Renegades, Houston, TX (5-2)
13t. Nor Cal Tremors, Lodi, CA (3-2)
13t. Running Rebels Gold, Stockton, CA (3-2)
13t. PGSA Force, Pasadena, TX (3-2)
13t. Orland Park Sparks Red, Orland Park, IL (2-2)
17t. Arizona Ramblers, Scottsdale, AZ (3-2)
17t. Hot Stuff, Yorba Linda, CA (3-2)
17t. Texas Travelers, Austin, TX (3-2)
17t. Humble Cobras, Humble, TX (2-2)
17t. Southern California Firecrackers, San Diego, CA (3-2)
17t. Southern California Lightning, San Diego, CA (2-2)
17t. Spring Klein Hawks, Conroe, TX (2-2)
17t. California Dynasty, Corona, CA (2-2)
25t. Easton Panthers Gold, Sylmar, CA (2-2)
25t. Hot Shots, Tempe, AZ (2-2)
25t. San Diego Thunder Gold, San Diego, CA (2-2)
25t. Esko Ice, Esko, MN (2-2)
25t. Arizona Cats Gold, Tucson, AZ (2-2)
25t. California Grapettes, Stockton, CA (2-2)
25t. Texas Challengers, West Columbia, TX (2-2)
25t. Lil Saints Gold, Phoenix, AZ (2-2)
33t. Oklahoma Stealers, Sand Springs, OK (1-2)
33t. Running Rebels Gold, Stockton, CA (1-2)
33t. California Breeze, Sacramento, CA (1-2)
33t. Thunderboltz, Bloomington, MN (1-2)
33t. Mustangs Gold, Chattanooga, TN (1-2)
33t. Clearwater Lady Bombers, Clearwater, FL (1-2)
33t. Oak Park Windmills, Oak Park, IL (1-2)
33t. D. T. Gunners, Centerville, VA (1-2)
33t. Oklahoma City Naturals, Oklahoma City, OK (1-2)
33t. Texas Impact Gold, Houston, TX (1-2)
33t. Red Hots, Dallas, TX (1-2)
33t. Shamrocks, Vienna, VA (1-2)
33t. Garland Legends, Garland, TX (0-2)
33t. Colorado Legends Gold, Parker, CO (0-2)
33t. Grand Rapids Blaze, Grand Rapids, MI (0-2)
33t. Stallions, Dallas, TX (0-2)
49t. Tulsa Eagles, Tulsa, OK (0-2)
49t. Aphis Ready Mix Gold, Vancouver, WA (0-2)
49t. Boone & Darr, Ann Arbor, MI (0-2)
49t. Phoenix Storm-Swan, Phoenix, AZ (0-2)
49t. Metro Express, Carnegie, PA (0-2)
49t. Parker Eagles, Chattanooga, TN (0-2)
49t. Katy Hardliners, Katy, TX (0-2)
49t. Ultimate Teal, Washington, OK (0-2)
49t. Whiteford Sharks, Plainfield, IL (0-2)

OC Batbusters

The OC Batbusters of Santa Ana, California celebrate after winning the Girls 18-and-under Gold National Championship at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium. The Batbusters defeated Gordon’s Panthers of La Palma, California, 1-0 to win the softball championship. The Panthers were the defending champions.


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