The Huntington Beach Breeze 14-and-under travel softball team won its division at the 2010 Western American Softball Assn. National Championship at Fort Collins, Colo., Aug. 3 to 7.
It was the team's first ASA national title.
The Breeze, a team made up of several local ninth- and 10th-grade prep softball players, won the title when Emily Stoner of Huntington Beach High hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the seventh of the championship game against American Sports Academy (Tracy, CA.). Ocean View High's Brittany Hitchcock picked up the win in a 5-2 victory.
The Breeze went 8-1-1 in the tournament that featured more than 72 teams from the Western U.S. The Breeze has qualified for the 16U American Softball Assn. Nationals in 2011.
Only two 14U teams received bids to next year's nationals, Breeze coach Jeff Forsberg said.
In winning the title, the Breeze outscored their opponents, 70-14. The team scored mercy-rule victories in three of their first four games.
In addition to Stoner and Hitchcock, the Breeze roster is: Nicole Minnicucci, Jillian Martinez, Ally Forsberg, Tamra Hartmann and Raegan Zschach of Huntington Beach High, Courtney Shenkman and Emily Cardona of Marina, Erika Jason and Makela Williamson of Ocean View, Khailey Campos and Jordan Zavala of Fountain Valley, Lauren Howard and Sophia Chiavatti of Foothill and Jessica Pasco of Rolling Hills Prep.
Local divers successful at AAU championships
Three Huntington Beach and Fountain Valley residents are on their way home from the American Athletic Union Diving National Championships in Coral Springs, Fla.
10-year-old Jacqueline Cleugh and 13-year-old Brandon Loschiavo, both from Huntington Beach, and 16-year-old Erica Curry from Fountain Valley, are part of a team of six local divers who travelled to Florida. The three train with McCormick Divers at Belmont Olympic Plaza Pool in Long Beach. McCormick Divers Coach Debby McCormick is also a Huntington Beach resident.
Cleugh finished seventh in the 10-year-old Girls' 3-meter springboard competition with her best score on her inward 1 1/2 somersault dive. She also competed in the 1-meter springboard and 5-meter platform in the 11-and-under category finishing in 10th place in each competition. Cleugh will be a fifth-grade student in September at Goldenview Elementary School.
Curry finished 24th in the very competitive 16-year-old Girls' 1-meter springboard competition. She earned her best scores with her forward double somersault. Curry will be a junior at Fountain Valley High, where she will continue to head the varsity diving team.
Loschiavo finished sixth in the 1-meter and eight in the 3-meter 13-year-old Boys' springboard competitions. Loschiavo's top scores were on his forward 2 1/2 somersault dive on the 3-meter board and his inward 1 1/2 on the 1-meter springboard. Loschiavo will be a seventh-grader at Dwyer Middle School.
— Jessica Pollack, Community Correspondent