The Mojo entered this week as the favorite in the 14U division and took everyone’s best shot before finishing the week unbeaten as the Josh Fisher-led team took home the PGF 14U Premier National Championship Sunday by beating Arizona Storm-Appel 4-2.
With Florida head coach Tim Walton in the stands, two of his committed young players showed why they’re ranked as the top two prospects in the 2023 Extra Elite 100 by Extra Inning Softball as Mia Williams provided the offense and Keagan Rothrock led in the circle as she has all week.
It wasn’t a perfect game or a 15-strikeout performance as Rothrock did leading up to the championship game in Bill Barber Stadium, but she once again elevated her game to bring home the win, scattering four hits and two runs (one earned) across seven innings while striking out seven Storm batters including the game’s first and last opposing hitters.
Williams, daughter of former NBA star Jason Williams who was cheering from the stands, showed her amazing athleticism as she powered a home run over the 220-foot left field wall and later tripled as part of a 2-for-4 performance for the shortstop.
“Going into the game I knew Keagan was going to be a rock star,” Williams said in interviews after the win, “and that she was going to do amazing. I just had to get her back in case anything happened.”
Mojo jumped out to a quick lead in the bottom of the 1st inning as leadoff batter Jaydyn “Shorty” Goodwin (2022, Georgia) singled, stole second and then came home on a Taylor Pannel (2022, Auburn) double.
Williams staked the Mojo to a 2-0 lead with her home run to lead off the bottom of the 3rd inning, but the young AZ Storm team—a first-year 14U program—was not about to give in.
When Rothrock suddenly struggled in the top of the 4th getting strikes, the Storm loaded the bases on a double by infielder Kate Vance (2024, uncommitted), the star of the clinching win yesterday, followed by a walk, an infield error and another walk that forced home middle infielder Sienna Solis (2023, uncommitted) to provide the first run for Steve Appel’s team.
In the 5th inning, the Storm tied it on an RBI single from Alexa Wohr (2023, uncommitted) and it looked like it was anyone’s game, but the Mojo—which has constantly taken everyone’s hardest punches all summer long—wasn’t about to fold under the pressure of getting to the title game and losing so close to the prize.
After Williams tripled with one out in the bottom of the 5th, catcher Macy Bergeron (2022, LSU) came up with a clutch single to right field to plate Williams and give the Mojo a lead it would never relinquish.
The next inning, Rothrock doubled and courtesy runner Corine Poncho (2022, uncommitted) would score the game’s last run on a single by Goodwin.
Rothrock gave up a one-out single in the top of the 7th to infielder Sierra Daniel (2023, uncommitted), but closed the door with a fielder’s choice groundout and her trademark swing-and-miss strikeout on a riseball to start the Mojo celebration.
“This was one of the better games we’ve played this week,” Rothrock said. “Our bats definitely came alive and my defense was behind me.”
Coach Fisher was pleased that, once again, it was a total team effort in the win.
“Mia had a fantastic day,” he began, “Shorty had multiple hits yet again, Keagan was really good and pitched the whole way and we were just out here trying our best.”
As the softball world saw on Sunday, the Mojo’s best can be very hard to beat.