King, Young, Heinen staying active in offseason
Trisha King is getting to experience the best of two worlds this summer.
Not only is she playing for her father, Richard King's, KC Rocks Johnson County Girls Athletic Association softball team, but she's also playing in tournaments with the Kansas City Cougars. Both fast pitch teams compete at a high level.
It all started when her friend Kristie Allard contacted her about playing for the Cougars. It has been a give-and-take relationship since then. The Cougars needed King and her bat, and the Wildcat senior-to-be was given the opportunity to pitch again.
"When I came in, they had only one pitcher," King said. "It's so easy to get tired when you pitch that many games, so I came in and did some pitching."
King described herself as being patient at the plate, which resulted in plenty of walks for the Cougars. She not only uses her speed to steal bases but also relieves the pitchers and catchers on the base pads.
With the Rocks, King was able to help her team take third in the JCGAA league. Since then she has assisted her team to some pretty high finishes at area state and national tournaments.
The Cougars won three straight games, earning the championship at the Linedrive.com Classic, which was an 18-under fast-pitch tournament in early June, and took second at the 18 an younger Missouri State Softball Championships.
"We have very high expectations of ourselves," King said. "Going into a tournament we believe we'll take first or second. If we get beat by a team, we have the confidence that we can get back up and beat the team we lost to."
The reason the Cougars are so successful has more to do with team play than the talent on the team.
"Everyone is ranked the same on our team," she said. "No one is lower, and no one is better. We pep each other up, and once we start playing ball we work well together."
Last week, King and her teammates banded together to take on the world at the 66-team 2004 Girls 18-Under Fast Pitch World Series at the JCGAA Softball Complex in Shawnee.
After finishing third in Pool P with a 1-2 record, the Cougars fell to the Salina Explosion by a 6-3 margin and dropped to the consolation bracket.
That's when the KC Mavericks edged the Cougars 3-2, stopping their run through the consolations.
"They killed us," the Wildcat senior said. "We were without our pitcher and catcher, but they just killed us. We had fun, though."
The score was tied 2-2 in the sixth inning until a triple broke the tie and scored the win for the Mavericks.
"It was a long hard game," King said. "Every single one of us worked our tails off. We didn't give up."
Going into the tournament, the Cougars were ranked 16th in the nation with a 10-5 record in their class.
Danny Brown took to the hard courts of Las Vegas and Los Angeles the past two weekends with the Kansas City Pump 'N' Run 17-under basketball team. And he made a little noise of his own.
The senior guard and his teammates took on the likes of Kansas University recruit Mario Chalmers, future Maryland player Alonzo Geeve and Tyler Hansbrough (undecided), who is being toted as the top high school player in the nation.
Brown described Chalmers as a ridiculously talented player.
"He does everything," he said. "He can shoot; he can penetrate. He scored 45 points against us."
Brown went head-to-head with Geeve and finished in a draw as both players finished with 18 points.
"We went back-and-forth," he said.
Hansbrough is one tough dude, Brown said.
"He's so strong," he said. "He's 6-9 with a 7-0 wing span. They (St. Louis Eagles) definitely look to pound the ball into him.
Pump 'N' Run made it to the quarterfinals with a 3-2 record at the Super 64 Basketball Tournament in Las Vegas. They lost to the Cleveland Basketball Club.
In Los Angeles, Brown and his teammates made it to the Final 32 at the 100-team Best of Summer 17-Under Boys Basketball Tournament.
Besides the 18-point performance he had against the Tallahassee Wildcats' Geeve, Brown also ripped the cords for six threes and 24 points in another game.
Allie Heinen helped her Kansas City Swoosh Summer Basketball team to its 19th-straight win two weekends ago with four blowout wins in Omaha, Neb.
Heinen averaged 5.5 points and seven rebounds in wins over CPOA-NE (49-22), Pella (41-15), Burke (37-19) and Gators (37-13).
She also had 10 steals, three assists and four blocks in the tournament with just two turnovers. The Swoosh now start preparation for nationals this weekend in Hutchinson. They haven't lost since June 13.