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Tennessee Thunderbolts 2027 - West Season Recap/Preview for 2023; Are They the Team to Beat?

Tennessee Thunderbolts 2027 - West achieved a 70-24-4 record in 2022 against a predominantly Tier 1 and Class A schedule and is set to do it all over again in 2023.

With almost all the pieces in-place, outstanding athletic speedy ballplayers complimenting powerful hitting and pitching (team has elite Tincher Pitchers), will this proven coaching staff garner the trophies and plaques many are predicting for the 2023 season?

2022 was a thrill ride of a season that ascended the Tennessee Thunderbolts 2027 softball team to heights that few expected. The 2023 team has potential to soar even higher.

Tennessee Thunderbolts 2027 ended their last season of 12u over Spring/Summer, with an overall record of 51-17-3. They most notably defeated several nationally ranked teams, coming in 3rd place at the PGF Mojo Music City Invitational in Columbia, TN, hosted by Jeff Mac.

These are perhaps the most competitive regular season tournaments in the country. They ended their 12u season coming in second place at the USSSA Nationals in Gulf Shores, AL, in the 12A division, forcing the IF game and falling just short of first place. Win or lose, this team is known for not shying away from tough competition and playing an extremely competitive schedule. They began Fall as a first year 14u team, with an overall record of 19-7-1, playing in the PGF Kentucky Chrome Invitational, MS Bombers Invitational, and the Bolts 5 Star Showcase just to name a few.

Fall brought a few changes with it, adding some new faces, making them one of the strongest teams in the 2027 age class in regards to their pitching/catching staff. They also added a new coach with extensive experience playing softball at the college level.

Spring/Summer 2023 is set to be a big one, with a few new additions that joined at the end of the Fall 2022, and the Tennessee Thunderbolts looking to add an additional catcher to catch one of the best pitching staffs in the country.

Their schedule includes several challenging tournaments against the top teams in the country, including: PGF Southern Championship, PGF Super Select 13u, USSSA Road to the Show in OKC, Bolts 5-Star Showcase, Colorado Triple Crown Jr Sparkler, and the Triple Crown Southeastern Championship. This team has talent from top to bottom, with all players nationally ranked, and is set to make noise on the national stage in 2023.

When Coach David West asked what his ultimate goal was with this team he stated: “I want them to learn first and foremost that character, respect, and discipline are number one. If you don’t have that, then you can have all the talent in the world but it won’t get you anywhere. These are lessons that do not apply just to softball, but to everyday life. I won’t lie, this team and schedule is challenging. We do have fun as a team, but when we are on the field it has to be all business. It isn’t for everyone, but I want young athletes that want to grow and be challenged and play at the college level. I think we are continuing to build that.”

Introducing the Tennessee Thunderbolts 2027 - West 2023 Roster:

#12 Payton Hayes - C/1B

Payton Hayes is a brand new addition to the Tennessee Thunderbolts 2027, joining the team in the late Fall 2022. She is an exceptional catcher, blocking everything so nothing gets by her and throwing anyone out who attempts to steal on her! She is also able to play first base, and has a powerful bat, already hitting a dinger over centerfield in the PGF in Kentucky this fall. She will be a player to watch, and is expected to be highly ranked in the Spring 2023.

#47 Taylor Moreland - RHP/3B/2B

Twitter: @TayMoreland47

Taylor Moreland is another brand new addition to the Tennessee Thunderbolts, who is also another nationally ranked player with accolades from Legacy & Legends softball and Extra Innings, as well as other softball news outlets. After taking a break for the Fall, she has played two tournaments with the Tennessee Thunderbolts and has joined full time. She is a right handed pitcher that has worked hard to perfect her craft! She is a student of Tincher Pitching, and has some of the best training in the country. She has speed, spin, and movement, which makes her dangerous on the mound. She is also an accomplished power hitter and defensive player, with the ability to play multiple positions. She is another star to watch this Fall! (L&LS Ranked #25) (Extra Innings Ranked #44)

#5 Grier Maples - RHP/OF/3B

Twitter: @GrierMaples

Grier Maples is another brand new addition to Tennessee Thunderbolts, and will add a strong bat and even more depth to their solid pitching staff. Grier is also another nationally ranked player, and featured in other softball news outlets. She is a right handed pitcher that is able to hit her spots and has a great change up and rise ball. She has excellent bat speed and can hit the ball with power to the outfield. She is a solid addition to this team and will be fun to watch her excel and grow this season with them! (L&LS Ranked #96)

#30 Lily “Munk” Reynolds - 3B/SS/OF

Lily “Munk” Reynolds is a new addition to Tennessee Thunderbolts 2027. She is a nationally ranked player, with accolades from Legacy & Legends, Extra Innings, and other softball news outlets. She is sure to adds strength to our roster, as she is able to play multiple positions and add versatility in the field. She adds major speed, as well as a great bat to our lineup. (Ranked #18 by L&LS and 2023 L&LS All-Southeast Watchlist)

#2 Kinsley Belcher - RHP/1B/3B

Kinsley Belcher has been with the Tennessee Thunderbolts 2027 for two seasons now, dominating on the mound and locking down first and third base. She has speed and movement on her pitches, and is able to hit her spots consistently, making her hard to deal with. She also has a powerful bat. She is an offensive and defensive powerhouse that will be fun to watch in 14u. (L&LS Ranked #38)

#1 Irelynn Beecham - RHP/SS/3B

Twitter: @Beecham05

Irelynn Beecham is another dominating pitcher in her age class. She has pitched against the top teams in the country, and helped lead her team to victory many times against top level competition. She can hit her spots and move the ball, which makes it difficult for her opponents. Not only is she a dominating pitcher, but is a lockdown third base/shortstop. She has a strong arm, which makes her hard to deal with on defense. On top of that, she is also a great hitter in the lineup. This one is going places. (L&LS Ranked #33)

#23 Mycah Mays - 1B/3B

Mycah Mays is one of the best power hitters in this age class. She has unbelievable power at the plate, and has hit multiple over the fence home runs with the Tennessee Thunderbolts, propelling them forward in many games/tournaments. Not only does she have a powerful bat, but she is able to stretch and dig balls out of the dirt at first base, making it hard for runners to get on base if the ball is placed anywhere in the infield. This rising star will be another one to watch this season! (L&LS Ranked #51)

#22 Madison Pinkelton - SS/2B

Twitter: @genungk1

Madison Pinkelton is another rising star. She has come through clutch with her big bat many times for her team, and always gives everything she has and keeps her team pumped up! Not only can she come through with big hits, she can also lay down bunts when it’s crucial for her team too! She is a great second base/shortstop, but has versatility in the field as well. She is going to be a great recruit for the class of 2028! (L&L Ranked #93 nationally in the 2028 class)

#20 Abigail West - RHP/OF

Abigail West is a consistent pitcher that is able to hit her spots and keep the ball low in the zone, making it extremely difficult for hitters to make solid contact. She has great spin on her pitches, and has a nasty change up that constantly keeps hitters off balance. She is also trained by Tincher Pitching out of Alabama. Abigail is also a solid outfielder with a strong arm, able to get the ball in quickly to stop runners from scoring or get the outs when needed. Her bat has come through clutch many times, and she is able to lay the bunt down when needed as well. She will be fun to watch this season! (L&LS Ranked #91)

#4 Harper Delorenzo OF/2B

Harper Delorenzo is all gas no brakes. Once she gets going, it’s hard to stop her on the bases! Harper is a lefty hitter that puts pressure on the defense with her ability to slap for power through the infield. She is also able to track down a ball and get to it quickly in the outfield, preventing runner from scoring. She has a high softball IQ and a strong work ethic. She not only brings talent but is respectful, coachable, and has a great attitude. She is another one to watch out for this season! (L&LS Ranked #79)

#24 Madi Kemp - OF/2B

Twitter: @madikemp24

Madi Kemp is one of the fastest kids in the 2027 age class, winning the base running speed drill this year at USSSA Nationals, beating out several others in the 12A division. Madi is a great option as either a lead off hitter, or a two/three hole hitter as she is able to drive through the gaps to move runners and steal extra bases. She is also an excellent center fielder, making it quickly to the ball and getting it in with her strong arm, making it hard for runners to score. (L&LS Ranked #53)

#99 Reagan “Peanut” Schmitz - OF/2B

Reagan “Peanut” Schmitz is also one of the fastest (if not THE fastest) kids in the 2027 class. Once she gets on base, it’s almost a guarantee Tennessee Thunderbolts will score a run. She is a lefty hitter and offensively and defensively solid for her team. She gives her all at every play and goes all out all the time. She is also making waves running Cross Country, most recently coming in 1st place out of 79 girls! She is destined for great things this season! (L&LS Ranked #97)

Finally, the addition of Abigail Wilson to the staff will only strengthen this already solid Top 10 L&LS nationally ranked team. She is a former collegiate softball player that brings direction, discipline, and knowledge of the game to these young athletes. She is a great role model and example for these young ladies to follow. We all look forward to seeing her coach on the field this summer!

Attention College Coaches!!!

Team 2023 Travel Ball Schedule below:

Published by Coach Denny Lang, L&LS Southeast Evaluator, November 30, 2022

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