News!

The 18U Gold team is set to resume the summer season after coming off a very successful fall start. During the fall, pitcher Kristina Blair signed a full ride to Texas Tech while Catcher Cristi Barnacle set up a visit to Portland State in Mid January. She is also being actively recruited by Middle Tennesee State and Texas Tech.

Shortstop Melissa Grover also drew interest from a Division 1 program in Loyola Marymount of Los Angeles.

Several other Cal Haze players are also on the recruiting path as the 2001 summer program gets underway.

The California Haze is hoping that the many misunderstandings that plagued the local softball community over the re-ignition of it's Gold program have been put to rest and that all interested players will attend tryouts for the summer program, allowing the best players in the area to come together to form the top program in the north bay.

The first annual Cal Haze fall member meeting was a huge success last Tuesday night at the Petaluma Recreation Center. Over 175 players, parents, coaches and future prospects gathered together to kick off the annual event. Also helping to jump start the evening was the appearance of Chris Elze, head coach at Sonoma State University Softball.

Chris called and expressed an interest in addressing the organization at the meeting and she was welcomed with much enthusiasm. Chris, along with 2 of her top players made a brief presentation of upcoming Sonoma State Softball events as well as doing an excellent job of introducing the Sonoma Softball program to the highest level travel softball organization in the area.

"Its the first time in my 10 years of coaching travel ball in Petaluma that anyone from the University has made a concerted effort to promote the College Softball program that is right here in our backyard" said John Heliotes, director of the California Haze. "I believe she is going to be a very positive figure in the local softball community".

PLEASE NOTE: The California Haze will provide a link on its front page to the Sonoma State Softball Web Site for people to keep up on the latest information. Good luck Chris!

"There was so much positive energy in that room Tuesday night" said co-founder Randy Willis. "For the first time in the 8 year history of the Haze organization we have all the right people in place to allow us to function in a cohesive and cooperative coaching environment". "This can only serve to benefit our members more than ever as we work together towards standardizing our training methods, strategies and philosophies".

The future is looking mighty bright for the Califonia Haze Organization!

Go Haze!

The annual fall meeting on Tuesday 11/28 from 7:00 to 9:00 pm will include the introduction of the 2001 Haze coaching staff as well as brief discussions on organizational issues such as goals and philosophies at all levels, fundraising events and support, etc. Desserts and beverages will be provided by the teams for all to enjoy. We will also be showing a recruiting video featuring one of our 18U Gold players that is typical of the tapes that are sent to college coaches.

California Haze Gold pitcher Kristina Blair signed a "full ride" letter of intent this weekend to attend Texas Tech University in 2001. Kristina becomes the newest edition to the Haze College Bound List.

"I am very lucky and happy to have been a part of Kristina's success as a pitcher" said coach Heliotes. "Her work ethics are un-matched. Ever since our first lesson together, I knew she had all the right stuff".

The Haze Organization is proud to congratulate Kristina Blair.

The Haze Gold team will travel to L.A. 11/18-19 to finish up its very successful fall program in the Batbuster Invitational college exposure event. The team will play 3 games on Saturday and 2 on Sunday in front of college coaches from around the nation looking for future scholarship atheletes.

"Timing is everything in the world of college recruiting" says recruiting guru Randy Willis of the 18 Gold staff. "We can show up, the other team can show up, the coaches can show up, the weather can co-operate, the umpires can be perfect, but nothing can guarantee that things will fall into place as they should".

"Our girls were amazing," said coach Heliotes. "They came together like a well oiled machine. Before the first game we told them that they were not here to play for themselves, but to play for their team mates, and that's exactly what they did," he said. "All weekend long we shifted players and adjusted positions for the college coaches. And, the better we played, the more the coaches seemed to show up".

"We were getting requests to see lots of girls in different positions" said Heliotes, "and the entire team was more than ready to step aside for their team mates" he said. "I think that everyone's real happy. The parents seem happy, the players are happy, the coaches are elated, and the colleges are very happy to see us back on the circuit again."

"YOU JUST HAD TO BE THERE........." was a comment heard from one of the parents who attended the event with the team.

The 18 Gold Haze Girls put on a virtual clinic in Lancaster this past weekend at Sky Tower Park in the most prestigious college recruiting tournament of the fall season.

The Haze girls came away with a perfect 4-0 record while posting tremendous numbers in the stat book including pounding out 34 hits and 24 runs in 18 innings of softball.

The team hit at a steaming .374 clip which included 23 singles, 7 doubles, 2 triples and 2 homeruns while the gold pitching combined for a squeeky ERA of .78 for weekend.

The 18U Gold team travels light to Stockton this weekend for its last tune-up before the Oktoberfest Showcase in Lancaster.

"Between homecoming and SAT's we're gonna be pretty thin this Saturday" says co-captian John Heliotes, "we'll be missing 5 kids". "Both are obviously very important to the 10 seniors we have on our roster, and besides, its pretty much the same every year on this weekend so we're used to it" he said.

"We're plenty deep" says Willis, "and we'll get it done until the reinforcements arrive".

The California Haze 18 Gold game times for Saturday 10/14 are as follows;

Saturday


11:00am against the Lightning
2:00pm against the Tornadoes
8:00pm against the Breeze Gold

Sunday


To Be Determined

The tournament format is a "Pool Play / Single Elimination" and will be played at Louis Park in Stockton. Take the Monte Diablo exit off of Hwy 5 south. Turn right at the end of the exit. The park is on the right a couple of miles down. Hope to see you there!

The 18 Gold team traveled to Stockton last weekend in search of success, and depending on how you measure it, success is exactly what they got!

In the opening game against # 13 in the nation So. Cal. Belles, the pitcher/catcher combo of Kristina Blair and Cristi Barnacle helped put a zero on the opponents scoreboard with an 11 strikeout, 1 hit, no walk outing while the Haze managed 2 runs for the shutout win.

In the stands for that game was Cal State Hayward coach Karen Matteson who had called to indicate that she would be at the morning game to see the pitcher/catcher combo.

What we didn't know was the fact that also in the stands for that game was the assitant coach for Division 1 Texas Tech University who was waiting for the Running Rebels game after ours, as well as the Cal Poly coach to see catcher Barnacle.

No sooner than the game ended and the team had scattered for the break before the next game, the Texas Tech coach contacted Coach Heliotes to indicate her extreeme interest in the pitcher/catcher combo for the 2001-2002 NCAA year. She said she was "very impressed with the both girls" and would be talking to them as soon as the tournament ended. Cal Poly also expressed an interest in the catcher, as they were already set for pitching.

After the tournament the Texas coach talked to the girls about possibly arranging an "official visit" before the Oktoberfest recruiting tournament in Lancaster.

The rest of the tournament proved to be very competive for the Haze Gold as the they lost the second game to the San Jose Strikkers 4-2, and went on to lose the next 2 by 1 run each. So, as it goes, the team finished 1-3 for the weekend. "As you can see" said coach Heliotes, "success at the Gold level is measured slightly differently than any other level!"

The Cal Haze Gold team as well as the 18U team are headed for Stockton and the annual Running Rebels fall recruiting tournament this weekend. Some 52 18U Gold and 18U teams will gather together to showcase their players skills in front of over 50 college coaches.

The Haze Gold girls open Saturday morning at 9:30am against number 13 in the nation Southern California Belles Gold, then face the Strikkers Gold at 3:30pm where local talant Liz Hartman and Channee Grant have landed starting positions. They finish the day at 8:00pm against another So Cal powerhouse Flash D' Gold.

Sundays action include a 12:30pm game against the Grappettes from Stockton and finish against the San Jose Lady Sharks with MCAL star Kristen Haines at 3:30pm.

This weekends event is a round robin format with no championship play to allow teams to play into Sunday afternoon maximum college coach exposure.

The California Haze 18 Gold game times for Saturday 9/23 and Sunday 9/24 are as follows;

Saturday

9:00am against the Roseville heat.
1:30am against the Sacramento Hot Styx
6:00pm against the Running Rebels Gold

Sunday

8:00am against the West Bay Nuggets Gold
12:30pm against the San Jose Sharks Gold

The tournament format is a Round Robin and will be played at Louis Park in Stockton. Take the Monte Diablo exit off of Hwy 5 south. Turn right at the end of the exit. The park is on the right a couple of miles down.

Both the California Haze 18 Gold and 18U teams will be traveling to Lancaster to compete in the 9th annual Oktoberfest showcase tournament.

The tournament will support 80 teams and has been full for sometime. The 2 Haze teams are the only teams from the north of the Golden Gate to compete in this prestigeous event!

The California Haze 18U Gold tryouts were a great success on Sunday 8/27. 19 of the best athletes from Sonoma and Marin counties attended to show their skills and try to secure a spot on the top team in the area.

"We had a surprisingly strong turnout" said co-head coach John Heliotes. "I think people are ready for this thing to come together" he boasted. "We were only missing 1 or 2 important players at tryouts and maybe after some time passes they'll join us". "There will always be a spot for them".

Co-head coach Randy Willis said "I was amazed at the amount of top end talent there is right here in our area". "I was very impressed".

The roster should be posted by Monday night and after a parents meeting the team should be full steam ahead. Stay tuned for more from the north bay's powerhouse, CALIFORNIA HAZE GOLD.....

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Send e-mail direct to the staff at:

Fastpitchnut@calhaze.com