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By SCOTT HALLMAN
Special to the Citizen
The Gainesville Gold International Softball Team had a well deserved day off today. The following is a note from Head Coach Art Bautista-Hardman about todays activities.
Today was our day off from softball, and our last day with a planned event: the beach and shopping.
The organizers at the AELU chose for us a private beach at the Country Club El Bosque (www.elbosque.org.pe). It has a very nice beach and an enormous salt water pool. The girls played in the Pacific Ocean for a while, and then in the pool, and then had a pleasant lunch. The lunch was the best part for the parents, where they sampled multiple kinds of ceviche (fish, ...squid, octopus, clams), pan seared fish, and fried calamari (Coach Sellers said it's the best he's ever had).
After the beach and lunch, the whole group went to Miraflores to shop for souvenirs, gifts, and mementos of their trip.
After returning to the AELU, the girls had their dinner, and were set a curfew of 9 p.m. Now it's time to focus on tournament ball and to win that trophy.
Day 4 Wednesday
The Gainesville Gold International softball team completed pool play with a 21-0 win over Lima Softbol Wednesday afternoon.
The girls have overcome jet lag and a tough schedule which has included six games against Peruvian and Brazilian teams, team practices, meet and greet sessions, study hall time to keep up with school work, educational tours of museums and archeological sites and scrimmage games to finish pool play 6-0.
The girls have played almost flawlessly scoring more than 70 runs while giving up only 5 in six games. The team will get a well deserved leisure break Thursday before beginning championship play on Friday.
The Gainesville Gold International includes Natalie Alegria, #21, of Fort Lauderdale, Florida Bat Busters Elite; Aleah Bryant, #15, of Live Oak, Gainesville Gold; Cameryn Chang, #12, Fort Lauderdale, Gold Coast Hurricanes; Amanda Chang, #42, Fort Lauderdale, Deerfield Beach Sharks; Molly Crawford, #33, of Starke, Jacksonville Storm; Haley Ellefson, #22, of Branford, Gainesville Gold; Emily Hallman, #1, of Chiefland, Gainesville Gold; Michele Hines, #58, of Jacksonville, Newberry Bandits; Lauryn Markis, #34, of Jacksonville, Gainesville Gold; Nichole McClendon, #2, of Lutz, Gainesville Gold; Harli Phillips, #10, of Starke, Gainesville Gold; and Cameron Trehy, #27, of Bushnell. Head Coach Art Bautista-Hardman, Assistant Coach Jeremy Sellers, Assistant Coach Kaylee Smith and Athletic Trainer Olivia Fernandez.
Day 3(Tuesday) from the AELU-South American Softball Championships.
The Gainesville Gold International is now 5-0 and has outscored their opponents 48-3 with a balance of great hitting, pitching and defense.
Nichole McClendon hit back to back home runs in our win against Brazil in game one and a clutch double play with no outs and the bases loaded in game two against Peru helped keep the winning streak alive.
They will play one game on Wednesday and afterwards take a tour of the ancient Incan Ruins outside Lima.
The players will also have an opportunity to visit some of the local shopping establishments as well.
Day 2 — Monday
Our Team won today against team Peru 23-1. Emily hit a grand slam during the game. We are 3-0 so. We will play 2 games tomorrow in our pool / bracket (similar to brackets used in the Olympic games. Bracket winners will then play each other for the championships. We play 2 games on Tuesday, one against a Peruvian team and one against a Brazilian team.
One of the attached photos is of Emily and teammate Haley Ellefson raising the American Flag during the tournaments opening ceremony.
Day 1 —Sunday
After departing the Miami International Airport Saturday afternoon the plane
carrying the Gainesville Gold International softball team had to suddenly
return to Miami due to mechanical problems. Six hours later the plane finally
departed and arrived in Lima Peru around 3:30 am on Sunday. After clearing
customs, gathering everyone's luggage and travelling to the location where
the team would be staying it was nearly 6:00 am. The team played two games
Sunday. The first at 11:00 am against the local favorite Lima Peru's own AELU
14U and the second at 3:00 pm against Brazil's Tozan Softball. The
Gainesville Gold International won both games 4-2 and 8-0 respectfully to
finish the first day of competition undefeated with only a couple of hours
rest. The tournament will continue Monday and last throughout the week. The
Gainesville Gold International softball team is made up of twelve girls 14
years of age and younger from all over Florida including Emily Hallman from
Scott Hallman is in Peru with is daughter Emily Hallman and is providing these updates from Peru on the Gainesville Gold team.