Chestnut retires all three batters faced in All-American game
By Kyle Salomon,
When Mustang senior Jayden Chestnut isn’t striking out batters from other high schools around the area, she is striking out some of the top batters across the country.
The hard-throwing right-hander was selected out of thousands of girls to compete in the Triple Crown High School All-American Softball Game July 2 in Colorado.
There were 120 teams competing at the weeklong national tournament and no more than two players were chosen to compete in the All-American game from each squad. Chestnut was one of two players nominated to play from the Oklahoma Exclusive, which is her select softball team.
“It was a really cool experience,” Chestnut said. “I was able to play against some of the best players in the country. Almost everyone that played in that game is committed to play D-1 softball in college. It was cool to be a part of that game.”
Chestnut was more than just a part of “that game.” The University of Oklahoma commit pitched one inning in the contest. She retired all three batters she faced by getting the first two hitters to ground out. Chestnut closed out her inning by striking out the final batter she faced.
Chestnut and the rest of the Oklahoma Exclusive softball team competed in the Triple Crown College Showcase Tournament. The tournament lasted one week, starting June 30 and concluding July 6 in Aurora, Colo.
The Oklahoma Exclusive played 11 total games between pool play and the bracket rounds. The Oklahoma squad took fifth place overall in the event.
Chestnut made six appearances in the circle during the weeklong tournament. She made five starts and one relief appearance. Chestnut won all five of her starts in the circle and in her relief appearance came in to stop the bleeding against the Texas Glory, a top-five team in the nation.
Chestnut held the high-powered Texas team at bay, holding them scoreless after they put seven runs on the starting pitcher. It wouldn’t be enough for the Exclusive to make a comeback, however, as the hill was too steep to climb and they fell 7-6 to take fifth in the tournament out of 120 teams.
The pitcher’s circle wasn’t the only place Chestnut was successful in the tournament. Last Saturday, against a team called the Sudden Impact, facing a pitcher that she is going to be teammates with at OU, Chestnut hit a walk-off home run, breaking the 3-3 tie and giving the Exclusive the win.
“Doing that against my future teammates at OU was pretty awesome,” Chestnut said. “Two players from that team are committed to OU as well, so to beat them like that was a lot of fun.”
Chestnut said playing in big tournaments like the Triple Crown College Showcase is a lot of fun because it brings a tough challenge.
“It’s really difficult,” she said. “I like the challenge, though. I’m going against players that I am going to eventually face in college. A lot of players that come to these tournaments are going to pay D-1 softball. It’s also really cool getting the opportunity to play with some of the top players from around the Oklahoma City area.
“Select softball and high school softball are different in a lot of ways. It’s hard to compare them, but I definitely love doing both.”
Chestnut has one more select softball tournament this summer when the Oklahoma Exclusive competes at the national tournament at the end of July. School ball for Mustang will be her main focus following nationals.