Congratulations to Payden Bordeau, Shelbi Ortiz, Britton Rogers and Thessa Malau’ulu on being named to the Extra Innings Softball Extra Elite 100 for the Class of 2020. This a great and well deserved honor for these amazing players. All excerpts below are courtesy of Extra Innings Softball.
Thessa is super smooth on defense at third base and with the bat can slap or hit for power on the left side. Tony Rico of the Firecrackers says: “She has matured her game and is ready for UCLA.” She certainly has the pedigree to excel at the next level: her father, George, was a standout quarterback at Arizona from 1989-to-1992 and her older sister Chloe had a strong freshman season at Mississippi State in 2019. The pair, in fact, played together at St. Anthony (Long Beach, California) High to win the CIF Southern. Section Div. VI title in 2017 along with another pair of 2020 Extra Elite 100 players, Tiare Jennings and Zaida Puni. Thessa had a huge year as a junior, hitting .508 with a .549 on-base percentage and only struck out twice in 72 plate appearances. The soon-to-be Bruin also only committed one error to finish with a .971 fielding percentage.
Britton joined the prestigious Firecrackers-Rico/Weil team this fall after a three-year stint with Firecrackers-Sewell out of Georgia. The daughter of former NCAA Player of the Year Courtney Blades-Rogers, Britton is a right-hander who throws her riseball at three levels and has a devastating off-speed pitch to keep hitters at bay. The Texas senior throws in the low-to-mid 60’s and is a true competitor on the field. After a stellar summer in 2018, leading her team to a 3rd place finish at PGF, Britton continued to dominate in the Lone Star State during high school ball with Cypress Ranch (Cypress, Texas) High. She was nearly perfect during her high school season running her strikout count over 200 in 129 innings with a 0.38 ERA. Britton was sidelined for most of the summer, but is back with her trainer and will be taking the mound for Firecrackers in November. She verbally committed to Georgia in December of 2016. You can learn more about this second generation pitcher headed to play for Lu Harris-Champer by clicking HERE.
Shelbi was dinged up and didn’t play a full season at Huntington Beach (California) High last spring, but she came back strong over the summer and had a great week at PGF Nationals. She’s developed into one the best players in Tony Rico’s organization as “she has turned the corner,” according to one coach, “and is now a legit lead-off hitter and center fielder.” Shelbi is a 3-tool lefty hat has worked on setting the tone and running the field. Tony Rico himself says: “Shelbi has elevated her game and should do great things for Utah.”
Payden has made the transition to Tony Rico and Rob Weil’s national team for her last season of travel ball after three years with powerhouse Firecrackers-Sewell out of Georgia. Payden’s numbers were stellar in 2019 as she hit .389 with 12 home runs over the travel ball season. She did not compete during her spring season of high school ball at Lake Brantley (Altamonte, Florida) High due to a knee injury, but turned it up over the summer to make up for lost time. She didn’t allow a single runner to steal on her during the 2019 PGF Nationals tourney and the ones who attempted were usually gunned down immediately. Payden continues to impress behind the plate with her framing skills and ability to get strikes for her pitchers. She committed to Georgia in July 2017.