Brooklyn Heffernan celebrated her one-year anniversary with the All American Sports Academy-Pikas travel softball team in a big way this past month in Irvine.
The soon-to-be senior at Ceres High School starred at pitcher while leading the Tracy-based 16-and-under squad to a first-place finish at the Premier Girls Fastpitch National Tournament, staged July 23-31.
“My trophy is sitting at my desk,” Heffernan said. “I’ll look over and say, Wow. That really happened. It feels surreal.”
“It’s truly one of the best experiences,” she added. “We wanted it really bad. I knew if we worked hard, we could get it.”
Heffernan posted an 8-0 record with a 1.79 earned-run average at the tournament.
“I put all my effort out there,” she said. “Adrenaline and the girls pushed me to do the best I could every game. I fed of my teammates’ energy. I moved the ball and my defense had my back.”
All American-Pikas won all five of its games in the Platinum Division.
All American-Pikas topped the Wasco Diamonds 3-0 in the title game on July 30.
Heffernan induced a popout to centerfield to end the contest.
“Everyone ran to the mound,” she said. “We were all celebrating, hugging and crying. I’m super proud of our girls.
“We’ve wanted this for a long time and worked hard to get here,” Heffernan added. “We left everything on the field.”
All American-Pikas defeated the Wasco Diamonds 4-2 and Cal A’s 6-5 on July 29, Virginia Glory 3-0 and Arizona Hotshots Day 5-1 on July 28, and All American Mizuno 11-3 on July 26 at OC Great Park.
All American-Pikas amassed a 4-0 record in pool play as it collected wins against Firecrackers Brashear Helms (4-3) and Tampa Mustangs Torres (9-6) on July 25, and Indiana Shockwaves Grayson (2-0) and OC Batbusters Lara Portesi (5-2) on July 24 at Harvard Park.
“It was a really tough tournament,” Heffernan said. “We played a lot of good teams. Every game was a battle.”
Heffernan joined All American-Pikas in 2020 after her previous team, the Firecrackers, disbanded after losing its ace pitcher to college.
She had a successful tryout in Ripon.
“There were scheduled tryouts for other teams,” Heffernan said. “Once I went to Charlie (Pikas’ tryout), I got on that team. I loved the girls and coaching. It felt like a good fit. The trust between us has helped me grow as a pitcher.”
Heffernan will wrap up her prep career at Ceres High next spring.
“I want to enjoy every moment,” she said.
Heffernan made a name for herself at the varsity level as a freshman by being named the Western Athletic Conference’s Most Valuable Player.
She added to her resume this spring when she was voted WAC South Division MVP.
Heffernan posted a 10-0 record in conference play with a 0.88 earned-run average, 118 strikeouts, seven complete games and one save.
She batted .375 on the year with one home run, one triple, seven doubles, 17 RBIs, 22 runs and four stolen bases.
Heffernan had on-base, slugging and on-base plus slugging percentages of .485, .589 and 1.074, respectively.
Heffernan filled a key role in leading Ceres High to its second league title in three years.
The Bulldogs won all 15 of their conference games and amassed a 16-3 overall record.
“She’s the real deal,” Ceres High head coach Mike Corsaut said. “She’s gotten better every year. She works hard. She hates to lose. She’ll do what she has to do to win.”
“I’m grateful for everyone that’s helped me get to where I’m at today—coaches and family,” Heffernan stated. “I definitely give Jimmy (Dyson) a lot of credit. He’s been working with me since I started pitching when I was 9 or 10. He helped me become the pitcher I am today. I put in a lot of work.”
Heffernan originally planned to join Stanislaus State’s softball program in 2023, but changed her plans a month ago.
She wants to pursue a career in nursing or the medical field.
“I’m keeping my options open,” she said. “Right now, I don’t know if I want to stay in state or go out of state. It will depend on once I see a college and if I like it and the area. I’m looking more toward Division-II based on what I want to major in. But going Division-I could be a possibility.”