The city of La Verne has rallied around its superstar Little League softball players after the team went undefeated en route to capturing a berth in the Little League Softball World Series.
“Our whole team gets along really well and you don’t see that in a lot of teams,” said 12-year-old Baily Osborne.
Undefeated and World Series-bound the little leaguers from La Verne attributed their success to one aspect: their tight-knit chemistry.
“We have really good chemistry and we’ve known each other for a really long time,” said 12-year-old Laney Sweeney.
The chemistry between the girls is clear as day whether it’s on the field or just playing around.
“We have so much fun together,” said 13-year-old Layla Washington. “Put us anywhere and we’ll have fun with each other.
The ladies’ run to the World Series has been a whirlwind of events with many of the girls playing together for most of their careers.
“I’ve been playing 6-8 years now,” said 13-year-old Ryan Torres. “It’s been a journey but I’ve been dreaming about making it to North Carolina my whole life so I’m really excited.”
Now in middle school, this will be the final chance to capture the coped trophy for many of the girls on the team.
After losing to Arizona in the semi-finals last year, the ladies came roaring back with a vengeance, defeating them twice in regionals — two of which were mercy wins.
“If you have 15 runs over them by the third inning the game is over, or ten after the fourth inning,” said 13-year-old Ava Fisher.
Aside from their stellar chemistry, the team attributes their success to their potent offense.
“Probably hitting, our offense has been really good,” said 12-year-old Bailey Osborne. “We have a strong defense too so it’s nice.
The girls are a pitcher’s nightmare with sluggers in their entire lineup.
“If it isn’t the one through five [batters] that put up runs it’s the six, seven, eight and nine batters,” said manager Kristen Torres. “We’re probably a pitcher’s worst nightmare, our lineup.”
The La Verne Little Leauge Softball team will be heading to North Carolina on Thursday to get ready for their first game in the World Series on Tuesday.
“This is my life dream!” said 12-year-old Adrienne Ortiz.
“It’s special because we’re some of the first softball girls to do this and we’ve gotten pretty far,” added Sweeney.
The team set up two fundraising pages to help pay for not only the equipment and food needed for the trip but to also make sure that their families can make the cross-country trip with them.
“It does help with travel fees,” said Torres. “As you know it’s really high and not everyone can afford to get out there and it would be pretty sad because of funds they couldn’t support their kids.”
But as the grownups work on that, the young ladies from La Verne have focused on having fun, because just making it to the World Series was a win they will cherish for a lifetime.