Monday, August 20, 2007

2007 Little League Softball: Final Thoughts

It is raining here in Portland today...kinda feels like Fall, and gives us a kinship with the Lake Oswego LL team at Williamsport who are rained-out today.

It's a good day to wrap-up the 2007 Little League Softball World Series...

Organized youth sports are full of hope and joy and anguish. Thanks to a worldwide audience, Little League is in the spotlight and so is our country's complex relationship with kids and sports. It is important to ask, "What are the kids getting out of all this?"

Here is the diary of a young athlete from the Little League Softball World Series that highlights "the experience of a lifetime."

"Morristown's nickname could be Home of Champions"

And finally, the pictures from the Closing Ceremony are a testament to the notion that all the fuss is about kids...

Thursday, August 16, 2007

LL Softball World Series Wrap-Up

Thanks for hanging with the blog this summer. It has been a real treat to follow the teams and communities that are involved in Little League Softball, especially the final ten that make it to the World Series in Portland. This is the 14th year that Alpenrose has hosted the tournament, and it never looked better.

Many people make this event happen: tournament staff, housing families, field crews, Alpenrose employees...and they are on-site for about two weeks straight. That's a lot of time away from home and family for the benefit of 11-13 year-olds and their families and fans, from all over the world.

I played, coached and umpired Little League Softball at Alpenrose in the late 70's and early 80's. My dad was the manager and my mom was the co-Tournament Director. My poor sister was #1 fan until she started playing herself (and then proceeded to make every eligible All-Star team). Every day I am at the LLSBWS, my dad (the current webmaster) and I run into someone we played ball with or their parents or friends from High School taking their daughters up to watch softball. This is COMMUNITY.

Michele Smith frequently discusses this on the ESPN broadcasts of Little League Softball. These are the best teams that the rules of Little League produce each summer. We are lucky to have her doing the broadcasts, as she is a role model for the players as well as someone who stresses playing the game for fun and with families in your neighborhood.

As for the grass infield at Alpenrose, I know you softball purists are having a fit... But the truth is, the facility is one of the best in the country and a unique opportunity to play in a well-loved, well-cared-for stadium that has "kids" written all over it. It is not a huge park with several dirt fields and played on by slo-pitch mens teams. The grass infield looks great on TV and yes, it does slow the game down, but I don't think it makes a huge difference at this age.

And finally, congrats again to Morristown LL, Tennessee (South), and Elgin LL, Texas (Southwest), for battling through Districts, Regionals and making it back to the LLSBWS and giving us a championship game for the ages. The South team won, 3-2, but in a best of three series, it might have been different -- these were two great teams.

Press Coverage:

The Citizen Tribune (Tennessee)

Elgin Courier

The Oregonian

Beaverton Valley Times (Oregon)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Morristown LL (Tennessee) is 2007 LLSoftball Champ!

The 2007 Little League Softball World Series is in the books...And what a fantastic championship game to end the tournament!

Tonight's final game lived up to its billing: when two undefeated teams meet, something has to give. Both South (Morristown LL, Tennessee) and Southwest (Elgin LL, Texas) sailed through Pool Play and yesterday's semi-final games giving ESPN2 commentators plenty of great softball to talk about. In the end, the South team prevailed 3-2 in the best LLSBWS Championship Game I have ever seen.

Thanks to the young athletes who play Little League Softball -- it is for you that dozens of volunteers work year 'round to present you with an amazing experience as you cap off a signature summer of softball.

Congratulations to all the girls and their families/fans who made it to Portland, Oregon, for this exciting week of play and activities in the Northwest. We are honored to have had you here -- please come back and visit and be sure to say HI!

Championship Day at LLSBWS

All the teams from the 2007 Little League Softball World Series are in action today, starting at 9am, and games about every two hours up until the championship at 6:30pm (PDT) televised live on ESPN2:

Game 23: EMEA (KMC American LL, Ramstein AFB, Germany) vs. Canada (Turtle Club LL, Windsor, Ontario), 9am

Game 24: OregonDist4 (Beaverton Area LL, Beaverton, Oregon) vs. Asia Pacific (ILLAM Central LL, Makati City, Philippines), 11am

Game 25: Latin America (Asofem LL, Maunabo, Puerto Rico) vs. West (Gilroy LL, Gilroy, California), 1pm

Game 26: Central (Gladstone LL, Gladstone, Michigan) vs. East (Waterford South LL, Waterford, Connecticut), 3pm

(a little break to prep fields and prepare for ESPN)

Game 27: South (Morristown Am/Natl LL, Morristown, Tennessee) vs. Southwest (Elgin LL, Elgin, Texas), 6:30pm...winner is 2007 Champion!

Here are some newspaper links about last night's action:

The Morristown Citizen Tribune

The Elgin Courier (Connecticut)

The Daily Press (Michigan) on the semi-final game and meeting Michele Smith

The Portland Oregonian

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

2007 LLSBWS Championship is Set

Congratulations to the teams from Morristown, Tennessee (South) and Elgin, Texas (Southwest), who will meet tomorrow at 6:30pm on ESPN2 to determine the 2007 champion of Little League Softball.

In tonight's first semi-final game, Southwest defeated Central (Gladstone, Michigan), 6-1. Southwest will face the South team, who beat the East (Waterford, Connecticut) team in the 2nd semi-final game of the evening, 10-1. Both South and Southwest battled through the tournament without a loss.

LLSBWS Semi-Final Game #2

Scenes from Alpenrose

Photos from the LLSBWS Semi-Final #1

So Many Good Stories...

The Little League Softball World Series produces so many wonderful stories...stories of cool housing families who give up ten days and devote their home, vehicle and kitchen table to girls from all over the world here to play a softball tournament...

stories of international teams traveling long distances and enjoying Oregon and American culture...

stories of tournament volunteers who spend HOURS up at Alpenrose painting and grilling hamburgers and arranging travel and selling souvenirs and posting scores on websites and faxing press releases to the newspapers...

and raking, cutting, and painting Alpenrose fields so that these girls have their "Field of Dreams" to play on during their memorable experience at the World Series. The fieldwork has been lovingly orchestrated by Mike Hebrard of Athletic Field Design for 15 years...and he wouldn't have it any other way.

Mike and his crew, including former LL ump Bob Proctor (who travels down from Tacoma, Washington, every year to help out) and son Andy, who plays baseball at Feather River College in northern California and literally grew up prepping fields at Alpenrose, begin work on the fields just as soon as the regular league and all-star schedules wrap-up. And since Oregon District 4 is very busy, that doesn't leave much time!

I always enjoy talking about Oregon youth softball and baseball, and sat down with Mike and Bob in between LLSoftbal World Series games to visit about the "Keep America Playing" t-shirts all his guys were wearing. "This is a movement to educate volunteers and coaches about maintaining fields," Mike told me. (more information can be found at I have no problem telling you that Keep America Playing is presented by Turface -- without Turface, we wouldn't be able to play baseball and softball in Oregon. Period.

Because I spend a lot of time around ballparks, I was especially impressed by this effort. Keeping the diamonds safe and playable is essential to a positive experience for the kids. Pride in a community park shows pride in the community and our nation is built on strong communities. (off my soapbox now :)

Field maintenance is usually volunteer dads who are happy to help, but are not experts beyond raking and mowing, maybe one guy is really good with the chalk... Giving leagues and teams some information about how to really care for and extend the life of our fields goes a long way in promoting and preserving our favorite sports of baseball and softball.

When you're watching the semi-final games tonight on ESPN2, think about Mike and Bob and they guys who work behind the scenes to give the girls a Big League Ballpark experience right there in the middle of a working dairy.

Little League Softball in the Spotlight Tonight

By advancing to tonight's semi-finals, teams and fans from Gladstone, Michigan, Elgin, Texas, Morristown, Tennessee, and Waterford, Connecticut, are waking up this morning with excitement as their communities will be featured on the live broadcasts of the Little League Softball World Series tonight on ESPN2. These girls have traveled to the west coast, played softball for six straight days, and now have earned one of the coveted TV games.

But before we get to those games, another one will be played on the main field: the annual All-Star Game! This is another LLSBWS tradition that is really meant to solidify the softball experience for the girls who have made the long trip to Portland, but not playing in the ESPN games. The remaining teams will send three girls to the main field to represent their team and play one last game at 10am.

Michele Smith Sighting!

The ESPN crew was onsite last night scouting the teams and talking to folks at the games.

If you live in the Portland area, consider heading up to Alpenrose tonight. How often can you enjoy kids playing their heart out and watching the workings of a national broadcast for FREE! Plus, the ice cream is wonderful and $2 for a huge bowl of your favorite flavor!

Monday, August 13, 2007

More Monday Night Photos

Monday Night Photos

LLSBWS: Semi-Finals are Set!

Prior to the first pitch in tonight's final pool play game, the West team from Gilroy, California, appeared confident and ready to play. Sitting at 2-1 in the Pool Play, they needed the win to earn a spot in Tuesday's semi-final games. The Central team was 1-2 in the pool, so they needed to win and by a comfortable margin, in order to move on.

An overflowing crowd enjoyed a beautiful evening at Alpenrose Stadium. The Central girls, from Gladstone LL, Michigan, posted five runs in the top of the first inning and the West never recovered. After scoring one run in their half of the inning, Gilroy was held scoreless and the celebration was on! "Wake 'em up," the Michigan fans were yelling into their cell phones as they spread the news that their girls were going to be on TV!

So, the Final Four of the 2007 Little League Softball World Series is set:

Game 21
Southwest (1st in Pool A) versus Central (2nd in Pool B)
4pm, televised live on ESPN2

Game 22
South (1st in Pool B) versus East (2nd in Pool A)
6:30pm, televised live on ESPN2

The winners will face off on Wednesday at 6:30pm in the championship airing live on ESPN2.

Monday Morning Fix

Quick post this morning; I am off to a workshop for my "day job" with the Beaverton School District, but will be up at Alpenrose by the end of the South/Asia-Pacific game. I just wanted to get you this morning's news clips:

Dennis Grall's reports on yesterday's Central vs. Asia-Pacific game and the team from the Philippines

The Oregonian

Morristown moves to 3-0

"Waterford Does Its Part..."

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Lovin' Textmarks!

Just a quick plug for the mobile phone service I have set up here with

That blue box on the right side of this website allows you to sign up and receive scores from the 2007 Little League Softball World Series on your cell phone. There are 22 subscribers as of right now...the service is free, and has worked well. I can send messages from the website or from my own mobile phone, and will continue through the final game on Wednesday night.

As the tournament moves into the final day of Pool Play, Monday games will be critical for final standings and for placement in the semi-final games on Tuesday, airing live on ESPN2.

At the end of play Sunday night, East has finished with a 3-1 record in Pool A. Team Southwest is undefeated at 3-0 and will play Latin America (2-1) at 5:30.

In Pool B, South is undefeated at 3-0, and both West and Asia Pacific are 2-1. Those two teams will square off tomorrow at 2pm in a key game, while South will finish the tournament with the 8pm game versus Central.

If you can't be near a computer tomorrow, sign up for the Textmark service and stay updated on the scores via your mobile phone.

Sunday Morning Media

The games finished early yesterday at the LL Softball World Series to leave the afternoon for a fun tournament tradition: the HomeRun Derby. The girls and sometimes siblings coaches, parents, fans, staff... line up to take a crack at launching one over the Alpenrose main field walls.

The Oregonian covered the event and highlighted Kelli Connors' homerun for the East team from Waterford, Connecticut, on Friday.

Connecticut coverage of the East vs. Southwest game

The Morristown Citizen Tribune (Tennessee) featured the South win over Central yesterday.

Gilroy Dispatch on the West team's win over Asia-Pacific.

"Southwest Remains Undefeated in Pool Play" I always love clicking on the Elgin newspaper website and checking out the temperature there and how hot it is! We are so lucky to have a great week of 75-80 degree weather this week :)

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Wall-to-Wall Little League

I took a little break from softball last night and headed to The Bite of Oregon at Tom McCall Waterfront Park in Portland. We listened to music and enjoyed great "bites" of the best our state has to offer: beef, seafood, microbrews and wine -- delicious.

But I am getting my fill this morning: I have the LL Baseball Midwest Regional on ESPN, and have the LL Softball World Series live boxscore open on my laptop, and the webcast of the same game over the speakers. I'll be heading up to Alpenrose soon, but I am taking it all in while I can. Pity those people that have weddings, family barbeques, etc. today :)

I enjoyed the watching the Central/EMEA game yesterday afternoon. I wanted to meet Dennis Grall, the Michigan reporter who drove out here with his wife to cover the Central team for their local paper. He and I had talked a lot back a few years back when Escanaba LL represented the Central region, but Denny couldn't make the trip.

The Oregonian featured the EMEA team in this morning's paper, and their lack of tournament experience compared to the teams from the United States. The team is made up of American families stationed at the air base in Ramstein, Germany, and I watched as they struggled against pitching faster than they have seen. But I noticed in both their games, they seemed to pull it together after the first inning, settle down, and hit the ball. I would really like to see the Alpenrose crowds appreciate this and take this team under their wing. They represent what this this tournament is all about.

Folks from all over are hanging out up at Alpenrose, all for girls softball. In my wildest dreams as a Little League softballer in the late '70s, I never could have imagined the World Series played there and ESPN coverage, never in a million years. What a blast for these girls and their families...

Friday, August 10, 2007

Friday Morning Media Wrap-Up

The Oregonian ("Puerto Rico Loses Its Opener, But Not Its Way")

Elgin Courier

Daily Press (Michigan) here and here (Vicky Galindo's appearance)

The Day (Connecticut)

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Four Actual Softball Games! :)

Finally, some softball!

Four games were played in the 2007 Little League Softball World Series today. I can only imagine how excited the girls must have been to get out on the field and play some softball.

The day started with a visit from USA Softball's Vicky Galindo throwing out the first pitch and hanging around to sign autographs! With this start to the tournament, the East pitcher Kelli Connors threw a shut-out, and had two hits and an RBI in their victory over Latin America 3-0. Alyssa Hancock's second inning triple knocked in the remaining two runs.

In Game 2, the South team defeated West, 4-1 on the main field. Mallory Black of Morristown, TN, allowed only four hits and recorded six strikeouts in the win.

Alpenrose East field hosted Game 3 with Asia Pacific rolling out to a 13-0 lead over EMEA and holding on for the win.

In the evening's final game, Southwest blew open the bottom of the third inning with seven runs en route to a 13-3 win over Oregon District 4 in Game 4.

On Friday, teams Canada and Central get into the action -- Central will take on EMEA at 2pm, Asia Pacific faces West at 5pm, Canada vs. East at 5:30pm, and Oregon District 4 against Latin America at 8pm. Remember, you can follow the games through the website and live scoring and webcasts.

On a side note, KOIN-TV (Portland's CBS affiliate) featured the LLSBWS during a live segment this evening and featured the Waterford South LL team from Connecticut!

More media:

Beaverton Valley Times

Gilroy Dispatch

TheDay (Connecticut)

More Pix

Fans at the DeMarini Skills Challenge.

More Pix

Yesterday was a great day for autograph trading.

A Few More Pix

Nikki Barteld (Gladstone, MI) throws out the ceremonial first pitch yesterday afternoon. Nikki is officially the 1500th participant in the Little League Softball World Series.

Let the games begin!

At 2pm today, the first pitch in the 2007 Little League Softball World Series will be thrown in Game 1, featuring East (Waterford South LL, Connecticut) vs. Latin America (Asofem Little League, Maunabo, Puerto Rico).

Here's a "Home or Work Viewing Guide" for keeping track of the games and scores if you can't be at Alpenrose:

The website has all the tools to keep you in the action.

From the homepage, click on "Bracket/Results" and then click on the game number. This is where you will find the real-time scoring (click on "Boxscore"), as each game is being scored by hand and laptop. Game photos are also posted here.

Also on the "Bracket/Results" page you can click on "Webcasts" and follow the game via radio webcast.

Don't forget to check out Fun Photos for great pix taken all over the complex during the week (go to "Game Photos"). There are already pictures posted of some of the teams arriving on Tuesday, as well as yesterday's events.

And, as the games unfold and the week wears on, please send us your emails. We will make sure they get printed out and given to the team.

Here is some more morning reading:

The Oregonian ("1 team + 9 kids = Full House")

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The 2007 LL Softball World Series is officially open!

Opening Ceremonies, an Ice Cream Social, and the DeMarini Skills Challenge kept the teams and their fans busy today at the 2007 Little League Softball World Series at Alpenrose Stadium in Portland, Oregon.

All ten teams, umpires, staff and the Cadonau family, owners/operators of Alpenrose Dairy, paraded out onto the Main field today, right after a thrilling fly-over by two jets from the Air National Guard, thanks to the Oregon International Air Show taking place this weekend in nearby Hillsboro. A moving presentation of the American flag, was followed by the singing of the national anthems of Canada, Puerto Rico and the Philippines by each of those representative teams. Lexie Cadonau did the honors for the United States.

In a wonderful surprise, Nikki Barteld of the Central team (Gladstone, Michigan) was brought forward to throw out the first pitch in honor of her being the 1500th participant in the Softball World Series in Portland.

The DeMarini Skills Challenge featured each team sending forth one participant in contests of running, pitching, and hitting. Following the contest, the teams were presented their beautiful new Wilson batting helmets, which match their World Series uniform colors. Very cool.

Today's Clips:

The tournament was again featured in today's Oregonian: "Little League Softball World Series Dream Comes True for Beaverton Girls."

Gilroy LL's march to the World Series

Waterford, Connecticut's send-off featured here

Elgin's "Return Ticket" to the Little League Softball World Series featured here

And finally, my friend Denny Grall's feature on the Gladstone, Michigan team

Photos from Opening Ceremony and More

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Technology and the 2007 Little League Softball World Series

Wi-fi at a softball game? Why not? (pun intended)

I remember when my dad was telling me about the technology he was helping assemble for the Little League Softball World Series and thinking about who on earth would have his/her laptop at a softball game? Then I saw with my own two eyes, reporters and radio people taking advantage of phone lines and wireless internet, and then I sat up at Alpenrose with my own laptop and realized I was in heaven.

Thousands of fans from all over the world can now follow every game from first pitch to last thanks to real-time scoring. All scorekeeping is done on networked laptops as well as official scorebooks. I remember the old days (four years ago :) when my dad would radio me the scores each inning from the fields and I would update the website just as fast and accurately as I could. Never mind details like who pitched and who starred at the plate...

While I sat in the trailer at a computer, I was missing the action on the field. So, now there are five television sets around the grounds for the ESPN broadcasts, and for a closed-circuit feed of games. Overnight, the videos will be digitally captured for DVD sales the next day. So even when fans get up for a hot dog or to buy a souvenir, they won’t miss the action.

For the third year, an audio webcast will be available during the games, and then posted on the web for replay and download.

And back to the Wi-Fi: for the fifth year, the 2007 World Series will have a Wi-Fi network available on all fields to serve staff and fans during the event. There are four Wide Area Network Internet feeds that come in from the local cable company, and with the help of a company broadcasting from the tower of a local TV station on a hilltop about five miles away.

There are four separate Local Area Networks feeding the facility, and for the second year, telephone calls will go out over the Internet. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), provided by a local Internet Telephone Service Provider, will allow the players to call home for free as often as they want.

The games bring the girls together, and the volunteers and technology help to share this excitement with their families and fans.

Congrats to all who made it to the Little League Softball World Series, to those who fought hard and fell short, to those who dream about getting here, and to the moms and dads and volunteers who make it all happen.

Let's play ball!

Links and a Map

Here is a collection of press reports about the Little League Softball World Series and this year's teams:

The hometown paper for the Portland area is The Oregonian. They featured the tournament yesterday in highlighting Gilroy LL's win in the West Regional and their third straight trip to the LLSBWS.

The Elgin LL team's rally before leaving town is featured in the Elgin Courier. Their second trip in two years is featured here.

Great column on Waterford, Connecticut's preparations for the tournament. Answers the question: We won! Woo hoo, now what?

And finally, I took my first stab at Google Maps to show where-from all the teams are coming :)

2007 LLSBWS Hometowns

Team Canada is Turtle Club LL, Ontario!

The teams for the 2007 Little League Softball World Series are set! Canada will be represented by Turtle Club Little League, Windsor, Ontario. Turtle Club LL defeated Nova Scotia yesterday 10-0 to earn the final berth in this year's World Series. Congrats, Turtle Club LL!

Monday, August 06, 2007

"We're Going to Oregon"

The headlines are screaming from small towns across America. Little League softball teams from all over the world are heading to Alpenrose Stadium, which is becoming a storied destination, a la Williamsport.

The Opening Ceremony will take place on Tuesday at 3pm and the "first pitch" kicks off tournament play on Thursday at 2pm when East takes on Latin America.

The 2007 Little League Softball World Series teams are:

Host/District 4: Beaverton Area LL, Beaverton, Oregon

West: Gilroy LL, Gilroy, California

East: Waterford South LL, Waterford, Connecticut

Southwest: Elgin LL, Elgin, Texas

South: Morristown LL, Morristown, Tennessee

Central: Gladstone LL, Gladstone, Michigan

Asia Pacific: ILLAM Central LL, Makati City, Philippines

Latin America: Asofem LL, Maunabo, Puerto Rico

EMEA: KMC American LL, Ramstein AB, Germany

Canada: Ontario (Turtle Club LL, Windsor) is playing Nova Scotia (Sydney Mines and District LL, Sydney Mines) at noon (local time) in Victoria BC, to determine team Canada.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

NorCal is in!

Congrats to Gilroy Little League, the Northern California representative to the Western Regional, as they defeated San Marino National LL, San Marino, California, 6-1 to win the final American berth to the Little League Softball World Series.

One slot remains to be filled: Team Canada.

Tee-"Soft"Ball at the White House

Another reason why Michele Smith rocks!

Congrats Connecticut!

The Little League Softball East Regional winner is Waterford South LL, Waterford, Connecticut.

Welcome to the 2007 Little League Softball World Series!

Friday, August 03, 2007

Elgin LL Wins Southwest Regional

We have another American qualifier for the Little League Softball World Series, and our second returning team for the 2007 tournament: Elgin LL, Elgin, Texas. They defeated Midway LL, Waco, Texas, in the "rubber-match" of the Southwest Regional, 2-1.

Elgin needed to beat Midway twice in the last two days, as Midway defeated them to open the tournament 1-0 on Sunday. Elgin LL and Morristown LL return to Portland to compete again for the world title! Congrats, Elgin!

A Central Champ and an "If Needed" Game

We have a winner from the Central Region: Gladstone LL, Gladstone, Michigan! Congrats!

Gladstone LL defeated Poland LL (Poland, Ohio) this morning, 3-2.

And in the Southwest Region, the last year's LLSBWS representative Elgin LL (Texas) will play tonight in the championship game versus Midway LL (Waco, Texas). Elgin forced the "if needed" game by beating Midway last night 5-2.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

LLSBWS: One Week to Go!

Exactly one week from today, the Little League Softball World Series will begin play at Alpenrose Stadium in Portland, Oregon.

Several teams have already qualified for the 2007 Tournament:

1) Beaverton Area Little League -- host/District 4 (Oregon) winner

2) Morristown Am/Nat LL, Morristown, Tennessee -- South Region winner

3) ILLAM Central LL, Makati City, Philippines -- Asia Pacific Region winner

4) KMC American LL, Ramstein AFB, Germany -- EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) Region winner

5) Asofem Little League, Maunabo, Puerto Rico -- Latin America Region winner

Regional Tournaments still playing out:

1) Central Region: semi-final games are today, with teams from Rock Falls, Illinois; Sellersburg, Indiana; London, Kentucky; Poland, Ohio; Gladstone, Michigan; and Appleton, Wisconsin, still alive. Championship game scheduled for Friday morning.

2) West Region: Pool play continues today, with the championship game on Sunday.

3) East Region: Semi-final games tomorrow feature New York (Mid-Island LL, Staten Island) vs. New Jersey (Pequannock LL) and Connecticut (Waterford South LL) vs. Massachusetts (Lynn Wyoma LL).

4) Southwest Region: This is a game I would love to see! Texas West (Midway LL, Waco) will play Texas East (Elgin LL) in the championship game today. West beat East 1-0 in an earlier tournament game and East came back through the losers bracket with revenge on its mind.

5) Canada: Teams from Ontario (Turtle Club LL, Windsor), British Columbia (Beacon Hill LL, Victoria), Nova Scotia (tbd), and the host team (Hampton LL, Victoria, BC) will begin play tomorrow in Victoria.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Some Softball Tidbits

Just some random thoughts today...

1) was super impressed with the turnout and atmosphere of the (Oregon) District 4 tournament last Sunday...great idea to acknowledge the sportsmanship winners and invite all levels back that night before the championship game...LOVED the way the girls and their families were enjoying softball and a late summer evening at Alpenrose

2) on the same note, I LOVE awarding unique Sportsmanship pins to the winners over a trophy that sits in the coach's house, and different from the LL District pin that all participants is a picture of this pin that recognizes fair play, District 4 and Alpenrose, a true gem of a park (oops, I'm working on that picture)

3) every time I am at Alpenrose, I run into friends from high school and from playing ball there myself...we are now parents of kids playing there, and to a person, if you ask about what they remember about playing LL, it is playing at Alpenrose...take that, "Big League Dreams Parks" :)

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Congrats to Beaverton Area Little League!

The Little League Softball World Series has its first American qualifier: Beaverton Area Little League! BALL defeated Tualatin City LL this evening 11-2 to win the (Oregon) District 4 Championship and secure the automatic berth to the LLSBWS next month at Alpenrose.

Scenes from the (Oregon) District 4 Championship at Alpenrose

Regionals Underway

I will be at Alpenrose today to cover the 11/12 softball District 4 (Oregon) championship at 3:30pm, where Beaverton Area LL will take on Tualatin City LL, and the winner will play in the Little League Softball World Series. In the meantime, Regionals are underway and some opening games are being played across the river in Vancouver, Washington (about 20 minutes from downtown Portland).

Western Regionals (website)

When: July 28-August 5
Where: Vancouver, WA (hosted by Washington District 4)
Bracket: link

In yesterday's action, Evergreen LL (host) beat Dimond-West LL (Anchorage, Alaska) 7-6 in eight innings. Also, San Marino National LL (SoCal) beat Snow Canyon LL (Santa Clara, Utah) 2-1. Four games are scheduled for today:

Oregon (Milton Freewater LL) vs. Washington (Stilly Valley LL, Arlington) at 10:30am

Idaho (Lewiston Am/Nat LL) vs. Montana (Boulder Arrowhead/Big Sky LL, Billings) at 1pm

NoCal (Gilroy LL) vs. Nevada (Elko Softball LL) at 3:30pm

SoCal vs. Arizona (Sunnyside Little League, Tucson) at 6pm

Central Regionals

When: July 30-August 5
Where: Joplin, Missouri (District 2)
Bracket: link

There are three pools in this tournament and games begin tomorrow.

East Regionals (website)

When: July 28-August 4
Where: Albany, New York (District 13)
Bracket: link

In yesterday's games,
New York (Mid-Island LL, Staten Island) beat Delaware (Laurel Little League), 4-2

New Jersey (Pequannock Township LL) beat Pennsylvania (West Point Little League, Greensburg), 4-1

Connecticut (Waterford South LL) beat Maine (Sanford/Springvale LL, Orrington), 2-1

Rhode Island (Cumberland National LL) beat New Hampshire (Auburn Little League), 8-0

Massachusetts (Wyoma LL, Lynn) beat Vermont (Missisquoi LL, Enosburg Falls), 5-0

Southern Regionals (website)

When: July 27-August 1
Where: St. Petersburg, Florida
Bracket: link

This tournament began last Friday and features two pools, concluding play today and the semifinal games tomorrow. I LOVE that boxscores are available for these games. Here are today's winners:

West Virginia (Barboursville LL) defeated North Carolina (Franklin Little League), 5-1

South Carolina (Simpsonville LL) defeated Alabama (Sylacauga Softball LL), 14-1

Later today, Georgia (Oconee County Am/Natl LL, Watkinsville) will take on Tennessee (Morristown Am/Natl LL), and Florida (Palma Ceia/Tampa Bay/Interbay LL, Tampa Bay) will play Virginia (Elkton Community LL).

Southwestern Regionals (website)
note: this is a fantastic LL website!

When: July 28-August 2
Where: San Antonio, Texas (District 19)
Bracket: link

This region always produces powerful Little League Softball teams, with seven teams playing in a traditional double elimination tournament. Yesterday's games:

Texas West (Midway LL, Waco) over New Mexico (Eastdale LL, Albuquerque), 11-1

Colorado (Montrose Little League) over Arkansas (Pine Bluff American Eastern LL), 8-3

Louisiana (Lake Charles Softball LL) over Host (Northside Suburban LL, San Antonio), 5-3

In today's action, Texas West will square off against Texas East (Elgin LL), Colorado vs. Louisiana, and Arkansas vs. the Host team from San Antonio.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

District 4 (Oregon) 11/12 Softball Semifinals

The semifinal games today at Alpenrose for the (Oregon) District 4 Majors Softball featured Beaverton Area LL vs. Sunset Park LL at 1pm, and Cedar Mill LL vs. Tualatin City LL at 3:30pm. Winners play for the District championship on Sunday at 3:30 and for a direct berth to the Little League Softball World Series!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Back from Vay-Kay

Lots of Little League Softball is being played around the world...but we had to have a vacation :)

Thanks to my 20th college reunion, we ventured to northern California and enjoyed the company of friends in good spirits and warm weather. We are home and catching up on "scores and more."

The District 4 (Oregon) 11/12 tournament is well underway at Alpenrose. This is the district's premier softball tournament, with the winner receiving a direct bid to the Little League Softball World Series in August, hosted by District 4. The district website has updated scores. There are only five leagues represented in this year's tournament: Sunset Park LL, Cedar Mill LL, Beaverton Area LL, Tualatin City LL and SunCreek LL. Games tonight include Sunset Park vs. BALL at 5pm, and Tualatin City vs. SunCreek at 7:30pm, both on the main field.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Oregon State 9/10 and 10/11 Softball Results

While we wait for the District 4 (Oregon) 11/12 Softball tournament to start on July 23, I can update you on the 9/10 and 10/11 State Tournaments that have concluded in Redmond, Oregon. Here are the 9/10 teams that qualified:

District 1 (Scappoose LL)
District 2 (Centennial LL)
District 3 (Pendleton LL)
District 4 (Tigard LL)
District 5 (Redmond LL)
District 6 (Ore-Cal LL)
District 7 (Cascade LL)
District 8 (Brookings Harbor LL)
District 9 (West Emerald Valley LL)

In yesterday's final game, Redmond LL defeated Brookings Harbor LL 17-7 to be crowned Oregon State 9/10 Softball Champs!

Only four districts sent teams to the State 10/11 Softball Tournament:

District 9 (McKenzie LL)
District 7 (Keizer LL)
District 2 (Centennial LL)
District 8 (Gold Valley LL)

McKenzie LL and Centennial LL played in the championship game yesterday, with McKenzie winning 13-8.

Congrats to Redmond and McKenzie!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Forest Grove LL Sweeps Honors!

Congratulations to the new District 4 (Oregon) Honors Softball Champs, crowned tonight at Alpenrose:

9/10 Honors Championship Game:
Forest Grove LL 9, Southwest Portland LL 6

11/12 Honors Championship Game:
Forest Grove LL 13, Tualatin City LL 7

The Majors Softball tournament begins July 23 at Alpenrose.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

District 4 (Oregon) Honors Tournaments

I'm a little behind recording for you the scores for the 9/10 and 11/12 District 4 Honors tournaments taking place at Alpenrose:

July 8:

9/10 Softball
game 3: Tigard LL 21, Murrayhill LL 20
game 4: Southwest Portland LL 10, Sunset Park LL 8

11/12 Softball
game 5: Forest Grove LL 14, Tualatin City LL 5

Forest Grove advances to the championship game tonight!

9/10 Softball, Tuesday July 10:
game 9: Tualatin City LL vs. Southwest Portland LL, 5pm Main field
game 10: Forest Grove LL vs. Tigard LL, 5:15pm East field

11/12 Softball, Tuesday, July 10
Tualatin City LL vs. Forest Grove LL, 7:30pm Main field
If FG wins, they are District 4 Champions! If TC wins, they will play again on Wednesday, July 11, 7:30pm Main field.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Oregon State Softball Tournament Info

Thanks to Phyllis in Oregon District 5, I have the bracket and field information for the State 9/10 and 10/11 Softball Tournaments:

When: July 14th -17th, 2007

Where: Redmond, Oregon (Bowlby Park)

Bracket: link

Good luck to all the girls at State, please drive safely, and have fun!

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Tigard LL: 9/10 Softball Champs!

In tonight's championship game of the District 4 (Oregon) 9/10 Softball tournament, Tigard LL beat Beaverton Area LL 22-11.

Tigard LL will move on to the State Tournament in Redmond, Oregon, July 13-16. Congratulations!

Softball Scores, We got 'em!

The District 4 (Oregon) 9/10 Softball Championship round will be played today following the semifinal games last evening at Alpenrose:

Game 7: Tigard LL 20, Cedar Mill LL 2

Game 8: Beaverton Area LL 16, Tualatin City LL 7

Tigard LL will play Beaverton Area LL at 5pm today on the main field at Alpenrose. The winner advances to the State tournament in Redmond, Oregon!

Game 9, at 2:30pm, will feature Cedar Mill LL vs. Tualatin City LL for 3rd and 4th place in District.

Friday, July 06, 2007

9/10 Softball Scores for July 5, 2007

Scores from the District 4 (Oregon) 9/10 Softball tournament at Alpenrose last night:

Game 5: Tigard LL 13, Tualatin City LL 3

Game 6: Beaverton Area LL 23, SunCreek LL 6

These games conclude Pool Play. Tonight's action begins the march to the championship on the main field at Alpenrose:

Tigard LL vs. Cedar Mill LL, 5pm

Beaverton Area LL vs. Tualatin City LL, 7:30pm

Here is a link to local newspaper coverage.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Oregon District 4 Softball Information

Greetings to all of you Little League Softball fans! You have found the site devoted to Little League Softball specifically, and softball in general. I live in the Portland area, and will be following as many tournaments I can up to the grand finale around here, the 2007 Little League Softball World Series, August 9-15.

Based on some Google traffic, I am rounding up some information regarding the Oregon District 4 Softball tournaments for local fans:

9/10 District 4 Softball Tournament
(hosted by Danelle Wiese/Oregon District 4)

When: July 2-7
Where: Alpenrose Dairy Stadium
Bracket: link

Pool Play began Monday night, with the scores available in blog entries below. The Championship game will be Saturday, July 7, 5pm, on the main field.

11/12 District 4 Softball Tournament
(hosted by Oregon District 4)

When: July 23-27
Where: Alpenrose Dairy Stadium
Bracket: link

Pool Play opens Monday, July 23rd with Sunset Park LL vs. Tualatin City LL at 5pm, and Cedar Mill LL vs. SunCreek LL at 7:30, on the main field.

The winner of this tournament advances directly to the Little League Softball World Series as the host representative!

ESPN2 will again provide a live broadcast of three games from Alpenrose this year: the semi-final match-ups on Tuesday, August 14, and the Championship Game, August 15 at 6:30pm.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

District 4 (Oregon) 9/10 All-Stars Scores

The main diamond at Alpenrose hosted the second night of the 9/10 All-Star Softball tourney last evening. Here are scores:

Game 3: Cedar Mill LL 15, SunCreek LL 0

Game 4: Tualatin City LL 12, Murrayhill LL 2

District 4 Softball and Baseball teams have the day off from tournament action (I don't know about practices :) to celebrate the Fourth of July with family and friends.

Wishing you all a safe and enjoyable holiday! Tomorrow, the District 4 (Oregon) 10/11 Baseball tourney begins at West Union field, as the 9/10 Softball and Baseball teams continue Pool Play.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Let the Games Begin! (07 Version)

This week, tournament action kicks off in our own Oregon District 4. Here are the Monday night results:

9/10 All Stars:

Tigard LL 16- Murrayhill LL 7

Beaverton Area LL 14 - Cedar Mill LL 0

Here is a link to their bracket:

Oregon District 4 9/10 Softball Bracket

(thanks to Cedar Mill LL for the link and nicely updated website!)

Tuesday's games at Alpenrose (7/3/07):

Cedar Mill LL vs. SunCreek LL (5pm, main field)

Murrayhill LL vs. Tualatin City LL (7:30pm, main field)

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Women's College World Series

Wow! I'm watching the Texas A&M vs. Baylor Women's College World Series (WCWS) game on ESPN right now and heard announcer Beth Mowin's Shout-Out to the Little League Softball World Series in Portland!

Here's the connection: Baylor University is located in Waco, Texas. Waco is also home to Midway Little League, who from 1992 to 2004 were LLSBWS champions 12 times! Baylor is the 2005 NCAA Women's Basketball Champ, with Coach Kim Mulkey. As reported by Holly Rowe in the stands at the game, Coach Mulkey visited the LLSBWS a few years ago when her daughter was on the Waco team, and gave a recent pep talk to the Baylor team.

I know the weather is finally getting summer-like, and you're all probably playing or coaching games this weekend, but try to catch some of these WCWS on ESPN. This is just awesome coverage for a game that shows well, moves quickly, and highlights the highest level of competition and ability short of maybe the Olympic team.

The WCWS blog adds fun info to the game details.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Highlighting a Local LLSBWS Alum

Sometimes you can just tell that a certain young athlete is special. You can tell by the way she talks with adults AND teammates. You can tell by how she acts when she's off the diamond. You can tell by the ease of her movements on the diamond. I remember seeing Paige Hall in the LLSBWS and thinking she was a special young athlete.

The daily Oregonian offered a story yesterday on the now-high-school-junior who led her team to a state championship last year and later discovered a heart condition that required surgery last Thanksgiving. Her courage and resiliancy are a credit to her and her family.

And she also credits her experience at the Little League Softball World Series for providing that spark to devote energy to her sport and a goal to pitch at the college level. She has already verballed to Oregon State, who are currently ranked no. 15 in the nation.

Know what's even cooler? I have seen her back up at Alpenrose during the following tournaments enjoying the games and greeting fans and friends.

She's a class act, and almost makes me want to root for her team, the Jesuit Crusaders, even though I played softball for cross-town rival, Beaverton!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Colleges Host Little League Softball Days

I'm so excited to see yet another collaboration between younger and older softball players as evidenced by the announcement that several collegiate programs will host "Little League Softball Days" this spring.

The events will take place in all parts of the country, and on different dates. Here is a summary:

1. St. Mary's University (San Antonio, TX): March 24 vs. Texas A&M-Kingsville

2. Susquehanna University (Selinsgrove, PA): March 31 vs. Moravian College

3. University of South Florida (Tampa): April 1 vs. Villanova University

4. University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia): April 7 vs. Yale University

5. Cleveland State University (Ohio): April 15 vs. Wright State University

6. Florida Atlantic University (Boca Raton): April 21 vs. University of Louisiana-Monroe

7. University of Arizona (Tucson): April 22 vs. University of Oregon

8. Baylor University (Waco, TX): April 28 vs. University of Missouri

9. University of Washington (Seattle): April 28 vs. University of Oregon

10. University of Massachusetts (Amherst): May 5 vs. Fordham University

11. Youngstown State University (Canfield, OH): May 5 vs. Loyola University (Chicago)

Tip of the visor to these collegiate programs for hosting the Little League athletes and volunteers in a fun afternoon of a common love: the game of softball.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Little League Softball: Why Not?

Happy St. Patrick's Day and happy March Madness and Happy Spring! With most Little League teams knee-deep in practice and preparing for the upcoming Opening Day games in April, the weather is warming and the barrage of information and opinion starts to fly regarding Little League and ASA and travel ball and what should we do?

Here is my annual "Statement on Little League Softball" based on my years playing, coaching, umpiring, observing and generally being a fan of youth sports generally, and Little League specifically:

I am a fan of low cost, local youth softball.

It's just that simple -- I have nothing against travel teams and nothing against ASA and such. But I am always asked "why should I do Little League?" and I want to answer "why not?" Here is an opportunity to play games at your local school field and be provided a uniform and equipment for a reasonable cost.

Youth sports are multi-billion dollar industry with camps and $400 bats and a Blackberry necessary for finding fields 90 minutes away for a 7am game and fewer KIDS have the opportunity to play because they cannot be a part of this machine.

In order to have to team sports, you must have another team to play, as well as TEAMMATES. These kids are in your neighborhoods and your classrooms and it is our responsibility to roll out the welcome mat at our ballfields. Kids become more connected to other kids, families become more connected to other families, families become more connected to the ballfields and a community becomes stronger when youth sports are available to any child who wishes to participate.

Have a great season, and check back for more Little League Softball info leading up to the Little League Softball World Series in August.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

LL Softball + Chicago + NPFL = More Opportunity!

Little League announced a new partnership with the Chicago Bandits of the National Professional Fastpitch Softball League aimed at bringing the benefits of Little League Softball to the children of Chicago!

Joining forces and promoting LL Softball can only be a win-win for both organizations -- the Bandits foster their local fan base and community support, while the LL Softballers will enjoy top-notch competition and tips from seasoned players.

A "Little League Softball Day" has been tentatively scheduled for Aug. 15-18 during a home stand with the Rockford (Ill.) Thunder.

GREAT news to kick off the 2007 as practices begin this week all over Little League Land.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Little League Softball World Series Tournament Sites

With the recent news of ESPN expanding its coverage of Little League World Series tournaments to include other divisions outside of the major league level (typically 11-12 year olds), you might be interested to know where the tournaments are located. Here is a quick breakdown of the towns who will enjoy the presence of ESPN and exposure for the girls who make it to these great tournaments:

Little League Softball World Series
playing age: 11-12 years old
location: Portland, Oregon

Junior League Softball World Series
playing age: 13-14 years old
location: Kirkland, Washington (outside Seattle)

Senior League Softball World Series
playing age: 15-16 years old
location: Sussex County, Deleware

Tournaments begin in August 2007 and of course, we will be following them here at :)

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Michele Smith Clinic in San Bernardino, CA

If any of you are lucky enough to live in the Inland Empire area of Southern California, Olympic Gold Medalist Michele Smith will be putting on a clinic at the Little League Western Region headquarters on Sunday, February 11.

Details can be found on this flyer.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

ESPN Coverage: 8 More Years + Additional Games

Little League Inc. announced this month an extension to the agreement with cable sports giant ESPN for broadcasting of LL World Series games for the next eight years.

In addition, more division championships within the Little League structure will be telecast to ESPN's worldwide audiences. This is great news for the LL Softball World Series in Portland, where the semifinals and championship games will again be televised. But also check your listings for the championship games of the following tournaments to be televised on ESPN or ESPN2:

Junior League Softball (13-14-year-old girls), at Kirkland, Wash., Aug. 12-18

Senior League Softball (14-16-year-old girls), at Lower Sussex, Del., Aug. 5-11
Big League Softball (16-18-year-old girls), at Kalamazoo, Mich., Aug. 13-18

Junior League Baseball (13-14-year-olds), at Taylor, Mich., Aug. 12-18
Senior League Baseball (14-16-year-olds), at Bangor, Maine, Aug. 12-18
Big League Baseball (16-18-year-olds), at Easley, S.C., July 28-Aug. 4

Congratulations to Little Leaguers and the volunteers who spend the summer preparing for a great tournament atmosphere, that is obviously popular with television audiences!