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.
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