Friday, August 21, 2009

Post-Tournament Wrap-Up

Here's a huge THANK YOU to the volunteer staff and umpires of the 2009 Little League Softball World Series. The tournament is a once-in-a-lifetime experience (or twice-in-a-lifetime for some kids :) that makes everye effort to cater to the players, coaches and families from the ten teams who make it through the summer of qualifying levels: District, Section, State, Regional and finally, WS.

Through 20 Pool Play Games and then bracket/consolation play, we have been treated to outstanding softball and sportsmanship from all the teams. It is an honor to play here and it has been an honor to showcase their efforts.

One team emerged the Champion: Warner Robins American Little League, Warner Robins, Georgia, representing the Southeast Region. They returned home heroes yesterday, but all the girls are heroes in my book...

Thanks to everyone for a great week!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Southeast: The 2009 LLSBWS Champ!

Warner Robins American Little League (Georgia), representng the Southeast, needed only four innings to defeat Crawford Little League (Texas, representing the Southwest) in tonight's 2009 Little League Softball Championship, winning 14-2.

Georgia becomes the third champion in a row to come from the South (now named Southeast) region. The 2008 winner, South Carolina, followed the 2007 winner, Tennessee.

2009 LLSBWS: Final Day

Alpenrose is hopping all day with the final day of activities at the 2009 Little League Softball World Series in Portland, Oregon.

Games 23-26 determine consolation slots for the eight remaining teams. The 3rd place game takes place at noonPDT on the main field.

"Game 27"

This innocuous number represents The Championship. The 2009 Little League Softball World Series champion will be the winner of Game 27. Oh, and Game 27 will be televised live on ESPN2 at 4pmPDT.

Please note that due to contract restrictions, games telecast by ESPN2 cannot also be webcast. You can, however, follow the live scorebook on the internet on the website.

Closing Ceremonies

Immediately following tonight's championship, the 2009 LLSBWS will end with the Closing Ceremonies. All of the players will be invited back out onto the field to applause and a huge thanks from all those involved.

Tomorrow, everyone heads home and Alpenrose is cleaned up and readied for Fall Ball :)

Wednesday Morning Links

The local Portland Oregonian put together a video that really captures the sights and sounds of the week at Alpenrose:

"Warner Robins Eager to Help Make History at Little League Softball World Series"

"Warner Robins Softball Team Reaches Final"

A Warner Robins Photo Gallery

"Slow Start Dooms Pioneers"

"Crawford Girls Storm into Little League Softball World Series Final"

"West Point Falls in National Semifinals"

More Pix From the Semifinals

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Monday, August 17, 2009

2009 Semifinals Set

After tonight's thrilling final game of Pool Play, tomorrow's semifinal match-ups are now set:

Game 21
Southwest (Texas) vs. Central (Michigan)

Game 22
Southeast (Georgia) vs. East (Pennsylvania)

Congrats to all the teams!

Monday Morning Links + Schedule Notes

Some Links:

"Cros-Lex Rolls Again"

"Nunaka Loses to Italy; Plays Again Monday"

"WRALL Girls Defeat Italy"

"WRALL Softball Cruises Along"

"West Point Reaches Series Semifinal"

"LLSBWS: West Point Holds on for Victory"

Monday's Schedule

Game 17
Southeast (Georgia) vs. Asia-Pacific (Guam)
2pmPDT, Main Field

Game 18
Host/Oregon District 4 (Beaverton) vs. Canada (Ontario)
5pmPDT, Main Field

Game 19
Southwest (Texas) vs. Latin America (Curacao)
5:30pmPDT, East Field

Game 20
Central (Michigan) vs. West (Alaska)
8pmPDT, Main Field

Today's games conclude Pool Play for the 2009 Little League Softball World Series. After tonight's final game, the top two teams of each pool will meet with ESPN and tournament officials to go over tomorrow's semifinal games, broadcast live on ESPN2.

Tuesday, a Big Day

On Tuesday, the day begins with the All-Star Game at 10amPDT on the Main Field at Alpenrose. The All-Star game is a LLSBWS original: players from the six eliminated teams join together to play six innings with the managers in the stands :) A highlight every year, this fun game is played with official umpires and gives the girls a chance to mix and mingle, play ball, and do so without the managers and coaches directing!

All the teams then enjoy a huge barbeque hosted by the Cadonau family, owners and operators of Alpenrose Dairy, where the stadium and fields are located.

ESPN will set up during the day and the complex begins to change...Musco brings in more powerful lights (necessary for the nighttime broadcasts), the ESPN trucks and towers are operational and ESPN staff and commentators begin to roam the grounds.

The semifinal games are as followed:

Semifinal Game 21
Pool A #1 vs. Pool B #2

Semifinal Game 22
Pool A #2 vs. Pool B #1

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sunday Night Wrap-Up

The teams have played four days of Pool Play in the 2009 Little League Softball World Series, and many of the fun events are in the books, so the games finish early and staff and coaches are treated to an Oregon specialty back at the tournament hotel: barbequed salmon.

Here are the standings through Sunday:

Pool A
Southwest 3-0
East 3-1
Oregon District 4/Host 1-2
Latin America 1-2
Canada 0-3

Pool B
Southeast 3-0
Central 2-1
EMEA 2-2
West 1-2
Asia Pacific 0-3

Monday's games
Game 17: Southeast vs. Asia Pacific
Game 18: ORD4 vs. Canada
Game 19: Southwest vs. Latin America
Game 20: Central vs. West

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Why I Love Little League

LLSBWS 2009: Challenger Game on West Field, Alpenrose

Saturday's Schedule + Links

After two days of play, the 2009 Little League Softball World Series offers great Saturday actvities along with Pool Play:

9:45amPDT: East Field, Game 9
Southwest (Texas) vs. East (Pennsylvania)
Southwest had a bye yesterday after defeating Oregon on Thursday night, and returns to action against a 2-0 East team.

10amPDT: Main Field, Game 10
West (Alaska) vs. EMEA (Italy)
Both teams are 1-1 in Pool B.

12:15pmPDT: East Field, Game 11
Canada (Ontario) vs. Latin America (Curacao)
Latin America lost in last night's extra-inning thriller to Oregon -- both teams are looking for their first win.

12:30pmPDT: Main Field, Game 12
Central (Michigan) vs. Southeast (Georgia)
Both teams are 1-0 and have already had their bye days.

It is also an exciting day of activities at Alpenrose:

Noon, PDT: Challenger Game
World Series players will join local Challenger Team kids on the West field for a fun game of softball.

3:30pm, PDT: Schutt Skills Challenge and Home Run Derby
Fans and players alike can participate in the Home Run Derby, but the Skills Challenge highlights players from each team competing in running, hitting and throwing contests as their teammates and fans cheer them on.

Catching up on some media coverage...

"Cros-Lex Makes Short Work of Foe"

"Nunaka Romps at Softball World Series"

"History Makers" (Alaska)

"Softball All-Stars Take It Easy" (Georgia)

"West Point Shows Little Mercy in Win" (Pennsylvania)

Portland Oregonian

Saturday's Article

Some Friday Pix

Friday, August 14, 2009

Some Thursday Game Pix

Sights and Sounds at Alpenrose

We woke up yesterday to the news that the IOC would not be reinstating softball to the 2016 Olympics. I spent the day enjoying the sights and sounds of great softball and friendship and media and Frosted Flakes and host families and beautiful languages and kids having fun. There is hope and a future for these young athletes, it just might not be the Olympics.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

2009 LLSBWS: A Fan Guide

There is so much information and ways to follow the 2009 Little League Softball World Series, both here in Portland or online around the world, that I thought I would provide some tips:

Some General Info

The ten teams are divided into two pools; pool play begins today and continues through Monday. Each team will play the others one time with a bye day thrown in...

All the teams are mixed together, unlike the LL Baseball WS where there is an international winner and a U.S. winner.

At the end of pool play, the top two teams will play in the semifinals on ESPN2 on Tuesday.

Complete schedules and bracket info can be found here.

Following Online

The volunteer staff is able to televise only the games taking place on the main field at Alpenrose. You can watch FOR FREE via webcast. Go to the Brackets page and click on the game you are interested in. A screen will pop up: click on "Video Webcast."

You can also follow LIVE SCORING. What is that? Real-time scoring -- all the games use electronic scorebooks that are uploaded to the website. Here is the page for Game 1, East vs. Latin America: As each game is played, you can watch the webcast and/or the live scoring. Pictures will be taken during the game and posted on that page, also.

Twitter and/or Textmark

I will do my best to provide updates via text if you sign up for either Twitter or Textmarks. I Tweeted from a Regional Babe Ruth tournament last week and the hometown parents were very grateful, so I am getting the hang of it :)

Sign up for either on the right-hand column of this blog. Twitter will be updated more often and is very simple to use. I will continue to update both, but am starting to prefer Twitter.


If you are in the area, and can make time to visit Alpenrose this week, you will not be disappointed... The all-volunteer crew does an amazing job!

The event is (always!) free of charge. The site is very family friendly and the games filled with competition and music and fans from all over the world. This Saturday you can enjoy the Schutt Skills Competition, Home Run Derby and Challenger game.

As we get closer to the championship, you can view a working ESPN broadcast, "up-close and personal," which is both educational and fun.

A barbeque is always going with better-than average choices and of course, lots of Baskin-Robbins ice cream, which is produced by Alpenrose Dairy in our area. Oh yeah, it is a working dairy (and smells like it, too, on some days :) and there is a bicycle velodrome and midget-car track.

Alpenrose is located on SW Shattuck Road, between SW Vermont and SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy.

Come on down, it is a week-long celebration of softball, sportsmanship, culture, and kids.

Thursday Morning Links

Featuring the Central Team (Croswell-Lexington LL, Croswell, Michigan):

"Pioneers eager to play:
Ceremonies kick off World Series

"Every Competitor Has a Story"

"Former Player Pulling for Little Leaguers"

Featuring Southwest (Crawford LL, Crawford, Texas):

Crawford Little League Softball Ready for World Series

Featuring West (Nunaka Valley LL, Anchorage, Alaska):

"Nunaka Valley Team is at World Series"

Featuring Southeast (Warner Robins American LL, Warner Robins, Georgia)

"WR Girls Begin Play Thursday in World Series"

"Warner Robins Softball Team Ready to Go"

Featuring East (West Point LL, Greensburg, Pennsylvania)

"West Point's Experience Goes Beyond Softball"

And from Portland area media:

"Softball World Series: Host Family Program a Hit--Now and Later"

"Ready to Rock at the Little League World Series"

Seen At Alpenrose

Some last-minute field prep, exchanging autographs, and showing off their new Schutt helmets:

Opening Ceremonies: A Few More Pix

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Olympic and Youth Softball: Thursday's the Day

Coincidence or fate?

On Thursday, the 2009 Little League Softball World Series will begin in Portland, Oregon.

Also on Thursday, the fate of softball for the 2016 Olympic Games will likely be decided in Berlin at a meeting of the Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee.

From the USA Softball website:

The list of seven sports up for consideration to be included in the 2016 Games will be narrowed down to two. Competing with softball for inclusion in the Games are baseball, golf, karate, roller sports, rugby and squash. The IOC's rule-making body will shortlist two finalists during the 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. executive board session at the Intercontinental Hotel in Berlin on Thursday. Those sports will then be put forward by the 15-member Executive Board to a vote by members of the IOC on October 9.

Before the opening pitch is thrown in East (West Point LL, Greensburg, Pennsylvania) vs. Latin America (Soraida Juliana LL Willemstad, Curacao), and friendly competition has begun in their beloved sport, a group will decide if there will be Olympic Softball when they are at their prime playing age seven years from now.

You can help support this vibrant and vital sport:

**go to Back Softball and read about the efforts to bring Olympic Softball back for the 2016 Summer Games; join their Facebook group and check out the USA Softball website, also.

**visit and support the Little League Softball World Series -- show the world your love of softball and send a message of its importance in your life and your daughter's life

**email your support to ESPN and media outlets that cover softball

And finally, we are so lucky to have Michele Smith, the Chair of the BackSoftball Athlete Ambassadors lobbying campaign, at Alpenrose to provide commentary for the three ESPN2 broadcasts. Enjoy those games live, the atmosphere, and maybe tell Michele in person THANKS for her actions and efforts for the future of the sport and the future of our girls.

Getting Situated

Today is a travel, arrival, limo, check-up, photos, "meet your new parents," and uniforms kinda day...

In other words, the girls got situated today :)

The teams fly in from all over the world and are brought to Alpenrose via limo, with vans following carrying all their luggage. They are photographed when they arrive and then they complete their bios, get their uniforms, meet their host families, get checked for swine flu, and gaze upon the playing field and stadium where the Opening Ceremonies will take place (tomorrow) and the games begin (Thursday).

Each team goes from their league name to their Region name, and receive their uniforms and the official photo is taken (you can see the transformation of the Georgia team, for example, here and all of the teams here).

The players will meet their host families and spend their first night in Portland. The managers and coaches will go to the hotel and everyone will head back up to Alpenrose for tomorrow's festivities:

3pm: Opening Ceremony/Main Field

4pm: Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream Social/Dairyville (Teams)

4:30pm: DeMarini Skills Challenge/Main Field

See you there :)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Brackets Are Complete -- Welcome, Ontario

The final ticket has been punched!

Team Canada for the 2009 Little League Softball World Series is Windsor South Canadians LL, Windsor, Ontario.

Congrats, and safe travels to Portland!

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Alaska, Welcome to the Tourney!

With today's 8-1 win over perennial powerhouse Gilroy, California, team Alaska (Nunaka Valley LL, Anchorage) becomes the West representative in the 2009 Little League Softball World Series in Portland, Oregon!

A representative from Canada is also being determined today: British Columbia vs. Ontario.

And then the brackets will be complete. For a complete schedule, visit the official website.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Welcome Greensburg, PA and Crawford, TX !

Two more teams have been crowned champion of their region and will make their way to Portland, Oregon, for the 2009 Little League Softball World Series!

East Region Winner, representing Pennsylvania:

West Point LL, Greensburg, Pennsylvania

West Point defeated Milford International LL, Milford, Connecticut, 6-3 in Albany, New York.

Southwest Region Winner, representing Texas West:

Crawford LL, Crawford, Texas

Crawford defeated Edna LL, of Edna, Texas today 9-4 in Waco.

Congrats and we will see you in a couple of days!

Friday, August 07, 2009

Michigan is in!

The Central region will be represented by Croswell Lexington LL, Croswell, Michigan, in the 2009 Little League Softball World Series!

Michigan defeated Ohio (Wheelersburg LL, Wheelersburg) 3-2 to advance.

The Central region has been represented well by Michigan in recent years: Mattawan in 2006 and Gladstone in 2007.

Welcome, Croswell-Lexington Little League!

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Welcome, Georgia!

The 2009 Little League Softball World Series has its first U.S. region winner: Warner Robins American Little League of Warner Robins, Georgia! They will represent the Southeast Region in the LLSBWS, which begins August 13 in Portland, Oregon.

Georgia beat Florida (Windermere LL, Windermere) 9-8 last night in West Virginia.

Warner Robins begins play Thursday, August 18, versus West at 5pm PDT.

Here are some great shots from their local paper.

Congrats to the players and coaches from Warner Robins, Georgia!