Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Friday, August 20, 2010

Post-Tournament Media Coverage

The nine teams from the 2010 Little League Softball World Series have arrived home, exhausted, I'm sure, but hopefully also filled with the spirit of Portland and ten days of softball and the spotlight!

Here are some links to media coverage about the tournament and teams:

Sue Enquist and XProTex gloves

"Championship Bid Falls Short" (West)

"...Little Leaguers Get Heroes Welcome" (Central)

"WR Welcomes Home Little League Softball Heroines"

"Southeast Repeats at Home Away From Home"

Thursday, August 19, 2010

2010 LLSWS Tournament: Georgia Repeats!

The 2010 Little League Softball World Series has come to an end, but the champions are the same as last year: Warner Robins American Little League, Warner Robins, Georgia, representing the Southeast region.

Southeast defeated West (Burbank LL, Burbank, CA) last night, 8-6 in front of a packed house at Portland's Alpenrose Stadium and an international television audience on ESPN2.

West advanced to the final game with a win over the host team from Oregon District 4 (Tigard LL) on Tuesday night, 10-0.

Southeast survived a thriller semifinal with Central, from Poland Ohio, 1-0, to earn a trip to the championship game.  Both games were telecast live on ESPN2.

Huge thanks to the teams, families, fans and especially volunteers, for a fantastic 10-day run at this year's tournament!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Catching Up on Days 2 & 3

The 2010 Little League Softball World Series is zipping along and I have a front-row seat to all the action!  And we're not just talking about the games...we're talking parents and posters and dyed hair and foul balls knocking out wireless modems and yesterday, Frosted Flakes!  That all makes sense if you were at Alpenrose Stadium with me :)

The weekend games of the LLSWS allow for some additional events, such as the Challenger Game (on the Alpenrose West field) and Fun Day, that help take the girls' focus away from softball, softball, softball.  The team from the Southwest has a history of taking the lead as a buddy team for the Challenger kids and they have always been awesome about participating and connecting with the kids.  The West team had just suffered a defeat at the hands of Southwest, but were nonetheless out on Alpenrose West field with these kids and families, also.

I have been a part of several Challenger games and they are always a treat.  I find myself holding back tears as the afternoon unfolds...so much life and fun and struggle all spilling out at you on a softball diamond.

Alpenrose West field was specially enhanced and painted with the Challenger logo and spruced up to match Alpenrose Main by Mike Hebrard and Athletic Field Design, on a busy day when all three complex diamonds were played on and in need of field prep.  Oregon District 4 Challenger kids played some ball in the heat with some new friends and with Tony the Tiger and without worrying about the number of outs or the pressures of must-win games.  They played the game with a bat and a tee-ball and the world slowed down and smiled...

The weekend is also when the fatigue sets it, patience has run thin, the dirty laundry pile is higher, the heat and wind start to bother you, and some of the teams have suffered a loss or two and are now out of contention.  Over the last ten years, I have witnessed girls and families bond stronger, commit to enjoying the experience, take deep breaths and enjoy the beauty and circus that is the nature of a Little League World Series.  I have also seen tempers flare, strong words from coaches to 11 year old girls, tears of exhaustion, homesickness, and dissapointment...the stuff of life.

ESPN starts rolling in tomorrow and a new buzz will spark energy back into volunteers and participants of the Little League Softball World Series.  There will be more smiles and more ice cream sold and lots more silliness and the macarena and life goes on.  The girls and families have made an incredible journey this summer -- there is no other youth sporting event that compares to the LL Softball World Series.

Today's games start later as an Alpenrose tradition.  Members of the Cadonau family still reside on the property, and out of respect for their peace and quiet, games never start before noon on a Sunday.  I hope we see the same respect out on the ballfield today and in the stands today.  I can think of thousands of kids and families that would love to be here... the kids and families who played on Alpenrose West field yesterday that will never have a chance to participate in a Little League World Series....what an honor and a treat, so ENJOY!


Pool A
Central 2-0
Southwest 1-1
West 2-1
Latin America 1-2
Canada 0-2

Pool B
Southeast 2-0
Oregon Dist. 4 (host) 1-1
East 1-1
EMEA 0-2
Asia-Pacific (all games cancelled; team could not travel)

Sunday's Games:
Canada vs. Southwest (noon)
Central vs. West (2:30pm)
EMEA vs. Southeast (5pm)
East, Latin America and Oregon have byes today.
Pool play continues through Monday.  Semifinal games on Tuesday will feature match-ups of Pool A #1 vs. Pool B #2 at 4:30pm(PDT) live on ESPN2.  The other semifinal game will follow at 6:30pm(PDT) with Pool A #2 vs. Pool B #1, also on ESPN2.  The Championship Game will be played/aired on ESPN on Wednesday, August 18th, at 4pm(PDT).

Friday, August 13, 2010

Day 1: Great Games, Weather and Fans!

The first day of games in the 2010 Little League Softball World Series is in the books!  Here is the first pitch of the tournament delivered by Nashaly Rivera of team Latin America (Puerto Rico):

Six teams were in action Thursday, with West (Burbank, CA), Southeast (Warner Robins, GA) and Central (Poland, OH) coming away with their first wins of Pool Play, with Canada, East and EMEA having the day off.

The new dirt infield came into play early on and showed why the extra work was worth it.  We saw truer game play from these all-stars...the bunts rolled straighter and the infielders were treated to cleaner bounces and crisper play.  A huge thanks to Mike Hebrard and his crew from Athletic Field Design!

I was super impressed by the quality of play on Day 1.  I have watched LLSWS games for over 15 years and the competition gets better and better.  The games are a treat and admission is (always) free at Alpenrose Stadium, great barbeque, and $1 scoops of ice cream -- how can you beat that?  It's a long day of family entertainment, and will get better as the week rolls along.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

How to Follow the 2010 LLSWS

The 2010 Little League Softball World Series is so wired!  And wireless!  Here is a summary of ways to follow the action over the next week:

1) All games feature live scoring.  Thanks to hard-working local volunteers, the LLSWS has been a leader in providing this feature.  Simply go to the website and click on the game number.  You will be taken to the scorebook software for each game.

2) Webcast: for a fee, you can watch all of the games over the internet with Watch'em Play.  These games feature two-camera coverage and game announcers.  The ESPN games (semifinals and championship) will not be webcast.

3) Facebook: scores and pix are updated on the LLSWS Facebook page.

4) Twitter: want scores and updates on your cell phone?  Twitter is a quick and easy way for short updates throughout the day.  You do not need a twitter account on your computer; simply text FOLLOW LLSOFTBALL to 40404 and you will get the feed.

5) and this Blog! I try to use this platform to feature longer articles and more pix.

Good luck to all the teams and thank you to all the family and fans who are following the teams.  We are looking forward to a great week in Portland!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Opening Ceremonies, Skills Challenge and Sue Enquist

Retired UCLA coach Sue Enquist provided a spark of energy in the traditional Little League Softball World Series Opening Ceremonies today, with a rousing speech to the players, coaches, families and volunteers.  She graciously recognized all of the above, reminded them they are champions and motivated them like they were one of her NCAA Championship teams!

The Opening Ceremonies were followed by an ice cream social (Alpenrose Dairy provides ice cream to the local Baskin Robbins shops) and then the girls gathered in a grassy picnic area for some treats from Schutt Sports: matching batting helmets and a set of catcher's gear for each team.  Afterward, the Schutt spokesperson, former collegiate coach Diane Baker, opened the Schutt Skills Competition and the girls began a fun pitch, throw, run and bat competition.

Here are today's photos:

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Photos from Arrival Day

A Wonderful Day at Alpenrose

Arrival day of the Little League Softball World Series is a day of preparation: prepare the field, prepare the barbeque, prepare the trailers, prepare the photos and the video, and prepare the girls for the week ahead!

A limousine arrived this morning shortly after 9am filled with the host team from Tigard Little League and we were off!  Teams arriving at Portland International Airport were brought to Alpenrose in a limo.  Team Canada rolled in from Victoria, BC in a yellow bus after winning their regional tournament late last night!

The girls got their uniforms, took photos, did their video introductions and received their new XProtex batting gloves.  Tomorrow, they will meet former UCLA Coach Sue Enquist, participate in the Opening Ceremonies and the Schutt Skills Challenge, receive their new helmets and catcher's gear, and also enjoy some Alpenrose-produced ice cream!

Nine teams are at the Shilo Inn by now and resting for a big day and an exciting week ahead.  It takes only one day every August to be reminded of the heart and soul of youth sports -- the players.

Canada has a champion!

Tuesday morning brings good news and some sad news; the good news is that Layritz LL, of British Columbia, defeated Alberta 13-3 last evening to win the Canada Region championship and a berth in the 2010 Little League Softball World Series!

The bad news is that we have learned that the team from the Phillippines, representing Asia Pacific, is unable to travel to Portland and has withdrawn from the tournament.

Pool B is now four teams competing and the game schedules have been adjusted on the website.

The first teams begin arriving at Alpenrose today at 9:15am(PDT)!  The plan is to transform them from being a state champ into a Region Champ with their new uniforms, pictures, video and a huge welcome to Portland, Oregon!

Monday, August 09, 2010

Two More Tickets Punched!

Late Saturday and Sunday competition resulted in two more regional champs heading to Portland for the 2010 Little League Softball World Series this week:

East Region: Robbinsville, New Jersey

West Region: Burbank, California

Nine of the ten slots are now filled -- Canada plays its championship tonight and will send its winner south right after the game.

This is how the Pools are shaping up:

Pool A
Poland Community LL, Poland, Ohio

Washington County LL, Brenham, Texas

Burbank LL, Burbank, California

Latin America
ASOFEM LL, Maunabo, Puerto Rico


Pool B
OR District 4 (host)
Tigard LL, Tigard, Oregon

Warner Robins American LL, Warner Robins, GA

Robbinsville LL, Robbinsville, New Jersey

Bacolod West LL, Bacolod City, Philippines

EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa)
UKS Softball Club Wroclaw LL, Wroclaw, Poland

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Saturday Tidbits

The East Region champion will be crowned today: New Jersey (Robbinsville) vs. Connecticut (Waterford).  Waterford defeated Vermont, 8-0, and Robbinsville beat Delaware 1-0 yesterday to advance to the final game and an opportunity represent the East in the Little League Softball World Series.

The West Regional tournament, being held just over the Columbia River from Portland in Vancouver, Washington, is in Semifinal Saturday with the following matchups:

Southern California (Burbank LL) vs. Northern California (Gilroy LL)


Oregon (Pendleton LL) vs. Montana (Boulder Arrowhead-Big Sky LL of Billings)

And finally, Canada is in pool play and will crown their champion on Monday night to complete the slate of teams for the 2010 LLSWS.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Photos of Alpenrose Stadium!

Alpenrose Stadium, home of the Little League Softball World Series, is a Portland jewel!  A working dairy facility for milk, ice cream and other products, is also the home of Little League baseball and softball, a quarter-midget racing track and bicycle velodrome.

And for ten days every August, the softball world's gaze is fixed on the dairy/stadium nestled in a southwest Portland neighborhood.  Providing the only "stadium" for Little League in the area, it is in the fond memories of thousands of local ballplayers.

But, after 17 years, the main stadium field is getting a new...haircut!  The infield has been skinned for the 2010 Little League Softball World Series!  Thanks to Mike Hebrard and Athletic Field Design, the main diamond is now softball-ready and looking good!

Here are some photos of the transformation:

Thanks to Mike and crew for a great job!

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Thursday links

The news stories about regional teams and tournaments are coming fast and furious as we are only a few days away from the 2010 Little League Softball World Series in Portland, Oregon:

Little League Softball: Canyon Lake returns home with fond memories
Rapid City Journal

Ready to take on the world

WORLD SERIES BOUND -- Major softball all-stars win regional title
Brenham (Texas) Banner Press

Columbia softball team ends season at regional tournament
Columbia Missourian

Anthem, Desert Hills area softball squad wins state
Foothills Focus (Arizona)

Merrick Madness Softball Eliminated From Regionals
Merrick Patch (New York)

World Series berth up for grabs
Victoria Times Colonist (Canada)

Southwest Region has a champion!

Washington County LL of Brenham, Texas, is headed to Portland as the Southwest Region Champion!

Washington County LL, representing Texas East, defeated team Texas West from San Antonio, 11-1, last evening to advance to the 2010 Little League Softball World Series.

Washington County LL (located between Austin and Houston) will begin play in the LLS World Series next Thursday at 8pm (PDT) versus the champion from the Central Region.

All games (except those shown on ESPN2) will be webcasted live on Watch'em Play.

Congrats to Brenham, Texas, and can't wait to see you in Portland!

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Catching Up on Links and Media

As we roll into the month of August, the media coverage of Little League Softball regional teams and tournaments starts to really ramp up!

Western Regional

Burbank, CA All-Stars


Cascade Little League

East Regional

Waterford, Connecticut

Swampscott All-Stars



Central Region tournament

Rapid City

Southeast Regional

Warner Robins

Monday, August 02, 2010

2009 Champ Warner Robins Returns to Defend Title

The 2009 Little League Softball World Series champ, Warner Robins American Little League, has defeated Florida in the 2010 Southeast region to earn a return trip to Portland.

WRALL, representing Georgia, defeated Florida (New Tampa LL) 10-2 in tonight's Southeast Region final game.  They will open the 2010 LLSWS on Thursday, August 12, versus the host team from Oregon District 4 (Tigard LL).

The Georgia champs completed pool play 3-0 and defeated Barboursville LL, West Virginia in their semifinal game.  Florida advanced to the championship game with a win over Wilkes County LL, North Carolina, in the other semifinal.

Congrats to WRALL and see you soon!

Central Region State Champs Identified

Little League Softball has updated the 2010 Central Region tournament bracket page with the state winners!  You can now follow the teams and who might be joining us from the central part of the U.S.

Red Pool

Clinton LL
Clinton, Michigan

Keystone LL
Omaha, Nebraska

Frontenac LL
Frontenac, Kansas

South Milwaukee LL
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Host (District 2 Missouri)
Joplin Softball LL
Joplin, Missouri

White Pool

Stan Spence LL
South Shore, Kentucky

Columbia Softball LL
Columbia, Missouri

Yorktown Junior LL
Yorktown, Indiana

Boone National LL
Boone, Iowa

Blue Pool

Antioch LL
Antioch, Illinois 1 - 1

Poland LL
Poland, Ohio

International Falls LL
International Falls, Minnesota

N/S Dakota
Canyon Lakes LL
Rapid City, South Dakota

Congrats to all the Little League Softball state champs competing in the Central Region!