Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Today is a most exciting day ... after five days of Pool Play, four teams have advanced to the semifinals of the 2011 Little League Softball World Series in Portland, Oregon!

ESPN is onsite, with their trucks and cameras, extra lighting, and on-air personalities.  What a treat for the girls to mingle with USA Softball legend Michele Smith!

Here are today's match-ups:

Semifinal 1
Central (Sterling, Illinois) vs. Asia Pacific (Muntinlupa City, Philippines)
live on ESPN2

Semifinal 2
Southeast (Wilkes County, North Carolina) vs. Southwest (Waco, Texas)
6:30pm PDT
live on ESPN2

The winners will play in the championship game tomorrow (Wednesday, August 17),
live on ESPN2, at 4pmPDT.

While we wait for the hours to pass before the big games, here are today's media links:

"Trip Worth it for Umpires"

"Sterling Blasts Windsor to Finish Pool Play 4-0" (Central)

"Hair Raising Experience" (Central's Kylie Powers' hair braids)

"Semifinals Bound" (Southeast)

"Munti LLers Noth No. 3" (Asia Pacific)

"Mutinlupa Earns World Series Semis" (Asia Pacific)

"New City's World Series Hopes Crushed" (East)

"Westchester Del Rey Softball Team has its Season Ended"

Monday, August 15, 2011

Final Day of Pool Play in 2011 LLSWS

This happens every year...I get so busy during the tournament, I can't get over here and add some fun details and stories as they are unfolding up at Alpenrose and the 2011 Little League Softball World Series.

Also, I have to admit, I am doing a lot more on Facebook these days.  I love how interactive it is and we can get instant feedback on scores and photos, and it really gives the fans a chance to cheer on their teams online.

For example, during the Central vs. West game, we had our first out-of-the-park homer on the main field since 2005! I was able to track the player down after the game, take a photo on my phone and instantly post it to the Facebook page...voila! The fans at home could see her smiling face holding the very ball that went over the fence!

I truly believe that 2011 has brought some of the best competition this tournament has ever seen.  There have been some thrilling games and some great softball played by the international teams.

Today, we have two undefeated teams squaring off for #1 and #2 in Pool B: Southeast (Wilkes County, North Carolina) vs. Asia Pacific (Muntinlupa City, Philippines), at 2pmPDT. Either way, both teams will play on ESPN in the semifinals tomorrow.

In Pool A, Southwest (Waco, TX) and Latin America (Maunabo, Puerto Rico) will square off at 5:30pmPD today. Winner will join Central tomorrow in the semifinals.

It is going to be a great day!

While we wait for the action to begin, here is a roundup of the newspaper and media links regarding the LLSWS and the teams:

"Willow Creek breaks out with a win..."

"No Typical Day Off" (Central)

"In LLSWS, New City Finds Fast Friends" (East)

"Wilkes County Stays Unbeaten" (SE)

"Westchester Del Rey's Furious Rally Comes Up Short..." (West)

"Philippines Rallies, Clinches Berth..." (Asia Pacific + summary of all Sunday games)

Monday, August 08, 2011

The Countdown has Begun

All but one of the teams are set for the 2011 Little League Softball World Series!  Tonight, the Canadian championship will be played, with the winner heading to Portland, Oregon, to claim the final berth in this year's championship.

The Canada region final is an all-Windsor, Ontario, affair:  Turtle Club LL vs. Windsor South.

Tomorrow, the teams will begin arriving at PDX and will be driven by limo to Alpenrose Dairy.  Yes, on the grounds of working dairy facility, within Portland city limits, the world's attention will be focused for about 10 days!

Here is a sky view of Alpenrose, with the main diamond/stadium, two side fields, a quarter-midget car race track, a bicycle velodrome and an old fashioned ice cream parlor (as Alpenrose is the local producer for Baskin Robbins).

Alpenrose sits in the middle of Southwest Portland Little League, and Oregon District 4.  All of the local leagues are able to use the fields for baseball and softball during the regular and tournament season.

As soon as the last out is made in the final summer tournament, Mike Hebrard of Athletic Field Design, takes over.  Mike and his crew skin the grass from the infield and begin greening the outfield and applying the spray-paint logos from templates he has built.

Staff and volunteers begin touch-up painting and the bleachers are all cleaned.  Two years ago, a new and permanent set of bleachers was placed above the first-base side.  Those bleachers were from a dealer who salvaged them from the old Seattle Kingdome.

Soon, all the barbeques, trailers and souvenirs will arrive, the noise will pick up, the computers and free onsite wi-fi get fired up and finally, the girls arrive via limo from PDX.  It is the moment we all wait for!  So much promise and excitement! Hello world ... welcome to Portland and the Little League Softball World Series!

Monday, August 01, 2011

Little League Softball World Series 2011: Here We Go!

August 1st, 2011, is finally here.  This is the day I traditionally fire up the blog and Twitter accounts to start reporting on the Little League Softball World Series, here in Portland, Oregon.

Who am I? I am a local Little League President, former LL softball player, coach and umpire.  I am a huge fan of the Little League Softball World Series and of Alpenrose Stadium (more on Alpenrose later).

I am looking forward to this year's tournament for a very special reason: my local softball program is competing as the Host/Oregon District 4 team!  I cheer for all the teams, but will have a soft spot in my heart for Willow Creek Softball Little League :)

Good luck to all the players, coaches, parents, umpires, volunteers and fans...together you make up a most unique festival of softball, of Little League, of true sportsmanship, and of celebrating the girls, who join us from all over the world!