The city of La Verne has gathered around its superstar Little League softball players after the team went undefeated en route to earn a spot in the Little League Softball World Series.
“Our whole team gets on really well and you don’t see that with many teams,” said 12-year-old Baily Osborne.
Unbeaten and tied to the World Series, the small league players from La Verne attributed their success to one aspect: their close chemistry.
“We have really good chemistry and we’ve known each other for a long time,” said 12-year-old Laney Sweeney.
The chemistry between the girls is obvious, whether it’s on the field or just playing around.
“We have so much fun together,” said 13-year-old Layla Washington. “Put us anywhere and we’ll have fun together.
The women’s run to the World Series was a whirlwind of events with many of the girls playing together for most of their careers.
“I’ve been playing for 6-8 years now,” said 13-year-old Ryan Torres. “It’s been a trip, but I’ve dreamed of going to North Carolina all my life, so I’m really excited.”
Now in high school, this will be the last chance to capture the coveted trophy for many of the girls on the team.
After losing in the semifinals to Arizona last year, the ladies came back roaring, beating twice in the regional competitions — two of which were grace wins.
“If you’ve added 15 runs in the third inning, it’s game over, or ten after the fourth inning,” said 13-year-old Ava Fisher.
Aside from their great chemistry, the team attributes their success to their powerful attack.
“Probably hitting, our attack was really good,” said 12-year-old Bailey Osborne. “We also have a strong defense, so that’s nice.
The girls are a pitcher’s nightmare with sluggers in their entire lineup.
“If it ain’t the one through five” [batters] that’s the six, seven, eight and nine batters,” said manager Kristen Torres. “We’re probably a pitcher’s worst nightmare, our lineup.”
The softball team of La Verne Little Leauge heads to North Carolina on Thursday to get ready for their first World Series game on Tuesday.
“This is my life dream!” said 12-year-old Adrienne Ortiz.
“It’s special because we’re some of the first softball girls to do this and we’ve come a long way,” Sweeney added.
The team has set up two fundraising pages to not only pay for gear and food for the trip, but also to ensure their families can take the cross-country trip with them.
“It does help with travel costs,” Torres said. “As you know it’s very high and not everyone can afford to go out and it would be pretty sad because of the funds they can’t support their kids.”
But while the adults are working on that, the young ladies from La Verne have focused on having fun, because winning the World Series alone was a victory that they will cherish for a lifetime.