Thursday, August 10, 2006

Let the Games Begin

Following a day when fear and anger once again gripped the world, it was a pleasure to spend the evening at the Little League Softball World Series, enjoying a small reminder that families all over the world are more alike than different. Where a ballfield hosts 11-13 year old girls playing softball, singing Happy Birthday to Alyssa Wilkins of the Southwest team (Elgin LL, Texas) before the game, and the great-granddaughter of Alpenrose's founder performs the National Anthem, there is hope.

Game#1 started the tournament in exciting fashion as the East (Pequannock LL, New Jersey) needed extra innings to defeat Latin America (Soraida Juliana LL, Willemstad, Curacao) 10-4.

Mallory Black, the South (Morristown American-National LL, Tennessee) starter, struck out ten and pitched a perfect game to lead her team to a 9-0 win over West (Gilroy LL, California) in Game#2.

EMEA (Ramstein American LL, Germany) lost to Asia-Pacific (ILLAM Central LL, Makita City, Philippines) in Game#3, 10-4.

And in the nightcap, hometown Host/Oregon District 4 (Cedar Mill LL, Beaverton, Oregon) managed only two hits against Southwest (Elgin LL, Texas) losing 9-1 in Game#4.

Tonight, packed bleachers, barbequed hot dogs, pin trading, bright green snow cones and "Hey, how is it going? How'd you guys do today?" "We did great, but we didn't win" paint the big picture of unity and sportsmanship in our troubled world.

As I watch dozens of LL Softball World Series Volunteers race around the tournament complex attending to the needs of the players, the crowds, the media, I remember why I am spectator, too. Not because I have a daughter playing in the games (maybe a niece or two some day!), not because my husband is coaching or umpiring, but because I am moved to tears by the joy and comraderie of the kids, coaches and families. That comraderie is our future.


At 12:08 PM, Anonymous Stephen Kenney said...

Way to go Mallory!!! We are pulling for Morristown to bring it home. Defense is key to championships and they played very well last night. Everyone in East Tennessee is pulling for you girls!!!!!

At 10:17 AM, Blogger JHill said...

My niece is from the Southwest, playing at the Softball World Series. How excited she is to be there. Most of the girls on the team have never been on an airplane, nor out of the great state of Texas. The report I get back is everyone is super friendly and helpful. What a great experience this is for all of the girls participating.

Go Shelbi and Southwest. We are rooting for you here in Texas and want to see y'all on TV Wednesday night!!! Yaahooo


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