Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

Wilshire Girls’ Softball Shines at CalState Games

A team parent’s photo of the 2016 Wilshire Softball 12U team at the Cal State Games.

On July 6, the Buzz shared a request from Wilshire Girls’ Softball to help send its 12-and-under (12U) Gold All-Stars team to the prestigious Cal State Games in San Diego.  We’re thrilled to report that the team’s fundraising efforts paid off, and the girls got to take the trip this weekend.  Team parent Tara Kelly provided this update to the Buzz and other friends yesterday, and we share the play-by-play with her permission. 

If you care for an update on the Cal State Games, pull up a chair and grab someone’s hand — it’s exciting!

On Friday, we had a bye for the first round, then at 2:00 played a great team, Belmont, from the Bay Area. After leading most of the game, we came ahead 5-4 on some errors. Belmont then stalled once they got ahead (the ump literally pulled a girl away from chatting with her coach and to the batter’s box at one point) and the game was called out on time (no new inning after 90 mins), just as we got a third out. So we lost. UGH. It wasn’t a fun way to lose (not that there is a fun way, but this was a bummer). Some of the parents and kids expressed anxiety that they wanted to perform well for all the amazing supporters who kicked in!! Awwww.

We went on to the cool opening ceremonies at Qualcomm Stadium, with thousands of people and lots of fun (the girls seeing themselves on the Jumbotron as they did the parade of teams was a highlight!), followed by pizzas at our hotel.

The loss Friday put us in the dreaded “loser’s bracket” (double elimination tournament).

On Saturday, we started at 12:00 and, to put it nicely, shellacked a team from somewhere in the middle of CA by a score of 20-0 (or something like that, I lost count) before intentionally giving up some outs to end the suffering.

We had a lovely break with enough time to run to Subway for lunch.

The next game was tougher, but we beat Palo Alto 5-2. Everyone was in a great mood, having fun.

Game #3 of the day started 20 minutes later, against Manhattan Beach. We beat MB 14-1 in Districts, so we were feeling (overly?) confident. The first three innings were scoreless, then Wilshire went up 3-0. MB came back with a run, and then Wilshire scored, so it was 4-1…but really intense with lots of close plays, close (wrong?) calls, runners on base close to scoring, etc.

These games have to end after 7 innings, or no new inning after 90 minutes, and we were up 4-1 and ended the inning with Manhattan Beach leaving runners on base. We assumed time had run out, but the (grumpy) ump called for another inning. STRESSFUL. But we held ’em and won, 4-1.

On to game #4 of the day, again with no real break. And if we win game #4, we now know that game #5,  at 8:00 pm, will be against the team that beat us on Friday. We know that we CAN beat that team, and we’d love a rematch!

The Game #4 team was good — they’ve beaten a few teams we know are good — and they took an early lead, 3-0. Then 4-0…but Wilshire came back, 4-3. Next at bat, (my kid) Kaia batted in two RBIs to make it 5-4 (thus ending a dreaded mini-slump that had persisted today and was pissing her off.) After an apparently “horrible” call, Wilshire’s at-bat ended. (The angst that would be saved in youth sports if only there were instant replay!)

The other team came back, 8-5. (I should note that at this point, I’d left the field and was on a train back to LA (long story) and Quinn, Kaia’s twin sister was texting me play-by-play. I made a joke at one point and she said, “Mommy, this is intense. I don’t have time for jokes.” Indeed.)

Bottom of the last inning — Wilshire needs 3 to tie, 4 to win…or they’re done. Dranna starts us off with a double, then moves to 3rd on our first out. Litto then bats Dranna in…then scores herself on another hit. We wind up 8-7, with two outs and a runner on 2nd. Aileen, a powerhouse and one of our strongest hitters, who was literally hitting the fences all weekend (a few ground-rule doubles with bounces over the fence), is up. Tragically, she gets out. We’re done, 8-7. But what a run!!!

Kelly calls the trip “a truly amazing experience” for the team, and extends her personal thanks to everyone who donated to make it possible. “We’re unbelievably proud of Wilshire Girls Softball 12U Gold All-Stars,” she says. “This is a GREAT team — they have fun, they work hard, they support each other, they rock. So, so grateful that my kid (and we) got to experience this, and so, so grateful that so many people we love contributed to making this happen for her team.”

Along with her sincere thanks, Kelly also noted that even though the tournament is over, contributions are still welcome. “Any money raised at this point,” she said, “supports scholarships to ensure that EVERY girl in central Los Angeles who wants to play softball can do so, regardless of ability to pay. As you know, almost every girl on this amazing 12U Gold All-Star Team was on scholarship. They live and breathe this sport they love.”

If you’d like to donate, see  Also, if you know a girl who would like to join the team, fall signups are now underway.

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Elizabeth Fuller
Elizabeth Fuller
Elizabeth Fuller was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN but has lived in LA since 1991 - with deep roots in both the Sycamore Square and West Adams Heights-Sugar Hill neighborhoods. She spent 10 years with the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, volunteers at Wilshire Crest Elementary School, and has been writing for the Buzz since 2015.

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