The Bonita Valley 10U all-Stars are back home and most back in school after spending the last 2 ½ months doing nothing but eating and breathing softball! These girls must have dreamt softball as much as they worked and played. I’m sure it’s nice for most of them as well as parents to be able to relax after school and not worry about a 3 hour practice. I’m also sure there will be some softball withdrawal but most will start back up in a couple weeks so they will get right back into it. I remember the excitement from the girls when they got selected to this team back in the spring but I’m thinking that the excitement probably went out the window after the first workout. The workouts that kicked off the 2011 all-star season was nothing short of a big league spring training regimen. The first week of workouts were nothing but conditioning accompanied by some throwing up as well as tears that flowed down some of the girls cheeks. You ask why so much running and stretching for 10 yr old girls, very simple, they were getting prepared for the long run. Conditioning got tougher and tougher but easier for the girls as the weeks passed by. We all saw the progress from start to finish and what a difference that conditioning made. It came into play in some tourneys when they needed it. Most of this team played together in the winter of 2010 with the same coaching staff and did very well winning their league. Parents and coaches saw a glimpse of what was going to possibly be the 10U Gold all-stars at Bonita Valley. So once the selections were made in the spring of 2011, excitement starting brewing. Great group of girls with an addition of some new faces, you had a sense that these girls could make a serious run…
First tournament on Memorial Day weekend was to set the tone for these BV girls winning that tourney on a walk off shot leaving Rancho Penasquitos on the field with a look of pure disbelief .
Coach Clemente had a goal for this team and that was to win 3 first place trophies, go to States then Nationals. First Tourney check! They went on an impressive run winning 1st or second place the first 6 tournaments they played in which included winning the Southern San Diego District Championships. That Districts championship final game was one for the ages beating Santee in the final on another walk off this one being a homerun by the BV cleanup hitter! It was all done with 2 outs and we all remember that as if it just happened yesterday….
These girls were known for comebacks and stepping up with 2 outs against them sparking the chants “2 out nightmare”. They had the swagger as I mentioned before but it was confidence that they had in themselves that made this team special. They never gave up and always believed they could win no matter the score, no matter the opponent. They proved it so many times on that field through the summer and parents couldn’t have asked for much more than the effort they all gave. The coaches goal was to finish in the top 5 at the States Tournament but fell a little short of that goal placing 7th overall. You got the sense that it wasn’t really a huge upset because BV could have easily won that State Tournament. They certainly had the talent to do so. Getting the berth to the “Big Show” was now on the their minds. The girls prepared the next two weeks after States and worked hard with one focus, NATIONALS! Bonita Valley has had much success in previous years at the National Tournaments and with this 10U group being the sole representative of Bonita Valley this year, I’d say it added a little more flare to it…
Fresno, Ca was the home to the 2011 ASA Western B Nationals from August 1st-7th and some stiff competition was to be expected! Softball in Southern California is considered to be the best region in the Nation when it comes to talent so teams were ready to go. BV felt that it could compete with any team in SoCal and the Nation so there was a feeling BV could do very well at the National tourney. This is what all of those 2 ½ to 3hr workouts and all of those prior tournaments came down to..
Starting the National tournament games on Wednesday August 3rd , BV won their first 4 games putting them in the winners bracket through Friday. The girls, coaches and parents were relaxed but knew this was not going to stay this easy. It was about to get tougher. The game for Saturday morning was scheduled vs Los Alamitos, Ca and a win would have given BV two games to play on Saturday instead of 3 with a loss. BV was very aware of Los Al facing them in prior tourneys and the fact they were State Champions crossed their minds but it was game time. No room to think about that too much.
Well, the girls lost that game 7-5 but it really could have went either way. BV didn’t play loose and were a little tight during the game but had to refocus to get back into this tournament quickly. Coaches did a great job of getting them back on track. They ended up playing two more games that day and ran the teams they faced sending them home. Girls were back! The BV girls were now guaranteed the top 5 spots at Nationals going for top 3 the next game. Game time Sunday was at 8am vs Corona, Ca. They were another team BV knew and felt they could beat. The pitcher for Corona held the BV girls to 1 run to win that game 3-1. It was heartbreaking game with so many missed opportunities that again could have made the outcome of this game different. It was a great effort by the girls and perhaps the extra games on Saturday may have played a factor on their bodies. Playing 3 games in one day in 95 degree weather is not easy for anyone let alone 10 yr old girls but they never complained and showed what they were made of. To come back the following day after that and to wake up at 6:15am to be at warm-ups at 7am for an 8am game time! Tired just thinking about it…The girls showed lots of heart and everyone was extremely proud of them.
Bonita Valley finished in 5th place at the ASA Western B Nationals but represented their league like true champions. They had respect on and off the field and was great to see other teams that had lost to BV in prior tourneys cheer them on during games. When opposing parents wished BV “good luck” or would say “ we heard about BV”, it’s a true testament to how well these girls played and carried themselves between the white lines. These girls should be proud of themselves for their wonderful accomplishments. Taking home more hardware than a home depot for them to serve as wonderful memories of this 2011 all-star season. The feedback of well wishes prior, during and after this tournament by the league, other parents and all others was amazing. The community was behind this team and it just seems like things will be in slow motion for a little while after being in a softball thrust these past months. Their overall record was 49 games 39-10, scoring 290 runs! One thing these girls did was hit and hit well!
3-1st Place finishes
3-2nd place finishes
7th @ States
5th @ Nationals
Great job ladies! I’d say that was a great run for BV and we all look forward to seeing this team in the coming years as they will be a force to be reckoned with for a while!
From all the fans and parents,
Thank you for this memorable season!