If you’re looking the simplest way to describe the Gilroy Little League 9-and-10-year-old softball All-Star team’s rise to the California Division II championship, start with the staggaring stats.
In seven games, the All-Stars posted a whopping 112 runs while allowing just 10. That just about sums it up.
The girls’ summer concluded Sunday with an 8-3 victory over Del Norte in the state title game in West Sacramento, capping a 7-0 run over two tournaments.
“They worked their little tails off, every single one of them,” manager Norma Castro said. “Just an awesome bunch of girls.”
In Sunday’s final, Gilroy broke through in the third inning, turning singles from Isabelle Reynolds, Isabella Delgado, Savanah Castro and Malia Mah intwo two runs. A quite fourth inning that did include a hit from Reynolds and Michelle Weiby was a precursor to back-to-back productive innings in the fifth and sixth that separated Gilroy from Del Norte.
In the fifth, singles by Christal Clark, Castro, Jaime Lam, Weiby and Mah, contributed to three runs. Gilroy tallied three more times in the sixth, benefiting from hits by Delgado, Sarah Starks and a two-run home run off the bat of Brianna Budelli.
Key defensive outs were made by Vanessa Zozaya, Grace Gundy, Nina Berry, Mah and Clark who pitched four innings, in the circle. Gianna Vanni pitched the final two innings to get the save in the championship contest.
The Division II tournament began a week earlier on July 7. Gilroy first beat Intermountain 21-1, followed that up with a 7-1 win over host West Sacramento, then dialed up a 15-4 nod over Peach Bowl and knocked off Del Norte for the first time 12-1 to reach the championship round.
Prior to their time in Sacramento, the All-Stars did plenty of damage in the District 59 tournament. En route to the title, Gilroy outscored opponents 50-1 in two games.
• The Gilroy Little League Juniors (13-14 year olds) baseball All-Stars have fought their way back into the championship round of the Sectional Tournament, winning two straight after a first-round loss last Saturday.
However, the manager Rick Cook-led Juniors saw their season come to an end Tuesday, dropping a 6-4 decision to Lincoln Glen.
A 3-1 Lincoln Glen lead into the sixth inning increased to 6-1 after Gilroy yielded three unearned runs. Gilroy rallied with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, tallying three times to cut into the deficit. That charge fell short, though.
The Juniors’ tournament began with a first-round 8-5 loss to District 44. The locals then won two straight, including a 6-5 victory over that same District 44 team Monday night to get into the championship round.