Junior League Softball: Gilroy All Stars earn title of NorCal State Champs, headed to Western Regional in Arizona

The Gilroy Junior League Softball All Stars team poses with its State Championship banner after being Marysville 7-1 Monday in Martinez. 

The Gilroy Juniors All Stars are headed to Tucson, Ariz.
The Garlic City Girls topped Marysville 7-1 Monday in Martinez to claim the title of Northern California State Champions.
The win means Gilroy will pack its bags and head off to Tucson to compete in the Little League Junior Softball Western Regional tournament. The team will open play against Oregon at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 1.
A 7-1 final would appear to have been an easy victory for Gilroy, but coach George Sandoval said the Marysville pitcher was one of the toughest his team has faced in years. But Gilroy answered with powerful pitching and defense of its own, giving up only one run — which was unearned — off an overthrown ball to the third basemen during a pick-off attempt.
“Last night, I tell you, they brought their A-game,” Sandoval said. “I’ve coached these girls for a long time; played 100s and 100s of games and last night’s was probably the best I’ve ever seen these girls play as a team together. It was exciting.”
Gilroy — who is a perfect 25-0 through the playoffs, Tournament of Champions, All Stars District and Division play — will head to Arizona with the sole goal of making it to the World Series. Sandoval coached most of these girls when they were a part of the 12-year-old team that reached the Western Regional finals in San Bernardino in 2011, only to fall short of a World Series berth by three runs.
“They’re hungry,” Sandoval said. “If they can win this tournament in Arizona, they fly them straight up to Kirkland, Wash. for the World Series. They’ve come so close. That other year, I think we won 40-something games, when we went to San Bernardino. They (Gilroy) had one miscue and then they (Southern California) scored the three runs and kind of took over.
“When they go through these tough games, I think us coaches get more nervous than they do. We know how to talk to them technically. For them, it’s just another game. They play many games a year.”
Though it’s a different group of girls, Sandoval said Oregon is a familiar opponent and doesn’t anticipate any surprises from our neighbors to the north on the field. As long as Gilroy keeps its focus, he said he can see his girls being tough competition for those vying for a trip to Washington.
“We’ve seen them every year since ‘05,” he said. “We’ve got a good idea of what kind of organization and team they have. I think as long as they (Gilroy) bring the game they brought last night, we’ll be in good shape.”

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