Members of El Segundo’s 14U all-Star included (standing) Coach Jim Cody Williams, Camille Cathcart, Rosalind Williams, Alyssa Pearson, Kate Rausch, Kate Cunningham, Coach Lucio Raygosa, Emma Cordova, Kelli Beach, Olivia Gafford, Coach Doug Beach, Amanda Clark, Lily Goldman, Cristina Marsocci, Coach Manny Quintero, Dina Giles, (kneeling) Skye Sudol, Tori Raygosa. Photo by Mike Cunningham
The 14U All-Star team from the El Segundo Girls Softball league capped off a successful summer, placing fifth in the ASA 14B Western National Tournament held July 28-Aug. 3 in Medford, Oregon.
“When the team was first announced, I remember telling coach Joe (Domblaser) and coach Doug (Beach) that this was the best team I’ve ever coached,” coach Manny Quintero said. “Twelve weeks later, the girls proved me wrong, they were better than I first thought.”
With pitchers Emma Cordova and Rosalind Williams turning in strong pitching in the circle, El Segundo won both of its pool games with convincing victories, beating the Oregon Rogue River Dirt Dawgs 11-3 and eventual runner-up San Diego Alpine 8-2.
El Segundo began elimination play by routing Lompoc 13-2 behind strong pitching from Victoria Raygosa, who also hit .440 in seven games.
Designated player Lily Goldman had three RBI versus Lompoc and added another four RBI’s later in the day in a 10-6 win over Long Beach Heartwell. Cordova picked up the win and shortstop Alyssa Pearson went 4-4 with two RBI.
Advancing to the quarterfinals of the 29-team tournament, El Segundo staved off a late-game rally to defeat the Oregon State Champion Silver Bullet squad 7-4. Raygosa turned in another stellar pitching performance and centerfielder Kate Cunningham went 3-3 with a double, a triple, three runs, and one RBI.
The following day, El Segundo lost two heartbreaking games to Alpine and Garden Grove. A passed ball gave Alpine a 1-0 win in the semifinals. Dropping to the Loser’s Bracket, El Segundo fell to Garden Grove 8-3 after being tied most of the game.
Garden Grove fought its way out of the Loser’s Bracket and defeated Alpine 7-5 and 11-1 in the double-finals to claim the championship. The TABU Scramblers of Yelm, Washington finished third, Newport Beach placed 4th and the Capo Girls from San Juan Capistrano tied for 5th with El Segundo.
“My overall all-star experience has been something I will never forget,” first baseman Kelli Beach said. “I have learned so many things and met so many new people. Softball has helped me branch out and build friendships with different types of people. Going to nationals with my team was an once-in-a-lifetime experience and I’m glad that I had the opportunity to play with this group and have the chance to become close with them and go so far together.”
Cunningham ended the tournament leading the team with a .474 batting average. Pearson batted .444 and stole seven bases.
El Segundo finished with a 5-2 record and hit .357 while outscoring their opponents 52-25. The team also had players finish in the top 10 in the Skills Contest.
Raygosa won the base running contest after racing from first base to home plate in 10 seconds, beating teammate Kate Rausch who finished second with a time of 10.9 seconds. Raygosa also finished 5th in the throwing contest with a speed of 57 mph and 8th in the hitting contest with a distance of 186 feet.
Olivia Gafford placed 5th in the bunting contest with 95 points.
El Segundo was invited to play in the Western National tournament after finishing 4th in the ASA Southern California State Championship in Lancaster. El Segundo beat teams from Irvine, Fullerton Hills, Oxnard El Rio, and Orange County West Grove. They ultimately lost only to the top two finishing teams Escondido and Westlake WAGS. Other South Bay 14U teams in the 32 team tournament included Palos Verdes.