2005 Junior All Stars

July 20, 2005   

Tonight the girls are facing the first adversity theyíve had to face this tournament season.  They faced a talented and well coached team from the Pinetop/Lakeside area called Blue Ridge.  The girls struggled the first few innings but kept themselves in the game down only one at 3 to 2 in the second.  Our starting pitcher got tired in the heat and we allowed three unearned runs making it 6 to 2.  Blue Ridge never let us back in the game holding us scoreless the rest of the game.  We came back to look strong ourselves not allowing another run in the last four innings ending the game at 6 to 2 Blue Ridge

Starting the tournament in a hole isnít what we had planned on but itís where we start and now we have to play some strong ball the rest of the tournament to advance. We play again tomorrow night at 7:30 against the team from Verde Valley. Wish us luck.

July 22, 2005   

The girls got up yesterday morning and met on the ball field at 9:00 AM for practice.   They worked hard and hit well during practice and it was hot.  Over a hundred before the girls were done.  They came back to the hotel and had some lunch before many of them got together to play some poker in our room and then most ended up down around the pool playing catch with these sticky wall crawler things over the pool.  It was a strange activity but the girls had so much fun and it was great to see all of the girls together having fun away from the ball field.  About 3:30 yesterday, a monsoon storm blew through town cooling the afternoon temps from 105 to 110 down to a cool 85 degrees.  It was great to walk out of the hotel and not feel the blast furnace hit us as we opened the door.  

The girls seemed loose and relaxed after the day of fun and seemed ready for the game.   Game time temp was about 90 degrees as we took the field.  In Deer Valley style we let the other team gain some confidence allowing them to score a couple of runs in the first.   We hit the ball hard but couldn't plate any runners in the bottom of one staying two runs down.   Allowing another run in the top of the second to Verde Valley, they were feeling pretty good after holding us scoreless again in the bottom of the second.  Our girls turned on the defense to play the quickest inning I've ever seen played.  Our pitcher threw the first pitch to the batter who hit it hard to short and was thrown out at first for the out.  The next pitch was hit hard back to the pitcher who threw the batter out for the second out of the inning.  The third pitch of the inning was hit sharply to third who's throw beat the runner to record the third out of the inning.  Three pitches, three hard hit balls and three outs recorded.  The girls were elated and so were we in the stands.

Our girls came up to bat after that and scored a quick four runs batting seven in the inning never looking back.  We scored a couple more runs for insurance while Our defense held Verde Valley scoreless the remainder of the game.  Deer Valley 6, Verde Valley 3 was the final and our girls are looking better and better as the tournament progresses.  Can't wait to see how our girls come out tonight against Gilbert American and perform.   Should prove to be another tough outing but I like how our girls are playing.  I'll let you know how it turns out.  Thanks for checking in and I'll be typing at you later.

July 22, 2005   9:45 PM

The girls are looking stronger and stronger. Tonight they jumped out to an early three run lead after our first two batters got out.  A two out rally in the first inning is always a good thing.  We scored three runs before Gilbert American was able to get our seventh batter of the inning to ground out to the pitcher.  We hit the ball hard and turned two double plays tonight on defense.  The only run the girls allowed was on a batter that hit a monster double that was moved to third on an out and then a wild pitch scored the run.  Other then that, they never got close to scoring.  We scored another three runs over the remaining six innings to end the game on top with a six to one score.

The girls are on a roll and we have to face Verde Valley again tomorrow night at 7:30.   We have already played Verde Valley and won.  They have to play Gilbert American at 9:00 AM tomorrow to make up for the missed game Wednesday and then us tomorrow night.  After the performance tonight from our girls, I think I like our chances but we used up a couple of our pitchers tonight so pitching is an unknown variable at this time.  We'll just have to see how we play tomorrow.  I might not get to update this until after we get home Sunday but I will try to do my best to get some kind of word out as soon as I can.  Take care for now and I'll be typing at you later.

July 23, 2005   

Deer Valley 17, Verde Valley 7 The girls have advanced to the Semi-Finals to be played on Tuesday at 7:30 PM.  We don't know our opponent yet and won't find out until after Monday nights games.  I will try to give you more soon.  I'm tired and going to bed.  We head home tomorrow morning to catch up on life for a couple days anyway before the trip back.  Take care and I'll be typing at you later.

July 27, 2005   

Deer Valley 0, Sunnyside 6

It was a great game.  The first inning only saw four batters for Deer Valley make it to the plate while Sunnyside only saw three.  We say another four make it to the plate and get a hit. Sunnyside scored a couple of runs - one on an error.  The next at bat for Deer Valley had Tracey getting the second hit for us with a single to center.  The inning ended with Tracey still on first.  Sunnyside scored a couple more runs on errors in the third and a couple more in the fourth.   Deer Valley couldn't get any hits.  I think they ended up with only three, maybe four hits in the game.  Sunnyside's pitching was phenominal and their defense never let up not giving up an error the entire game.  With great pitching and perfect defense, it's hard to score any runs.

After the last out was made, there was silence over the Deer Valley fans.  Stunned at the loss and hurting more for the girls.  What was a great sign was the girls reaction in the meeting after the game in right field.  They were laughing and still having fun with each other.  I think we were more affected than the girls were at the loss.  We had high hopes for them and wanted so much more for them while they were just out there having fun.  They had a great run and made great friends over the past couple of months.  Experiences were had and memories were made.   Here's to a great tournament season and a coach that pulled the girls together and made a team of friends for life.  Thank you Coach Rich.

The evening started out a little shakey.  On the way to the ballpark, we noticed a funny feeling in the Expedition.  It wasn't running right and for a few minutes we were wondering if we were going to be able to make it to the park.  We had it checked out this morning at a Ford dealership in Tucson and proceeded to unload the car into a rental car.  We left the kids with Grandma and Aunt Lora and drove back to Phoenix without any of them or our car.  We'll be back on Saturday to pick the kids up and the Expedition we hope.  An unexpected twist to a disappointing ending.  So we're home now kidless preparing for work tomorrow.  I see an early bedtime in our future.   WooHoo.  Well, that's about it for now.  Thanks for stopping by and I'll be typing at you later.

August 02, 2005   

Junior Arizona State Tournament trip, July 20 and 21 photos and July 22 practice photos .

August 07, 2005   

Over the past few years Tracey has played softball with a group of girls that we all have gotten to know pretty well.  Friendships have been formed and sometimes Tracey will play with these girls as well play against them like this year in the senior division.   Girls like Sam (Samantha), Tera, Stephanie, Jamie and Mia.  While Tracey played up during the season, she played All Stars in the Junior division and finished 3rd in the state.   

Well these senior girls that I mentioned are members of the Senior All Stars that went to state and won making the journey to Montana for the regional tournament.  Then they played the best in the west and dominated only losing one game on their way to the Little League World Series.  They've now made the journey to Lower Sussex, Delaware and begin play in the series today.  In their pool, they will face the best from the East (Punxsutawney, PA), Host (Laurel, Delaware), Asia Pacific (Philippines) and Europe (Brzeq, Poland).  We wish these girls luck and are so proud and excited for our friends and their families.  GO Arrowhead!

Thanks to everyone for stopping by and we'll be typing at you later.

August 12, 2005   

And then there were none.  The Senior girls missed the semi-finals by one game losing to Delaware in the 7th inning.  A heart breaking loss that left them playing for fifth in the world.  Tonight the girls lost that battle ending up the sixth best senior softball team in the world.  Congratulations on the run girls.   You've made us all that know you proud of your accomplishments and success.   Thank you for representing NVLLS, Arizona and the West the way you have.  And as an added bonus, Arizona Govenor Janet Napolitano will be greeting you as you arrive back home in Arizona on Sunday.  Congratulations girls.

Now what am I supposed to do.  I've been so involved in baseball and softball since January that I'm not sure what I'm going to do.  Tyler is practicing with a travel club baseball team that might be able to take up some of the withdrawals that I'm sure to experience over the next few months.  He's doing well and we expect that he'll be able to join the team and start playing with them soon.  

Thank you for stopping by and I hope to be typing at you soon.  Tyler has practice at 7:30 tomorrow morning so we should head to bed soon.  Take care all.

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