The next step toward a championship for Bend North softball begins Wednesday. That’s when the team hops a plane for North Carolina and the Little League World Series to compete against the best of the best.
Shortstop Lily Christensen helped power the Oregon champs past Montana, 8-4, in the championship game Friday with an inside-the-park home run. The game was broadcast on ESPN.
“You just got to be confident and just like play like you usually play like the camera and the TV isn’t there,” Christensen said.
“I feel really excited because I never thought I’d get this far,” she said. “I think we’ve grown a lot closer like a family because of all the experiences we’ve had and all the victories and all the highs and lows. It’s just been really fun.”
Head Coach Kevin Guiney said he couldn’t be prouder of how his group handled adversity and advanced past the regional tournament.
“That ending, you know, and now you get that final out and you’re running out on that field just to see the faces of the girls,” he said. “That’s like the best feeling in the world.”
Lily’s mom, Stephanie, was one game away from reaching the LLWS as a player and says she couldn’t be prouder to see her daughter and her teammates reach the milestone.
“We’re just wanting to let them have fun and play their game and for us, they’re already winners,” she said. “They’ve already beat all of the records in the goals they had set for themselves, so I just hope they have fun and they do well and they have a wonderful experience.”
Bend North starts LLWS play Monday, Aug 7, at 7 a.m. PDT on ESPN+
“This is a memory we’re never going to forget, none of us,” Guiney said. “If we win, we win, and if we lose, it’s been one heck of a ride.”
Bend North Softball has an active fundraiser here, raising money to help families fly to North Carolina and watch the team play.