“That is what we have been working on a lot, is just thinking that it is just going to be the same dimensions, the same softball field, the same game, and not to let nerves get over how you play, said player Janelle Guiney.
That is the mindset and focus of the All-Stars team before they head to the tournament.
Head coach Kevin Guiney says this is the first time in Bend North Majors’ softball history to win not only the district tournament but also the state tournament.
“We played six games, and we didn’t have a single error on defense, which is unheard of for any, I mean, in Major League Baseball that is unheard of,” said Kevin Guiney.
“It didn’t feel real for me,” said player Kennedy Huff. “I felt like it hadn’t happened.”
But it happen it did, and now they’re representing team Oregon, competing for a chance to play in the Little League World Series.
“Everyone is a little nervous, but there is excitement, and you have to remind yourself that you are nervous because you are excited,” said Huff.
Little League International pays for the flights, hotels, and food for all players and coaches — not for the families.
The community stepped up to the plate for the fans who wanted to make the trek.
“We could potentially be down there for nine days, so for the families, that is a huge expense,” said Kevin Guiney. “I mean, they are taking off work. A lot of them are self-employed, so they don’t have that income coming in, and the community has been phenomenal with a lot of the donations, trying to help out a lot of these families to offset some of those costs.”
The players had one primary target from the start and they are sticking to it.
“We’ve come together to be a like a close-knit family because that was one our goals at the beginning of the year, to become a tight-knit family, and that is kind of what we are,” said Janelle Guiney.
A softball family, trying to pursue a once and lifetime dream, playing in the little league world series in Northern Carolina.
The team leaves Thursday morning. They play team Alaska Saturday at 9:00 a.m. All games are aired on ESPN Plus.
Bend North Little League Roster:
- Janelle Guiney, 22
- Claire Phillips, 4
- Gemma Brody, 6
- Jessie Berry, 99
- Jocelyn Lima, 13
- Kennedy Huff, 5
- Lily Christensen, 14
- Madeline Switzer, 3
- MJ Eckman, 23
- Paige Hall, 56
- Ruby Mottern, 16
- Sylvie Seaton, 12