so much on winning as just enjoying the experience of competing against
the representatives from Shizuoka, Japan.
The 18-and-under travel-ball squad -- featuring six local high school
players -- pounded out 13 hits and played flawless defense, which was
more than enough to post a 6-0 win at Maxwell Park in Anaheim, but fun
and sportsmanship were still the themes of the morning.
"The kids had fun and that was the focus of the game," said Sliderz
Coach Ron DePompa, whose squad won its pool and will play at 12:30 today
in a winner's-bracket second-round game at Maxwell Park.
"The girls were really excited to play a team from a different country
and it was a phenomenal experience for everyone involved."
Following the conclusion of the contest -- which happened in the
bottom of the sixth due to the 1-hour, 30-minute time limit -- the teams
exchanged gifts, with the Sliderz (48-10-4) receiving items ranging from
Japanese candy to chopsticks.
Numerous photo opportunities were capitalized on, including a giant
shot of all 29 players and the coaching staffs of both teams.
"Both the players and the coaches on [Izu Chuo] were absolutely
gracious, and they played very, very well for being a high school team,"
"Their defense was very, very good, but I don't think they were used
to seeing the variation of pitches that our girls had."
Michelle Summers -- a sophomore catcher at Hoover -- was one of four
players to collect multiple hits, along with Vanessa Rodrigue (Alemany),
Natalie Kula (Eagle Rock) and Christina Lupacchini (Chaminade).
Burroughs' Dani Regan -- who tossed three innings, allowing just one
hit and striking out three -- scored Kula with a first-inning single to
right and Rodrigue drove in Crescenta Valley junior outfielder Kirsten
Whitt with a single to center in the second.
Verdugo Hills junior Jessica McGivney replaced Regan and tossed three
perfect innings, striking out four.
Another Verdugo Hills junior, center fielder Laura Hovestreydt, had a
bunt single and CV junior outfielder Sarah Sherman scored the team's
sixth run on Kula's single and two-base error in the sixth.