The Battle Ground Little League softball team will compete at the state tournament after winning the district championships, while the All-Stars baseball team started a new season over the weekend.
League President Nick Butler said he sees great potential for the All-Stars team.
“The games have been great,” Butler said. “The weather was an issue this year, as opposed to years past. Getting the kids out on the field was tough with as much rain as we had in April.”
He said that the minor baseball league is composed of kids who are 8 to 10 years old, and the major league is composed of 10 to 12 year olds.
According to Butler, the minor and major league baseball teams played against varying schools from March to May, but did not play competitively or acquire scores from those games. Instead, they played for fun and practiced in preparation for All-Stars, which took 13 players from the leagues.
“These kids have been honing their craft,” he said. “They’ve been working on everything from situation baseball to the pitchers working their skills so they’re ready to go and represent Battle Ground at the All-Stars level.”
Butler said the boys have worked hard on their fundamentals and the mechanics of baseball.
The girl’s softball team won first place at their district championship, much to the delight of Butler. They won two out of three games against Kalama. The team is composed of 12 to 14 year olds. They will compete in the state tournament, which started on July 5. The team won its first game on June 25 with a score of 18-10, lost 6-17 on June 26, and secured another win on June 27 with a score of 20-16. Butler noted the girls won the district game last year as well.
“I love (the results),” Butler said. “We battled hard. It was hot, as we dealt with the weather being 95 degrees during the games. The hottest weather we had all year was the three days that those girls played, and they played their hearts out. We went out and got it done.”
Butler said he loves how everyone can get out of the house to take part in camaraderie and exercise, while being part of the team, something that was mostly absent during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“(The pandemic) was super detrimental to mental health as well as physical health,” Butler said. “We lost some numbers as far as participants. I don’t know if some people necessarily know that we’re back up and at it again, but we’re definitely here and ready to go.”
Butler describes the minor and major baseball leagues leading up to All-Stars as “a developmental league” that’s more fun and recreational. Once the kids move on to the All-Stars team, it becomes more competitive.
“Now it’s no longer for fun. Now it’s for keeps,” he said. “Now we’re putting together our 13 best players to represent Battle Ground at the district level.”
Butler said the players have created a “buzz around the ballpark.”
“I like to see us competing in the area, in the county, and in our district putting our best foot forward and giving Battle Ground a good name,” Butler said.
More information about Little League can be found online at bgll.org.
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