Players, managers recognize the "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity"
They know it’s corny, but for the Redmond/Eastlake Little League team, hosting the 2009 Junior Softball World Series is special.
“For them to get a chance to play at an international tournament, getting to play with that level of competition, it truly is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity — and they realize that,” said manager Mark Gransee.
Two teams of 13-14-year-olds combined in June to form the Redmond/Eastlake all-star team, which won the District 9 championship against Sammamish Little League 9-0.
“They’ve just blended so well,” Gransee said. “It’s hard to tell it’s two teams that came together.”
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This is the 11th Junior Softball World Series, all held at Everest Park in Kirkland and hosted by the district champion.
Redmond/Eastlake plays its first game at 5:45 p.m. Sunday against a team from Maunabo, Puerto Rico. The championship game will be at 4 p.m. on Aug. 22 and will be broadcast on ESPN Classic.
Joining Redmond/Eastlake and the Puerto Rican team are teams from La Grange, Texas; Tampa, Fla.; Elyria, Ohio; Santa Clara, Utah; Nanticoke, Pa.; Makati City, Philippines; Milan, Italy; and Windsor, Ontario.