The softball and baseball squads of Turlock National Little League have capped off their summers with plenty of hardware.
In terms of softball, the teams continued their regional dominance. While there are several travel teams and recreational leagues in the area, the same cannot be said for softball teams under the Little League banner, and Turlockers are leading the way.
The most dominant of the teams were the TNLL 10s, who took third in the state. After winning the District 73 title via forfeiture of Atwater, they went undefeated in three games in the Section tournament. In the tournament, TNLL won two close games against Madera by 3-1 and 2-1 scores.
In the NorCal State tournament, the squad went 2-2, losing both games to eventual champion Sutter.
“This team is the most determined group I have ever had the pleasure of coaching,” said 10s head coach Mike Amaya. “There were many times we were down, and these girls kept fighting, never giving up… Each girl had a big impact offensively and defensively. I couldn’t be prouder of how we played the game, represented the league, and most importantly, represented Turlock.”
Meanwhile, the 12s softball team, coached by Mario Alcazar, nearly matched the 10s by earning a fourth-place finish in the state. They went undefeated in the Central Valley Section tournament. clinching the championship with a 12-7 victory over Madera. In the NorCal State Tournament, the girls came out strong against Dublin getting on the scoreboard first, but unfortunately were not able to stay ahead and losing 10-4. The next day, Foothill limited the Turlock team to only one run and were knocked by a 7-1 score.
“The 12 and under All-Star team was incredibly talented this year,” said Alcazar. “These girls worked very hard this summer, practicing and playing on some of the hottest days in June and July. The girls played against some tough competition at the NorCal State Tournament. We couldn’t be prouder of these talented young ladies and what they accomplished this season.”
Also achieving a fourth-place state finish were the juniors under head coach Kalani Souza.
TNLL President Regina Coletto explained that this accomplishment was particularly impressive as the Junior tournament consisted of 11 teams instead of the usual five to six teams. Additionally, the team had five 14-year-olds that played from Turlock National’s first ever All-Star team in 2019.
The Junior level was also successful when it came to hard ball, as the TNLL baseball team won the District 73 title over Turlock American Little League. The championship game between the two Turlock teams saw the National squad give up one run in the first inning before shutting down the American offense, while their own bats exploded enroute to a 7-1 victory.
“There was a quiet confidence radiating through the dugout. You could literally feel the determination and focus,” said head coach Trisha Blevins, who made some personal history by becoming the first female head coach to win a Juniors championship in District 73 history. “Consistent hitting and aggressive baserunning on offense sealed the victory.”