Two Mission Viejo Girls Softball All-Star teams returned from their respective Western National tournaments with a sense of pride after good showings this past weekend.
At the 2017 ASA Fast Pitch Girls’ B 12-Under Western National Championships played in Portland, Ore., 12U Relentless took a run all the way to a championship series, but fell short, settling for second place in the tournament.
Overall, the team went 7-2, falling to El Rio 12U from Oxnard, which went 6-0 in the tournament. In all, 46 teams participated in the tournament from California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Montana and Idaho.
“A lot of heart, that was what we kept telling the girls all season long is that they have a lot of heart,” said Tim Estrada, head coach. “There were lots of games where we were down and we came back to win.”
Estrada said the hitting ability throughout the lineup helped his team reach the championship game. In the championship bracket, Relentless won its first four games, but fell in the fifth, putting some pressure on the team to bounce back to make the final.
Estrada acknowledged his team initially felt that pressure.
“The next game right after our loss was Murrieta and immediately they scored five runs in the first inning,” he said. “We thought that was it, but we battled back and won the game.”
With Murrieta threatening to score in an 8-8 game late, outfielders Natalie Mugnai and McKenna Murphy collided when chasing a fly ball, but held on to record the out to get Relentless out of the inning. In the bottom half, the team won on a walk-off.
“That was the most dramatic play of our season,” Estrada said.
That win was followed by two more victories to get to the championship game.
Catcher Teagan Muller led the team in hitting on top of catching every game with temperatures in the high-90s, Estrada said.
The 12U Relentless team wasn’t the only representative of Mission Viejo Girls Softball.
Team Illusion, a 14U team, went 2-2 in the USA Softball Western National Championships in Roseville, Calif. over the weekend.
After winning its first two games by scoring a combined 27 runs, Team Illusion held a first-place finish in its pool, but fell in a pair of close contests against Irvine and Elk Grove, ending its hopes of a Western National title.
The team had success despite high temperatures.
“The team did well,” said Kraig Koboyashi, the team’s head coach. “Temperatures were in the low-100s all week.”
Members of Relentless…