The two teams from the Los Banos Skeeters travel softball organization received a rough welcome at their respective Amateur Softball Association national-level tournaments this week, with the 10-and-under team suffering three straight losses and the 16-and-under team going 1-1.
“The girls are gaining a lot of valuable experience,” 10U coach Charlie Pikas said. “In terms of wins and losses, it’s not so good, but they’re seeing what it takes to get to another level of their game.”
The 16U team opened their tournament in Clovis with an 8-0 loss, but bounced back to defeat a Selma team 3-0.
“The attitude was really strong,” 16U coach Ed Monroe said. “When we first came out in the pool play, we lost 8-0, but we bounced back with the 3-0 victory. They were nervous, I think because of the national environment. Hopefully the butterflies are gone.”
Both teams Monroe’s squad has faced so far have been from California, but the bracket includes teams from as far away as Utah and Colorado.
“We’re looking at real good teams,” Monroe said. “But they can compete with them.”
Pikas’ squad suffered losses of 17-2, 17-2 and 16-1 in Roseville, but he said the lopsided scored haven’t dampened his players’ enthusiasm.
“They’ve been listening, and I believe they understand that this is really a learning experience for them. They haven’t let them have it stop them from enjoying the trip,” he said. “Yesterday after our morning game, we took them out to pizza, and they sat and played games for two hours, just being kids and having fun. It was refreshing for the parents to see the kids having fun despite the way the games are going.”
Both teams played again on Thursday night (results were unavailable at press time). The 10U team faced a win-or-go-home situation, but the 16U team will still play one more with a loss.