A setback in the final game of the 2018 season couldn’t put a damper on the spirits of the Eastlake Little League Juniors softball all-star team.
The Snow Canyon Little League all-star team defeated Eastlake, 12-2, in the Western Juniors Regional Championship game on July 19 in Tucson, Arizona. The Eastlake squad, which is made up of players between 13-14 years old, had an overall record at 4-2 at regionals.
Eastlake head coach Don Hines said it didn’t take his team long to regain its composure after the loss in the title contest.
“They were back to their good old spirits probably within 15 to 20 minutes after the game. We celebrated and took pictures with the Utah team. At the end of the day, our team was really happy with how we did,” Hines said. “As a coaching staff, we let them know that they exceeded everybody’s expectations to get that far. We made a great run through state and beat some really good teams down at regionals. It was a fantastic experience that I won’t forget for quite some time. We reminded them they got further than any Eastlake Little League fastpitch team that had preceded them.”
Members of the Eastlake roster consisted of Abby McNear, Allie Upton, Amelia Roberts, Ava Afonso, Ava Grossi, Camden Austin, Claire Murawski, Evelyn Hollomon, Kelsie Williams, Leah Cupp, Leslie Hines, Mya Cardwell and Zoe Spraetz. The assistant coaches were Mary Upton and Jeff Austin.
Hines said his team’s selfless nature played a major factor in their stellar run this summer.
“The unity of team was great. Regardless of who was on the field and of who was sitting (on the bench), the way they supported each other was impressive,” Hines said. “We used the hashtag 13 strong quite a bit. I have been involved in coaching a lot of teams over the years and there was a complete selflessness on this team. Whatever it took to move the team forward or do what was the best for the team was done.”