Gilbert Softball Little League's 10-11 all-stars team was one of two from the league to take home a state championship this year. It was the second title in a row for the 10-11 squad. [Photo courtesy Brian Schmidt]

Courtesy Brian Schmidt

Gilbert Softball Little League had not one but two squads take home championships in state tournaments this month.

The league’s 10-11 and 11-12 all-star squads took home championships in their respective groups, with the 10-11 team winning the state title for the second year in a row. The softball players, consisting of the top players in the league, won in fairly convincing fashion; 10-11 head coach Brian Schmidt said the all-stars won the title game 23-1 to a team that only lost to Gilbert.

“It was amazing, it was fun. We can always say we won a state title,” said pitcher Sydney Babik.

Babik was one of the team’s stronger players, as was fellow 10-year-old and Brian Schmidt’s daughter, Morgan. Brian Schmidt said both excelled at the plate in their first season on the 10-11 team. Morgan Schmidt said the highlight for her came during the last out, when she snared a line drive that came right at her from the plate to secure the victory.

The all-star tournaments are tricky for teams because the players get approximately five weeks to know each other after spending the regular season playing against one another. Schmidt emphasized it takes a lot of dedication to spend approximately two-thirds of a summer playing softball. What the experience did, he said, is provide a strong connection between the players, coaches and parents. Babik added that the experience provided her an opportunity to make a few new friends as well, a sentiment shared by her teammate.

“I liked getting to know some girls I didn’t know before,” Morgan Schmidt said.

With two consecutive state titles under their belts, the question becomes if the 10-11 team can make it a three-peat in 2015. Both Babik and Morgan Schmidt should return for another run-through, meaning the 10-11 all stars have a pretty solid shot as long as they put in the necessary effort and practice.

“From the beginning when we step on the field to the end, I think we can,” Morgan Schmidt said.

The championship game marked the end of the season for the 10-11 team, but the 11-12 softball players advanced to the Little League Softball West Regional Tournament in San Bernardino, Calif., which began July 18. The team finished 2-2 in pool play, losing to Northern and Southern California 17-6 and 14-0, respectively, but besting Hawaii 10-0 and Nevada 17-0.

Contact writer: (480) 898-5647 or Follow him on Twitter at @EricMungenast


(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.