Lake Mary softball teams bring home not one, not two, but THREE District Championship titles!
Four years ago, Lake Mary Little League (LMLL) Softball didn’t even exist. It started tentatively in the spring season of 2014 with one team of nine girls, but not many were hopeful it would take off. Just a few seasons later, there are 12 teams and 165 girls, and now those girls are taking things to the next level and bringing home championships.
At the end of the spring season earlier this year, LMLL sent three teams to the District All Star Tournament: a squad for players eight and nine years old, a team of 8-to-10-year-olds, and a team of players between 10 and 12. All three came back
District Champions! Due to league rules, the younger girls did not advance any further, but the other two teams moved on to Sectionals this summer. Neither team captured a Sectional title, but the players knew they had accomplished something special.
Ten-year-old player Maya Ray didn’t feel too terrible because her team lost to the Windermere Wildcats by only one run, and the Wildcats went on to win the State title.
Stoked about winning Districts, though, Maya exclaims, “It felt amazing. My team was really proud because we were the first ones to do it.”
Indeed, it was the first time LMLL Softball has won a title, a fact that league vice president Kimberly Dunn notes with pride.
“A program that didn’t even exist four years ago has had amazing results and growth, and these girls are able to have a place to play – and they’re competitive and successful,” says Kimberly. “When people look at Little League, it’s more community than competitive, but these girls are really doing something out there.”
LMLL is definitely all about the community. Both the baseball and softball programs are 100 percent volunteer operated.Almost 250 volunteers include everyone from moms, dads, aunts, uncles, and even some grandparents. Home games are played in the heart of Lake Mary at the city’s Sports Complex. Kimberly believes the family, friends, and fun are what keep the girls wanting to play – and that’s what fuels the word-of-mouth outreach that has led to the softball division’s rapid growth. Having some big wins under the league’s belt certainly won’t hurt, either.
“I think, for all of these girls, the growth and the feel of this league has made them fall in love with the game,” says Kimberly. “It’s such a great starting point for them.”
Like Maya, all the girls are elated that their hard work has turned into a win. One player even wanted to bring the championship banner home to sleep with!
“It’s something so great,” Kimberly says. “For them to send in three teams and come back with three District Championships was a huge deal for this league and the growth of it. The program is good for these girls. It’s empowering and getting them places.”
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