A group of determined girls on the 5th grade softball team at Christ Lutheran School learned how to play hard and work together this season as they came in third place at the CYAA (Catholic Youth Athletic Association) 5th/6th grade softball tournament earlier this year. Christian schools from around the Valley participated in the tournament.
Many of the girls on the CLS Mighty Lions team have played in Arcadia Little League since they were five years old. Now, playing for CLS has given them more opportunities to keep building their skills and making memories with their friends.
Eighteen girls joined the softball team this year, resulting in two teams rotating for the season. Getting girls on the team was simple, according to Coach Sergio Ramos.
“Our daughter Joie is in the class so we knew they were a great group of kids. We wanted all of the girls to have a chance to play,” Ramos said. “If they were willing to work hard, we wanted them to be a part of our team. All 18 girls scored runs for us during the season, so that was very gratifying.”
Ramos and his wife Shannon were eager to coach the team, and they embraced the chance to encourage these young athletes to try their best and challenge themselves.
“We were close to finishing higher, so our girls can’t wait to have another chance next year,” Ramos said. “We are fortunate to have two really good pitchers on our team. For the most part, we played great defense and put a lot of pressure on teams with our hitting and base running.”
Ramos also said the team’s “youth” was a challenge when they played some of the older teams.
“We are still learning how to bounce back after a bad inning and when pressure is being put on us,” Ramos said.
With a goal in mind to win the CYAA Tournament next year, the Lions will stay focused – and their coaches love leading the girls to success.
“It’s fun to be around such a great group. They all work extremely hard and have such fun comradery,” Ramos said. “As an example, we had four optional practices over Christmas break and the whole team showed up to practice because they love playing and hanging out together.”
With many of the girls playing multiple sports, the Lions plan to cheer each other on for the rest of the year.
“My favorite part of the tournament was representing our school, and I like that I get to play with all my school friends on one team,” Joie Ramos said.
Teammate McKenna Hackett shares the sentiment.
“I liked playing against other schools that had friends who we knew,” McKenna said. “My goals for my team are to work harder and get better every game.”