Press "Enter" to skip to content

The Eliminators turned championships run around to take the title

For the Rancho Trabuco Girls Softball Association 12U team, it’s been quite a summer, culminating in winning the Western National Championship.
Known as the Eliminators, the team of 13 girls ages 11 and 12, won its league and district championships, then finished second in the state tournament to qualify for the double elimination Western National Championship Tournament held in Camarillo on Aug. 2-5.
Warm ups on Championship Sunday of the Western National Championship. Win or go home. (Courtesy of RTGSA)
Kennedy Proctor, in the second inning of the fifth game of the day, still all smiles. Taylor Gillis in background. (Courtesy of RTGSA)
SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsThe Eliminators won eight of 10 tournaments they played in this season, including capturing the Western National Championship. (Courtesy of RTGSA)
Show Caption of Expand
Thirty-nine teams from Nevada, Arizona, California, Oregon, Washington, and Idaho converged onto Camarillo in search of the title.
The Eliminators finished the season with a 57-6-1 mark, including a perfect 17-0 spring select record, and was poised for a strong run for the title.
As the championship tournament began, the Eliminators won its first three games, but fell into the loser’s bracket after dropping a game to Placentia Yorba Linda.
“Some people got nervous when we lost early,” Eliminators manager Ryan Fullerton said. “It was a bad situation, we made it a harder challenge on ourselves.”
That loss forced the Eliminators to win five consecutive games in one day to capture the championship.
“I was worried when we first lost,” said assistant coach Mike Proctor.  “We didn’t play well, we were flat, but they started talking and they stepped it up.
“On Sunday they came out and they were ‘on fire’. I saw it in their warm-ups. They were loose and giggling and listening to ‘Mama Mia’ and break dancing – the other teams just looked at them,” Proctor said. “I think for them having fun was the big difference.”
The team won its first three games on championship day, including a dramatic seventh inning, 3-2, walk-off win over Placentia Yorba Linda. The Eliminators then proceeded to defeat the unbeaten Torrance team in games four and five to secure the championship.  Dani Sanchez pitched the championship game as the Eliminators mercy-ruled Torrance, 9-1.
“They played like they couldn’t be stopped,” Fullerton said. “They played against big competition and we had clutch hitting, especially with two outs.  We also played outstanding defense.”
Fullerton was quick to credit his coaching staff of Mike Proctor, Mike McGraw, Shawn McNamara, Jeremy Gillis and Josh Moore and the player’s families for their overwhelming support.
“Their hard work paid off,” said Fullerton, who is in his 18th year as a coach.  “It’s been good to see them develop and grow and gain knowledge about the game.
“I’ve seen how hard they’ve worked and practiced all season,” he said. “They put it all together and peaked at the right time.”
Proctor said many of the girls have played together since their 8U teams, but now several will go onto to play for different travel ball teams and later for different high schools.
“It was an emotional ending for the players,” he said. “They sat in the middle of the field and basically cried.”
The Eliminators
Bree Bozych, pitcher
Brooke Finneran, outfield /first
Dani Sanchez, pitcher
Hailey Stammer, second
Kassidy Moore, left field
Katie McNew, third
Kennedy Proctor, catcher/outfield
Loula McNamara, first/pitcher
Maddison Roth, catcher/ DH
Olivia Fullerton, outfield/pitcher
Reagan McGraw, short stop
Sam Scalia, second
Taylor Gillis, outfield
Laci-Rose McNamara, bat girl
On the field
The Eliminators’ batting average was .380 and they had a .450 on-base percentage.
Madison Roth led the team with a .449 batting average and 32 RBIs. Brooke Finneran scored a team-high 40 runs.
The team won eight of 10 tournaments they entered this season.
The city of Rancho Santa Margarita was expected to recognize the championship team on Wednesday, Aug. 22, at the City Council meeting.
Source: OC Register

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *