Over 40 teams participated at the DVL sports complex
■ By Corey Evan / Reporter
The temperature outside may be hot, but the action on the softball fields is even hotter! That’s thanks to the PONY West Zone Softball World Series, which played out at the Diamond Valley Lake Sports Complex from Wednesday, July 25 – Sunday, July 29.
Standing for “Protecting Our Nation’s Youth,” PONY Baseball and Softball organizes this event as one of four national events based on zone (North, South, East and West). It’s divided into age brackets: 8 and under (Pintos), 10 and under (Mustangs), 12 and under (Broncos), 14 and under (Ponies), 18 and under (Palominos), and new this year is the 23-and-under (Thorobreds) bracket. The West Zone tournament drew a total of 47 teams from across Southern California to the San Jacinto Valley. Additional teams came from Arizona and one 18-and-under team from the Philippines!
Coordinating these young ladies in their quest for victory was West Zone Assistant Softball Director Dana Robie: “The parents have put in a lot of effort to get their kids here… and get them home safely!”
Robie points out why the Thorobreds bracket was created: “Most of them are just out of high school and just past (age 18). So they wanted to come back and play, and PONY thought that was a good opportunity… to keep girls that had been involved since they were eight and had just graduated….”
While research shows again and again that participation in sports is potentially beneficial to young women, Robie says it’s not limited to sports. “Something extracurricular to keep them involved, whether it’s music or dance or some of the arts kinds of things… I think it gives them a sense of self and purpose, as well as self esteem and confidence.”
These are the teams that went home victorious as World Series Champions:
8 and under: Moreno Valley
10 and under: Fontana
12 and under: Redlands
14 and under: Redlands HEAT
18 and under: Philippines
Robie also mentioned that the Philippines team bookended its trip to the USA, and celebrated its victory with fun activities including a trip to Disneyland. All work and no play would have been such a shame.
Robie would like to thank Dick’s Sporting Goods, New Era, Game Changer Scoring, and their various online sponsors for making the tournament possible, as well as Valley Wide Recreation and Park District for help with preparing the field and manning the snack bar.
Congratulations to this year’s West Zone World Series Champions!
Complete results from the West Zone tournament and information about future PONY events can be found at www.pony.org