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Bonita Valley's 'girls of summer' take 2nd at western nationals Phillip Brents | Mon, Aug 12 2013 05:33 PM

The South Bay appears to be a breeding ground for success, be it either youth baseball or youth softball.

The girls from the highly decorated Bonita Valley Girls Amateur Softball Association have been at it again, this time with their 12U Gold squad bringing home a second-place finish from last week’s Western B American Softball Association Fastpitch Nationals in Peoria, Ariz.

Daily temperatures averaged 105 degrees as the Bonita Valley team battled top caliber teams from California, Arizona and New Mexico to reach Sunday’s championship game before falling 12-3 to eventual champion Los Alamitos.

The final entry on the team’s Facebook page was filled with superlatives. Reviewing the team’s accomplishments over the past three months, they all appear to be deserved.

One post read: “We’re so proud of these girls for leaving it all on the field ... We can’t say enough about their heart.”

Another post read: “(The) girls played and executed beautifully, playing small ball as well as hitting balls hard. Our pitchers gave all they had plus more and defense overall was outstanding.”

Other posts read:

“These girls have learned so much since they started this run back in May.”

“The coaches did a tremendous job getting these girls prepared for this exact moment.”

“These girls represented their league, their city and San Diego very well and with so much class … It’s always nice to hear coaches and parents from other teams say BV is the team to beat!”

The girls who are on the receiving end of such praise include Ali Corona (outfield), Sydney Sandez (pitcher), Kassandra Ayala (pitcher), Selena Serna (shortstop), Daniela Herrera (outfield), Alyssa Escamilla (catcher), Keila Bosinger (third base), Sharlize Palacios (catcher), Alyssa Garcia (first base), Nicole Velez (outfield), Christiana Fejeran (pitcher), Arlene Martinez (second base) and Alaina Zavala (outfield).

Fejeran was chosen to sing the national anthem at the opening ceremonies at the western nationals and received a standing ovation.

The team’s coaching staff, which began preparations as long as a year ago in pursuit of the sought-after goal of reaching the western nationals, included manager Kiko Palacios and coaches Anthony Acosta, Johnny Ayala, Gary Bosinger and Louie Sandez.

All-star summer
The Bonita Valley 12U Gold team turned in a tremendous showing this summer by placing either first or second in six out of nine total tournaments, winning three tournament championships in the process.

Bonita Vista captured the Southern San Diego District championship to qualify for the state championship July 5-7 in Lancaster. A top seven place-finish out of 34 teams advanced the BVGASA team to the western nationals.

The Arizona tournament took place from July 30 to Aug. 4. There were 44 teams in Bonita Valley’s bracket.

The Bonita Valley team played a total of 11 games in four days at the western nationals, including four games on the final day of competition.

The 12U squad carried one loss into Sunday’s championship showdown in the double-elimination tournament. The Bonita team needed to win four games to take home the title. They came very close, winning their first three games.

Bonita Vista eliminated New Mexico, 5-1, in its opening game on Sunday, played at 7 a.m. Next up at 9 a.m. was an 8-2 victory against fellow California rival El Rio. The team’s third game came at 11 a.m. as temperatures began rising. The opponent: California state champion Los Alamitos.

The Bonita Valley girls came out with something to prove by recording an inspired 5-1 semifinal win to force a championship replay with Los Alamitos later that day.

Sandez buckled down to get the win in that game while Garcia capped off the semifinal game with a 245-foot home run.

Because Los Alamitos had advanced to the final through the winners bracket, the reigning California champions were better rested than the spunky Bonita Valley squad, and it likely showed in the finale.

The second-place trophy still made a statement for the local squad.

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