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Going for gold: Bonita Valley 10-under softball team qualifies for Western Nationals Phillip Brents | Fri, Aug 12 2011 01:49 AM

Bonita Valley’s 10-under Gold Division girls softball team has been practicing, fund-raising and playing tournaments since early May. Team members continue to do so while facing their biggest challenge of the summer tournament season: a trip to the American Softball Association’s Class-B Western National Championship tournament the first week in August in Clovis.

The Bonita Valley team qualified for what some in the organization are calling a “chance of a lifetime” by finishing seventh at the recent state championship tournament in Lancaster. Prior to that, the Bonita Valley team captured the Southern San Diego District championship title.

It’s been an amazing season, and it isn’t over quite yet.

The girls participated in four tournaments prior to the district finals, including two tournaments in Orange County.

Bonita Valley opened the summer tournament season with a first-place finish at the PQ Memorial Summer Classic May 28-30 and followed that up with second-place finishes at the Placentia/Yorba Linda tournament June 4-5 and Los Alamitos tournament June 10-12.

Bonita Valley returned to the championship podium with a first-place showing at the Poway Summer Classic June 17-19.

That set the stage for a dramatic performance at the district finals played June 22-26. In an amazing show of determination, the Bonita Valley team captured the district championship in the final inning with two outs, with no one on base and down by three runs en route to posting a comeback 6-5 win against Santee.

The district title victory qualified the Bonita Valley squad for the state championships July 8-10 in Lancaster.

At the state finals, despite an opening game 2-1 loss to Corona, the Bonita Valley team battled back amid temperatures in the mid-90s to eliminate four teams in the challenger bracket to secure a trip to the national tournament with a 4-2 record.

Bonita Valley defeated La Mirada, 7-1, to punch its ticket to Clovis. The top 12 teams in the 32-team division advanced to the nationals.

How determined is this team? In one game in the challenger bracket, Bonita Valley rallied from a 3-0 deficit in the final inning to top Rancho Trabuco 5-3.

While things may seem rosy for the team, the playing status one of one player in the upcoming national championship tournament, however, is uncertain after that player recently suffered a ruptured appendix. She is now recovering but the team’s coaching staff is not sure whether she will be able to play at nationals.

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