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Keystone Softball Players Among Members of World Series Team

When 14 girls were selected to be part of the Juniors All-Star Softball Team, little did they know the adventure that awaited.

The team consisted of players from Keystone, West Tampa and Bayshore little leagues. Representing Keystone were Sonya Stevenson, Saylor Clark, Laney Esposito, Charly James, Coach Jeff Park and Westchase’s own Avery DeAngelo and Erin Hamilton.

Their journey began in Tampa with a win at the district tournament, followed by sectionals in Crystal River, the state tournament in St. Augustine and regionals in Salisbury, N.C., where the team was named Southeast Regional Champions. From there, they headed to Kirkland, Wash. for the Little League World Series, which hosted six teams from the U.S and four international teams.

The team took part in four pool play games ending with a 3-1 record. Elimination games followed, where the team finished the World Series with an impressive 4-2 record.

While their performance at the World Series is impressive, it is the camaraderie that stands out for Coach Park. “It was amazing to see the girls bond so well considering we put this team together less than two weeks before their first tournament,” he said. “These girls formed a bond that will last a lifetime.”

“It was really cool to meet the teams from all over the world – Italy, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Canada, as well as the U.S. teams,” said Erin Hamilton of The Fords. “We felt very supported by our community, lots of family members and friends were watching our games on Facebook live and sending us messages. My grandparents and aunt were watching from Wales. It’s been a summer we’ll never forget!” 

“This summer has been the most eventful and best summer of my life. I’m so grateful to have been a part of this team and I will never forget any of these girls or coaches,” added Avery DeAngelo of The Bridges. “Each and every single player on the team was extremely talented in multiple ways. Going to the Junior League World Series was one of my dreams that I never believed could become a reality. Thanks to everyone who made this experience of a lifetime possible.”

Congratulations to all of the members of the Juniors All-Star Softball Team, their coaches and families!

By Karen Ring

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