Softball World Series opens at Alpenrose

Warner Robbins, Ga., and Tigard among nine finalists
By Cliff Pfenning,

The 37th annual Little League Softball World Series kicked off with the Opening Ceremonies Wednesday at Alpenrose Dairy, highlighted by an inspirational speech from one of the most honored coaches in the sport, UCLA great Sue Enquist.

Nine teams from across the world gathered on the Alpenrose main field on a sun-filled day to hear their names during their team introductions and national anthems.

Enquist, who led the Bruins to 11 NCAA titles in 27 seasons as head coach, talked to the teams involved earlier in the day, and then to the crowd of some 300 parents and community members during the ceremonies.

“There are no losers here,” she told the players assembled just off the infield dirt. “This is a great accomplishment to reach this tournament, and take that home with you no matter what happens in a scorebook.”

The tourney will play out through Wednesday short one team, as the team from The Philippines had visa troubles and was forced to withdraw.

The all-star team from Oregon’s District 4, the host district, is from Tigard.

The semifinals and championship game will be played live on ESPN2.

Two teams from Oregon, Medford in 1975 – the second year of the tournament – and Gresham in 1981 have won the World Series.

Warner Robbins, Ga., the defending champion, is among the nine teams.

Other nations represented are Poland, Canada and Puerto Rico.

Games begin Thursday.