The Rancho Trabuco Girls Softball Association’s 10U district team – also known as Xplosion – is always up for a challenge.
But the team couldn’t have expected the kind they’d face in the championship game of the 2016 Amateur Softball Association 10U Western National Championship in Medford, Ore., in August.
Rancho Trabuco went toe to toe with Placentia-Yorba Linda in a 12-inning, four-hour thriller, ultimately prevailing 18-15 to claim the national crown in one of the longest title games in ASA history.
The score was knotted at 7-7 after five innings as the regulation game-time of 1-hour, 40-minutes expired. The game continued with tie-breaking procedures, such as having runners start at second base.
“This is where the fun began,” said Rancho Trabuco manager Dave Van Winkle, who has been coaching in the league for 11 years.
When PYL would make a play, Rancho would make a play; when Rancho would make a play, PYL would make a play. Rancho broke through in the 12th inning (seventh tie-breaker inning) by scoring four runs to claim the victory.
“We work extremely hard. We pride ourselves in our endurance, our marathon-mentality,” Van Winkle said. “It was that kind of perseverance that allowed those girls to stay mentality strong and focused.”