- July 21, 2016
After winning the District 14 Championship last weekend, the Windermere Little League Majors Softball team is preparing for the Section 5 Tournament, coming up this weekend at Oviedo.
Throughout his team’s district competition, head coach Neil Harris felt that his girls played well across the board — with solid pitching, hitting and defense.
“We’re working really hard on defense, working hard with the pitchers and catchers, and (in) the morning practices, we’ve been doing a lot of batting,” Harris said.
Throughout their practices he has seen his team form a bond and learn to work together.
“Over the last several weeks, we have really come together as a team,” Harris said. “So it’s been nice to watch.”
Forming a bond as a team has been especially important this season because this is the first in which Windermere has played as an 11/12 team, not as two separate teams. A few 10-year-old players also had the opportunity to “play up” from the Minors with the Majors, giving the team more talent to work with and more opportunity for growth.
These were not the only firsts for the season. This year was the first Windermere had to play in districts. In the past, there had not been any other teams in the district, automatically advancing them to sectionals. As an assistant coach for the majors last year, Harris said they played well through sectionals.
“The girls did really good — we made it to states last year,” he said.
Although they did not win at states last year, with their recent win over Dr. Phillips, Harris hopes that they can keep their momentum going.
“I’m hoping we can just keep it rolling for sections, and our goal is to go to states and win states,” he said.
First, though, Windermere will be playing at noon and 2 p.m Saturday. If successful there, states will take place at Rockledge Little League from July 24 to 27.
Having to play two games back-to-back in one day can be difficult, Harris said, because there is not time to have a tough game and recover from it. The girls also have to prepare to be in Florida’s summer heat all day.
“We’ve been doing a lot of conditioning, trying to get the girls ready for this heat,” Harris said.
Although they are unsure of the talent they will be up against, he said the coaches are doing their best to prepare the team.
“We are preparing them that they are playing the best teams in the state,” Harris said.
Contact Emilee Jackson at [email protected].