Well, don't sell that idea to the young ladies who recently participated in the championship game of the North Bergen Recreation softball league for girls in that age bracket.
Sure, learning about the fundamentals of the game is part of the league. Of course, having fun is another. But the championship game of the league, pitting the "Mets" against the "Yankees" (ironically right around the same time as the Subway Series between the two major league clubs) was something to behold.
The Mets, the regular season champions, defeated the Yankees, 4-2, in the title game, a showdown that was played in a steady rain.
"It might have been pouring rain, but neither team was going to give up," said Tom Stampe, the head coach of the victorious Mets. "Not one of the girls complained about the weather. They didn't care that it was raining. They didn't want to stop playing. The umpires considered calling the game, but the girls wanted to keep playing."
The game was a pitching duel between Sabrina Stampe, the coach's daughter, and Daniella Garcia for the Yankees.
"Sabrina never pitched at all before this year and she was pitching her heart out," Stampe said. "Daniella was also very good and did a great job. They both went the whole way."
The game lasted for about three hours in the rain. The Yankees, who finished fourth in the regular season, held a 2-0 lead through the bottom of the sixth, before the Mets put on a dramatic rally, capped by third baseman Kristyn Bermudez' two-run double in the bottom of the sixth, giving the Mets the thrilling victory. "The fans didn't leave," Stampe said. "No one wanted to leave. It really was a nice thing to see."
Coach Stampe had some fine words to say about the game's heroine.
"She's a really good player and an unbelievable third baseman," Stampe said of Bermudez. "She really has a bright future in softball."
The Mets might have emerged as the champions, but there were two teams of winners on that field. The other winner is the North Bergen softball program, because it's developing fine young players at an early age. "When the game was over, everyone was hugging each other," Stampe said. "It really was one of the best games of the year and it was the last one. They're all getting an early start playing softball and learning about the game. The competition is so great for them. It was such a well played game and then to see them all together after the game was tremendous."
Credit has to be given also to the coach of the Yankees, Eric Salgado, for getting his team prepared for the playoff run. They finished fourth in the regular season, but managed to upset the second seed and were one inning away from winning the league title.
You can be rest assured that the real Mets and Yankees weren't hugging each other after the last time they faced off last month...
The annual District 7 12-year-old All-Star Little League tournament has already wound down to a final two teams and it's safe to say that the champion this year will be from Hoboken.
That's because the final two teams are Hoboken North and Hoboken South, with the battle for Mile Square City supremacy to be a best-of-three series slated to begin Friday night.
It will be a showdown of two of the best baseball products Hoboken has produced in recent years.
Hoboken South has slugger Abe Groomes on its roster. Groomes, who at age 12 is already a veteran of several Hoboken All-Star teams in the past and has already been projected to be a true star of tomorrow, has belted three homers already in the tournament. Groomes is definitely a player to watch.
Hoboken North has standout pitcher/hitter Pasquale Andreula, who has been one of the more dominant players the Hoboken Little League has seen in years. Andreula fired a one-hitter last week against the tough Roberto Clemente Little League All-Stars of Jersey City, striking out 10 in the process.
The title showdown between these two undefeated titans might be something that people in Hoboken will be talking about for a long time to come. We'll definitely have more on the District 7 Little League title showdown next week, when a deserved champion has been crowned...
Congrats to Pershing Field for capturing the District 6 Cal Ripken championship last week, earning a berth in the state tournament in Monroe Township in the process.
Pershing Field, a long-time staple in the District 7 Little League tourney, distanced itself from Little League baseball this year to join the ranks of Cal Ripken like others in Hudson County. First year in Cal Ripken and it leads to instant success. Ed Riedinger had three hits and struck out 10 in pitching a two-hitter in the title game against Greenville American last week...
Weehawken has been doing well in the District 6 13-year-old Babe Ruth tournament, thanks to the pitching prowess of left-hander Jimmy McCall. People in Weehawken are saying that the young McCall is the best pitching prospect to come out of Weehawken in quite some time...
One last thing about North Bergen softball: The exploits of slugger Jessica Feria, who played for the Angels in the Senior Division of the league, cannot be overlooked.
In a recent playoff game, Feria had two triples, then drove in three runs with a bases-loaded triple in the seventh inning, leading the Angels to a thrilling 13-12 victory.
Thalia Garcia and Kayla Klein were also big hitters in the win.
It was soothing news to Jessica's mom, Jeannie, who is also one of the coaches on the team, because Jeannie just underwent knee surgery and will be recuperating for a little while. Nice get well present for Mom...
The EXTRA INNINGS weekly feature focuses on the best stories that come from local baseball and softball leagues throughout the area.
If you have any noteworthy information to contribute to the EXTRA INNINGS, feel free to contact Jim Hague by voice mail at 201-798-7800, ext. 751, by general mail at 1400 Washington Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030, or via e-mail at OGSMAR@aol.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please include a telephone contact name and number, in order to secure further information for a possible story.... - Jim Hague