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Fairfield Ledger   Mt. Pleasant News
Neighbors Growing Together | Aug 19, 2017

Youth ball team heading to Babe Ruth Softball World Series

State champs from Riverside and Lone Tree will represent Iowa
By Bill Gatchel | Jul 27, 2017
Photo by: Bill Gatchel Members of the 10U team heading to the Softball World Series in the back row from left are Coach Lennie Troughton from Riverside, Carly Wazac from Riverside, Rylee Shield from Lone Tree, Averi Troughton from Riverside, Vivian Zaruba from Lone Tree, Tatum Goerdt from Riverside, Coach Steph Dautremont from Lone Tree; Front row: Carsen Stransky, Katie Herrig, and Lilly Barre all of Riverside and Kayleigh Rundlett and Alex Dautremont both of Lone Tree. Not pictured: Coach Chris Goerdt from Riverside and Haley Sands and Kerra Longbine, both of Ainsworth.

RIVERSIDE — Ten girls from the small towns of Riverside and Lone Tree will represent the state of Iowa at the 10 and under age group in the 2017 Babe Ruth Softball World Series.

The series will run July 28-Aug. 4 in Jensen Beach, Florida.

The team consists of the top performing all-star players from four local 10U softball teams under the Tri-County Babe Ruth charter.

They went undefeated at the state tournament in June, capturing the state title.

“We knew we had something special at the first practice,” says Coach Goerdt.

“Half of the girls have played together for a couple of years, but the others complemented their skill set.

“Winning a state championship after only two weeks of practice and a few unknowns was a very pleasant surprise.”

In early July, the girls advanced to Midwest Regionals and faced teams from Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Colorado.

The level of play was a lot more intense and the competition was bigger, stronger and harder hitting. The team finished third.

“We held our own at regionals and we definitely made an impression,” Goerdt says.

“The Colorado team was made up of physically mature girls with twice the experience level, but we made them work for their win.

“We held the lead in the beginning and once they took the lead, we kept it within a run or two but in the end we lost 21-17.

“Our girls are a little scrappy, but they have heart and passion for the game.

“There were things at regionals that our small-town players hadn’t seen before, but they picked up quickly and were pulling the same punches on the city kids by the end of the weekend,” Goerdt said.

Winning state qualified the team for the 10U Babe Ruth Softball World Series, although they didn’t find out until the regional tournament that they had an invite.

They have only three weeks to prepare and because of the short turnaround, they lost two team members who had other plans.

“It was a bit of a shock,” said Coach Goerdt, “but this is the chance of a lifetime for these girls and we’ll do whatever we can to get them to Florida.”

In order to fund a last-minute trip to Florida, the families are pulling together for some aggressive fundraising.

Lacey Stransky of Riverside, is one of the chief fundraisers.

“We need to raise about $1,500 per family to make this a reality. GoFundMe makes the most sense because we can reach friends and family all over the world.

“Another mom is designing some fun ball-themed T-shirts that will be sold online in order to donate those profits to the team.

“Those are something that can be ordered from anywhere.”

Businesses who want to sponsor the team are welcome to donate as well.

“We are from Riverside and Lone Tree, but we are representing Iowa in the World Series.

“We would welcome any donation from small businesses to large corporations.

“We’d like to do something nice for those sponsors down the road,” said Stransky.

“I really hope we get enough money to go,” says catcher Carly Wazac.

“We worked really hard to make it to the World Series and we promise to make everyone in Iowa proud.”

To make Iowa proud, the team is practicing every night.

Players are doing their own work at home to tweak their game.

“These girls don’t quit,” says Goerdt, “My daughter is a pitcher and has been waking up at 6 in the morning to throw.

“We have kids coming over for batting practices. At team practice, we’re simulating scenarios from actual games to help our reaction times.”

As for the fun distractions that tempt kids in Florida, young Wazac presents a mature front.

“We’re going there to play ball with our friends and that is going to be fun.

“I don’t think we’ll have time for Disney, but that is OK.”

To keep up with the latest on the team, follow them on their Facebook page at tricounty2017 where they’ll provide links to live streams during the tournament.

To donate online, check out their GoFundMe page at https://www.gofundme.com/allstarsworldseries.

Businesses who want to donate or individuals who prefer to pay by check, please contact Lacey Stransky at (319) 325-1062.

If you prefer to donate by ordering a fun sports-themed T-shirt, a Riverside business is donating 100 percent of the profits from softball shirts and 25 percent from any other sport.

Orders can be placed at www.oolaartistica.com/collections.

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