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CAL RIPKEN LEAGUE GIRLS MAKE HISTORY

On Sunday, May 24th, history was made at the Mangilao little league baseball field. For the first time ever, two all-girl baseball teams from ages 7-9 suited up against each other for a historic showdown that finished in an old-fashioned thriller.

By Robert Balajadia

On Sunday, May 24th, history was made at the Mangilao little league baseball field. For the first time ever, two all-girl baseball teams from ages 7-9 suited up against each other for a historic showdown that finished in an old-fashioned thriller.

The Heartbreakers defeated the Agat Stars 19-18 after first baseman Nicole “Coco” Silk scooped up a grounder to tag the bag with the Stars game-tying run at third base. Silk posted up historic numbers in the historic game notching two in-the-park homers, bringing in 11 runs.

For three years, the only all-girls team in the Guam Cal Ripken Rookie League were the Heartbreakers until the Stars came into the picture for the 2015 season. Both teams brought the fans, a DJ, and a small after-game celebration party to commemorate the event.

Nicole "Coco" Silk tags the bag for the out at first bas after making a great catch. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Heartbreakers Nicole “Coco” Silk tags the bag for the out at first bas after making a great catch. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

The two teams didn’t know if they would ever even meet each other at the beginning of the season, but once they got notice that they would be in the same division, the excitement could hardly be contained.

“Agat was practicing and preparing all week for this game and they were coming fresh off a win over the boys team Northern Yankees on Saturday, so they were ready for us,” said Heartbreakers manager John McDonald.

The game was decided to be played at a neutral field allowing a both fan bases equal footing.

I would like to say it was a great game for both teams. No one expected for these two all-girls team to compete,” Stars coach Mark Flores said. “It was an exciting game to watch. As for my Agat Stars team, great job girls for continuing to push foward for a first year team we have come a long way and learned a lot in the sport of baseball. Thank you to John McDonald for giving us the opportunity to compete against his all-girls team in the league; it was a great feeling. Last, but not least, thank you to our sponsors UNITEK and HBP and also the parents and coaches. Without you guys bringing your kids out we wouldn’t have a great team today. Thank you again for all your support!”

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“The girls were nervous in the beginning, but once everyone started to get hits they weren’t as intimidated as they would sometimes get against the boys teams,” said Heartbreakers head coach Neesie Santos.

For one of the Heartbreakers, the win had a lot more meaning. Shortstop Peterine San Augustin had just lost her grandfather earlier in the day, but she and her family still wanted her to play.

image001“The game means so much to her and she’s one of our best players. The win was definitely dedicated to him,” said McDonald.

Before even coming into this game, I am just proud of our girls for their awesome performance,” Agat asst. coach Juliet Gamboa commented. “They have come along way from not knowing how to catch, throw or even hit to where they are today. They battled out teams that have been playing for more than they have. We still have more work to do…but evetually it’ll all come into play. We look forward to another season and becoming more aggressive.”

Future Of Girls In Baseball

The girls that competed made history, but McDonald is hoping Sunday’s game to be a stepping stone for other girls teams to join the league.

“It would be nice if all the locations on Guam had representation in the league. We are central and Agat’s team has southern participation, so hopefully we can get a team from the north to come together.”

Santos played softball in high school and still continues to play the sport in her young adult life. What she noticed from the weekend’s game was bright for the future of the sport.

“It felt like a championship game. It was a good experience and these kids really want to learn how to play, which was really good,” said Santos.

Stars manager Kevin Susuico added,”Our girls dedicate their time to practice hard and train hard everyday to prepare themselves for all their games.”

PHOTO GALLERY:

Stars Zaeyah Tajalle tries to bring in the throw to get the Heartbreakers out. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Stars Zaeya Tajalle tries to bring in the throw to get the Heartbreakers out. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

(photo by Robert Balajadia)

(photo by Robert Balajadia)

Stars slugger Havannah Duenas gets ready for big swing. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Stars slugger TasiLyn Concepcion gets ready for big swing. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

(photo by Robert Balajadia)

(photo by Robert Balajadia)

(photo by Robert Balajadia)

(photo by Robert Balajadia)

(photo by Robert Balajadia)

(photo by Robert Balajadia)

Tanni of the Heartbreakers gets to second base safely. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Tanni of the Heartbreakers gets to second base safely. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

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Sports legend Joe Taitano used to run to school at JFK from his Yigo home and back. He continued this routine up to 1979 when he’d run from home to GW gym and back to practice for the South Pacific Games with the national basketball team. Guam went on to win its second straight SPG gold medal.

 

 

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