The Renton Little League 12U softball team ended the regular season going 18-0, winning the District 7 Tournament of Champions. The tournament was held on June 11.
“I couldn’t be more proud of these girls, the coaching staff that helped me and all the parents. It was a whole team effort all the way through, from the kids to parents and coaches. You couldn’t ask for a better group from the community,” said Head Coach Carl Bryant.
Bryant said coming into the year, he never thought his team — the “Bat Attitudes” — would have had the season they finished with.
Bryant has been involved with the Little League for the past eight years. This was his first year as a head coach, and just after the halfway mark he kept the nerves to himself. “Around game 12 I felt a little pressure, but I kept it all internal,” he said.
Throughout the course of the year, the team knew the streak was on. But it never took over their process, they just went out and did their thing, he said.
On and off the field the girls had really good chemistry and got along with each other, even playing other sports together. “I knew I had a great group of girls. They had been playing soccer together for the last seven or eight years. I was able to draft a majority of the team and so I was familiar with a lot of girls on the team,“ Bryant said.
Arguably Bryant’s favorite part of the season didn’t have anything to do with the play on the field. “The girls were so together as teammates and always cheering each other on. There was never any negativity in the dugout, “ he said.
After the girls came in first place in their division. They headed to the District 7 Tournament of Champions and took on teams from the Seattle area.
For the final game of the Tournament of Champions in District 7, the girls had the opportunity to play on Seattle University’s softball field. “They were a little bit overwhelmed and intimidated by it at first. I told them the bases and pitching rubber is in the same spot, we just gotta go out and play our game,” Bryant said
The girls settled in quickly and went on to win large 22-11, taking home the crown tournament champions.
Seattle U is a different setup than what the girls were accustomed to for regular-season play. At McKnight Middle School, Bryant’s girls don’t even have a fenced-off dugout, and for their practices, they are the field maintenance workers.
Bryant hopes that in the future the girls can play on better fields, which in his eyes would help bring in more players as well.