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 > Little League Online > Media > Little League News Archive > 2014 > January-April > Stanford University Welcomes Little Leaguers® for Little League Softball® Day Celebration

Stanford University Welcomes Little Leaguers® for Little League Softball® Day Celebration

Stanford University Welcomes Little Leaguers® for Little League Softball® Day Celebration

Stanford Softball Day 152

Carly Hoover – a Little League Softball World Series Champion. Kayla Bonstrom – a Junior League Softball World Series Champion. Bessie Noll – a former member of the Musashi-Fuchu Little League in Tokyo, Japan. Erin Ashby, Corey Hanewich, Lauren Donovan – standouts from Little League Softball® programs in California, Florida and Oregon.

The Stanford University Cardinal Softball team is loaded with Little League®-groomed talent, and they got to share their experiences with a group of current Little Leaguers at the Stanford University Little League Softball Day on March 9.

“My favorite Little League experience growing up was the Little League Day at UCLA,” said Erin Ashby, Junior Infielder and Former Player at Crescenta Valley Little League in La Canada, Calif. “We were able to get the players’ autographs and go on the field. It made me realize that one day, all of that could be mine.”

That day came when Little Leaguers and their families came to the campus in Palo Alto, Calif., for their own Little League Day with Ashby and the rest of the Stanford Cardinal Softball team.

Stanford Softball Day 500

Stanford University Cardinal Softball players talking to the group of Little League players, parents and volunteers at the Little League Softball Day.

“I want the Little Leaguers to have fun when they play,” said Lauren Donovan, Junior Infielder who played Little League growing up in Salem, Ore. “That’s the reason we all play the game, but it can be easy to forget that because softball is a game of failure. It’s impossible to get a hit every time or never make a mistake on defense, so you have to put that failure behind you. Whether you make a play or not, it’s important to have fun.”

At colleges and universities around the United States, Little League Softball players and volunteers will be welcomed to watch top-notch softball competition at Little League Softball Days. Some activities during the Little League Softball Day at Stanford University included watching the Cardinal take on the University of California Davis, free Stanford Softball posters and autographs and a question and answer session with the Stanford players. Learn more about Little League Softball Days.

Out of the 18 players on the Stanford University Softball roster, six got their start on a Little League field. Freshman Carly Hoover was named 2013 Gatorade Softball Player of the Year. In 2008, she was part of the Simpsonville Little League that captured the Little League Softball World Series Championship.

“Little League is every kids dream growing up, and it's almost surreal to be a freshman in college now and be able to claim that I was once a part of a championship team,” said Hoover, a pitcher for the Cardinal. “It gave me confidence into my later playing years.”

Celebrating its 40th Anniversary in 2014, Little League Softball has 360,000 athletes participating on more than 24,000 softball teams in over 20 countries, with four divisions culminating at a Softball World Series. Little League Softball Days are just one of the many ways local communities are celebrating not only the anniversary of Little League Softball, but also the 75th Anniversary of Little League.

“I think the best piece of advice I could tell any young player is that it’s important to love what you do and do what you love,” said Ashby. “Little League always kept things in perspective. It always reminds me how much love I have for the game and why I play.”