The Little League Baseball® World Series has heated up in Williamsport, Pa. The four remaining teams hope to be celebrating a championship on Sunday. About two hours down the road, in Tunkhannock, Pa., one Little League® team is already celebrating an incredible season.
The girls from Tunkhannock Little League have come home celebrities. They returned from Portland, Ore., where they competed in the Little League Softball® World Series. The team had an amazing tournament, finishing second to Wheelersburg Little League from Wheelersburg, Ohio. Despite coming up just short of a championship, the experience they had is something they will never forget.
Three girls from Tunkhannock made the drive to Williamsport to support the Mid-Atlantic team in the United States semifinal. Wearing their East Region jerseys from the tournament, Ella McNeff, Kaya Hannon, and Paige Marabell were eager to share their experience.
Paige recognized how tough it is to make it to the World Series, but gained more and more faith in her squad as the season went on.
“At the beginning of the year, I didn’t think we were going to go that far,” she admitted. “But, then we all started getting along together, and once that happened, I knew we could go all the way.”
The team is like a family now after getting close throughout the season, but what they never lacked was talent. Ella noticed this right away.
“I knew we could make it to the World Series,” she said confidently. “We looked really good practicing on the field in the beginning of the year.”
Their trip to Portland was a long time in the making. Tunkhannock lost in the region tournament two years ago, and that loss invigorated them for the future.
“Two years ago, when we lost in the regionals, we decided we wanted to be in the Little League Softball World Series, so we made it our main goal as a team,” said Kaya.
The girls take pride in their well-deserved status as one of the best Little League Softball teams in the entire world.
“It’s amazing,” said Ella. “It hasn’t sunk in yet,” Kaya added.
Tunkhannock rewarded the girls for their hard work and success with a heroes’ welcome upon their return home. The Saturday after they got back, the entire town threw a huge parade for their softball team. People in their town also gathered to decorate each player’s house to commemorate their performance.