Although the Santa Monica Little League All-star girls lost last week in the Southern California Sectionals, the softball team earned the praise of Coach Karl Rumburg.
“Many of the Sectional teams were very sharp and polished coming from softball dynasties,’’ Rumburg wrote in an e-mail to The Mirror. “They are expected to win.
“Many of the girls have professional pitching and batting coaches. I take pride that our girls advanced as far as they did with their raw, natural talent without the aid of professionals for the most part.
“We are a scrappy little team from Santa Monica with a big heart.’’
Santa Monica won four straight games to capture the district championship, a competition primarily among Westside teams. However, in the Sectionals, Santa Monica was eliminated with losses to West Torrance and Los Altos, 7-0 and 18-9.
The roster was comprised of Nina Bracey, Natalie Coutts, Makenna Dano, Jessica Deene, Julie Munoz, Jasmine Reynoso, Valerie Casillas, Monica Norris, Raquel Rodriguez, Karli Rumburg, Marissa Padilla and Elia Wilson.
Bracey and Norris are outstanding pitchers and Rumburg is the team’s best power hitter.
Rumburg’s remarks reflect the state of high school softball in recent years. Westside powers Santa Monica and Culver City have done well in the Ocean League, but not nearly as well in non-league and tournament games.
Culver City Coach John Sargent has been outspoken about non-league teams having players who play travel ball when the high school season ends, something few of his players do.
Culver City won most of its league games last season but regularly lost non-league games by one-sided scores.Santa Monica won the Ocean League championship but was eliminated in the second round of the CIF playoffs.