Murrieta, CA— Cal Oaks Sports Park was all abuzz on Saturday with the likes of Volcanoes, Xplosives, Odd Balls and Live Wires, just four teams out of a total of 42 celebrating Opening Day Ceremonies of the Murrieta Valley Girls Softball Association (MVGSA).
Approximately 500 softball players ranging in ages from 4-19 and their families kicked off the 2013 spring softball season in Murrieta. This marks the 35th season for MVGSA.
Opening day activities included a family fun zone with jumpers and bounce houses, an obstacle course, rock wall, face-painting, concessions, several vendors, a basket opportunity drawing and all-division games. A surprise to many girls was the special appearance of Thunder, Lake Elsinore’s Storm mascot who paraded on the field and danced with the line-ups.
Maniacs’ team member, 10-year old Angelina Velardes opened the ceremonies with the National Anthem. Angelina has been playing with the league since she was 4 years old.
“Empowerment starts on these fields and it starts young,” said MVGSA Board President Ken Powell. “These girls learn to win, they learn to lose, and most importantly they become confident team players.”
Powell went on to say: “Girls’ sports need champions; and we are looking at building those champions right here in Murrieta.”
As teams circled on the field, the softball prayer was read and a dedication and moment of silence was taken in remembrance of Coach Jim ‘Jimbo’ Henderson, who passed away unexpectedly in January. Coach Jimbo coached and pioneered a pitching clinic for the league, investing many hours and his own money. He truly loved the sport. Coach Jimbo’s last team gathered and presented a banner to his daughter Ann Venters.
With games slated to start, ceremonies closed with 400+ girls joining hands to create a player bridge for the 72 players in the 6U division. As the senior girls looked bittersweet knowing this would be their last season played, Team Cookie Monsters player, 5-year old Lissette Quinones was overheard saying: “I’m so excited because my mom said I get to slide!”
Our mission is to provide a safe and friendly atmosphere while instructing our players in the fundamentals of Fast Pitch Softball. Murrieta Valley Girls Softball Association is a non-profit, 100% volunteer organization, committed to the best interests of the young ladies of Murrieta Valley. We are the original girls’ fast-pitch softball league for Murrieta, and have been so for over 18 years. We are the only ASA recognized league in Murrieta. ASA league rules are in place from high school, college, and the Olympics. We are NOT associated with any non-ASA softball leagues. All of our coaches and umpires are registered with ASA.