When it comes to the Washington Ladyhawks 12U fastpitch team, there’s an unmistakable aura that surrounds the team.
It’s a we-don’t-care-who-you-are sort of attitude players have carried onto the field, owning any ballpark like it was their own. Kind of like what they did Friday in a friendly game against the Hawaii 12U state championship team.
“They definitely carry a swagger when they play,” Ladyhawk coach Angela Morgan said of her team. “It’s been that way since they won the state championship.”
It’s a championship swagger the Ladyhawks carry. That swagger was ratcheted up a notch June 25-26 when the team overcame a late-game deficit to defeat Northwest Speed, 8-7, in the championship game in the Tri-Cities.
It’s an attitude built from knowing that hard work can overcome the obstacles in the game, and that no deficit or opponent is too much for them to overcome.
Ever since that championship game, the Ladyhawks feel they can own any field they play on. Any place can feel as much like home as Emerald Ridge High does for them at practice.
So when they came to play Hawaii on Friday, it didn’t matter the game was at Husky Softball Stadium at the University of Washington.
Thinking about past legends that stood on that field, and with dreams of becoming a star, positive thoughts flashed through players’ minds as they squared off against Hawaii.
“Most fun I ever had, by far,” shortstop Brooke Richards said. “Just being with my team that I love, and getting the chance to stand where Ali Aguilar stood (was) definitely cool. When I’m 18 (years old), maybe I’m coming back here to play at that stadium.”
The Ladyhawks owned Husky Stadium as they hammered six triples against Hawaii, proving that no matter the venue, these girls come ready to play.
And that attitude is only going benefit them this week as they march into the ASA 2016 Western National Tournament. Another championship win here will propel the girls into the ASA-USA National Tournament in late August.
“We’ve never played a team from Hawaii, (but) going out there and beating them — just going out there and doing what Ladyhawks do best (that is) playing to our full potential,” pitcher Kamryn Hyland said. “Being up there and having people cheer for us, it was really cool.”
When they hit the fields this week, they will carry with them that unmistakable swagger.
“With this group, they started out with a whole lot of (athleticism) and not a lot of softball experience,” Morgan said. “They’ve grown from a team in the fall to a group has come together as team.”