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International Junior Little League Softball World Series championship

First time playing at this level for the Snow Canyon LL girls, and brought the cold-weather state a championship

By Arnie Leshin 
Arnie Leshin

When you think Utah, you think of skiing, hockey and other cold weather . activities, but something like softball doesn’t figure.

But don’t tell that to the girls from Snow Canyon, Utah, for they have no doubt been the surprise of the International Little League Softball World Series played at Portland, Ore.

It was their very first appearance at this level, but you’d never know it. They won their first six starts before turning away Texas West’s Smithville. Tex.LL, 9-3, in Friday afternoon’s championship contest. It ended West’s season at 4-3.

From the Salt Lake City area where LL softball first originated in Utah, the league is based in River Edge, it rang up 60 runs and allowed only 14. It threw a pair of shutouts and twice disposed of the Texas East and West.

Now comparing Utah to the two Texas teams is like comparing apples to oranges. Both tasted good to the Utah squad that celebrated, but West didn’t have anything to celebrate, only disappointment.

Since the Lone Star State was split into two teams, East and West, it has been one of the finest programs in the land. It has won numerous championships, more than any other state, and plays at the huge and picturesque George W. Bush Youth Complex.  

So for a team from Texas in the championship round, it’s no surprise. But for Utah, it’s something new. Regardless, this talented group ages 10-13never slowed down.

It would get away to a fast start, score, and this usually frustrated the opposition. It never had to come-from-behind. It’s pitching has been deep and stellar, its lineup is very balanced, it knows how to run the bases, and its fielding fits right in.

This time, the Texas team only trailed by five runs before scoring twice in the third inning.

Then Utah got together at the plate, tacked on four more runs and held West to only one more run. Utah appeared loose and composed and didn’t appear under pressure throughout. It was just another opponent going down before it.

But once the final out was made, the girls celebrated. All of a sudden, it sunk in. Something new and Utah should give them a parade. It may be

‘old hat’ elsewhere, but when a cold-weather team can win something like an International Softball LL World Series in the summer, this team deserves all the praise.

And Snow Canyon should also be proud. It girlshad to compete against the likes of Africa, Italy, Mexico, Panama, Japan, and Canada, and you can include the USA programs that have been through this before, as in New Jersey, Florida, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and not to forget the host Kirkland team.

Any skiing, ice hockey or other cold weather celebrations in Utah? Well, how about softball in the summer?

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