May 28, 2024
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Courtesy photo/Provided by Raquel Chaparro

For girl softball players ages 14 and under, it’s heady stuff to represent your team and your town in the Babe Ruth World Series.

The 14U Lady Mules maintained their composure while competing in the muggy atmosphere of Treasure Coast, Florida, about 100 miles from Orlando.

“We got first place in the Diamond Bracket,” said Coach Juan Sanchez. “The girls did awesome, but not enough to get to the top bracket.”

The girls won seven of 11 games played. Rizeal Chaparro was awarded Best Batting Average, and catcher Maria Sanchez earned Best Defense.

“All of them are great. They’re excellent players, every single one of them,” Sanchez said. “They all had a blast, but it was something different from what they expected to accomplish. Even though we didn’t win the whole thing, we won something.”

The community of Muleshoe supported the girls through media posts.

“We had 500 viewers, the most of any team overall,” Sanchez said.

Manny Ramirez, Texas Tech football great and retired NFL guard for the Detroit Lions, Denver Broncos and Chicago Bears, attended a send-off rally and spoke to the girls. The girls then gathered around Ramirez while his wife Iris offered a prayer for safe travel and victory.

Two large vans and independent cars transported the girls to the series, which lasted from July 18 through July 27.

“I’d like to give special thanks to Muleshoe businesses and the community for their help and support. If not for them, we wouldn’t be out here,” Sanchez said.

All of the 14U girls are expected to come back for next year’s season, except one who will be moving up to 16U.

Sanchez urges parents to sign up their girls for Babe Ruth softball next season.

“Usually Joe Garcia sends out flyers to schools right before school year is over,” he said. “We encourage girls of all ages to sign up.”

Gail M. Williams

Muleshoe Journal Correspondent


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