San Lorenzo Valley Girls Softball League will form teams following a skills evaluation in early February.
Jared Austin, president of the league, has a daughter in the under-12 division who has played in the league since the beginning.
“The youngest girls, we’re trying to get them to have fun, enjoy the game and smile,” said Austin, who is in his first year as president. “You see a lot of kids these days with their faces buried in a little black box. We want them to work together as a team.”
The league is for players 5 to 14 years old and is split into four divisions: 8-and-under, 10-and-under, 12-and-under and 14-and-under.
Austin said the league tries to honor requests from parents for girls to play on the same team as their friends.
A longtime league parent and board member, Tammie De Tar, said that’s an important point.
“A lot of girls are not so much into winning,” De Tar said. “It’s more, ‘Am I going to be on my friend’s team?’”
As the players get older, the competition increases, especially in the 14-and-under division, De Tar said.
The league’s goals are to promote teamwork, improve coaches’ and players’ skills, elevate self-esteem and get girls ready to play in high school or competitive traveling teams, Austin said.
The league has a recent history of players making a successful transition to San Lorenzo Valley High School and college teams. Former league player Samantha Lipperd, for example, was the 2009 Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League Pitcher of the Year and now pitches for Sonoma State University.
Recently SLV High graduates Kendra Salangsang, Mariah Lindberg and Angie Hershberger all starred in the SCCAL after playing for San Lorenzo Valley Girls Softball League.
Team success has followed, as the Cougars have won SCCAL titles and Central Coast Section playoff games.
Cougars head coach Mark Brown has led winter clinics for SLV Girls Softball League players, as well.
“Some girls play together since second grade,” De Tar said. “They work well together and they have that familiarity each season.”
The league’s opening day is March 2.
For information: www.slvgs.com.
SLV Girls Softball skills evaluation
When: Saturday, Feb. 2
- 8-and-under: 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
- 10-and-under: 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.
- 12-and-under: 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.
- 14-and-under: No evaluation
Where: San Lorenzo Valley Middle School field, 7179 Hacienda Way, in Felton