Goleta Valley Softball spreads out for Nationals

The Goleta Valley Girls Softball Association is sending three all-star teams to ASA Western Nationals, with teams traveling to Washington, Oregon and Colorado this week.

An already historic summer for the Goleta Valley Girls Softball Association is coming to a conclusion this week, as three Goleta all-star teams travel out-of-state for ASA Western National tournaments.

It’s the farthest these teams can go in their all-star seasons, a testament to the work the players and coaches have put in to get there.

Jenny Nichols

Goleta Thunder All-Star Jenny Nichols

The three teams – 14-and-Under, 12-and-Under, and 10-and-Under – are all Central California ASA champions. It is the first time in the association’s history that three teams won the regional titles in the same summer.

“It’s pretty exciting because last year we only got to go to Fresno but this year we get to go out of state so it’s going to be super-fun,” said 10s all-star Mason Boyle during a recent practice at Dos Pueblos.

Boyle is especially excited for the opening ceremony, where the Goleta team will dress up in lemon-inspired outfits to honor their hometown heritage.

Each of the three teams has a different destination for their Western National tournament. Boyle and the 10s head to Spokane, Washington while the 12s go to Salem, Oregon. The 14s go east to Fort Collins, Colorado. The tournaments begin on July 30 and last through August 5.

“I’m excited to just experience it with my team and play with tougher teams, and see how we can handle it,” Boyle said.

While?GVGSA‘s?net will be spread far?this week, back home the weave is tight. All of the teams are coached by parents of players and many of the girls have dedicated multiple summers together to get to this level.

“It’s very rewarding. These kids are all best buds. They back each other on and off the field,” explained Bill Wagner, head coach for the 12s.

It’s a total team effort after all, as making it this far adds an extra financial challenge for families. It costs between $3,000 and $5,000 per family to travel for the week.

But when it comes down to it, it’s all about winning and that’s something Goleta has been doing plenty of this summer. All three teams have won multiple tournaments this summer, led by the 12s with four championships.

The 12-and-under all-stars are?Talia Bloxham, Lauren Buie, Malia Carrasco, Cate Clancy, Cassidy Cole, Gabby Gandall, Lauren Gerken, Cassy Hagel, Chloe Matson, Janet Salas, Anya Schmitz, Rocky Uyesaka, Siena Wagner and Samantha Yanes.

The 10-and-under team won three titles this summer. Team members include Boyle,?Miranda Alvarez, Mikayla Butzke, Claeir Early, Julia Gregson, Mae Hancock, Becky McKinny, Sinai Miranda, Jenny Nichols, Allison Speshyock and Emily Trujillo.

For the 14s, it’s one of the final steps before starting their high school careers. Helping prepare them has been former UCSB pitcher and volunteer coach MeLinda Matsumoto.

“These girls all want to get better. They all want to go into high school and start on whatever team and contribute,” Matsumoto said, crediting everyone of them for being so coachable.

“It’s a pat on the back to all the volunteers who make this happen,” said William Powell, the 14s’ head coach. “We just have a good run of a coaching staff all the way down to the 8U.”

For more information regarding the ASA Western National tournaments HERE