The Grass Stains, a Malibu Little League softball team composed of mostly 8- and 9-year-olds, were down but not out during their first-round matchup in the District 25 Mid-Season Tournament at Malibu Bluffs Park on April 30.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers, a West LA squad, had an 8-2 lead in the fifth inning, but then the Grass Stains’ bats caught fire. Every girl on the 13-member team got a hit, including Legacy Scott and Lux Geraghty, who both nailed home runs, as Malibu defeated the visiting team 15-14.
Grass Stains manager Laura Angotti said the girls’ performance was incredible.
“The energy in the air was spectacular,” she said. “To come back from a deficit like that — I’ve never been a part of a game where everyone got a hit.”
Malibu defeated another West LA team, the Golden Cheetahs, later that day in the next round of the tournament. The Grass Stains downed the Blue Bears, a third West LA team, the next day at Malibu High School to win the tournament’s championship.
The Grass Stains’ parents and coaches are very proud of the players, said Angotti. She said group has gotten better and more confident throughout the season.
“This is the most amazing group of girls,” Angotti said. “They are positive. They work really hard. They are sweet to each other. When someone strikes out they all gather around that player and hug. If someone scores they are all jumping down and screaming.”
Before taking the diamond, Angotti said, the Grass Stains sing Queen’s “We Will Rock You.” The team sings songs and chants from the dugout throughout each contest.
“They are just the most fun group of girls you could ever have,” Angotti said.
Along with Legacy and Lux, the Grass Stains’ roster includes Leva Magna, Juniper Benjamin-McKee, Janne Korbelin, Siri Retts, Autumn Gardner, Skylar Lingo, Heidi Anderson, Presley Karsh, Nyla Wallace, Vivienne Keenan and Everly Jensen.
Nearly 70 girls, ages 6 to 11, are playing softball this season in the Malibu Little League. The girls are divided amongst six teams. The season ends in June.
Angotti, co-chair of MLL softball with Sarah Ryan, said the season has been amazing.
“There has been so much enthusiasm,” she said. “You see these girls, who at the beginning of the season aren’t talking to anyone and are quiet. It’s a cool thing to witness these girls finding their voices, getting their confidence, and being really good. It’s so cool.”