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Feb. 1, 2010
ALASKA WOMEN'S 40S TEAM EMBRACES HOT COMPETITIONConnie Stewart
The Northern Exposure women from Juneau, Alaska, participated in their first senior softball tournament by playing in the Womenís 40 Master AA Division in the 2009 Phoenix World Championships.
Following in the footsteps of the menís team from Juneau, the Northern Exposure Womenís team started planning their first appearance into the senior softball circuit in late 2008. Through hard work and great team spirit they succeeded.
Their nine core players had been playing together for over 10 years. Additionally, two players, who used to play softball in Juneau, were added to the roster (one from Seattle and one from Richmond, Va.). Two other Seattle pick-ups were added to round out their team. For the Alaska and Pacific Northwest players, the cost was more than worth it to get a vacation to a warm, sunny place during the dark, rainy fall season! While their out-of-town players were still playing softball well into September, the regular season in Juneau ends by the second week of July. Because of this, the Juneau players had an unorthodox approach for preparing for the World Championship tournament. They had a few practices outside and then they picked up enough players to join them in a second season senior softball league. The league adopted the Senior Softball rules and the women played against two menís teams. That same group traveled to Sitka over Labor Day to play in the annual Mudball tournament where they took first place.
The month before the tournament, they shared indoor batting cages with the menís team; had three indoor practices on a turf field and two practices outside when it wasnít raining.
The last outdoor practice was on a beautiful, sunny day; however, the 50-degree temperature was slightly cooler than the record breaking temperature of over 100 degrees we had in Phoenix.
Despite the difficulty in getting in a lot of softball time after their regular season, the team was pleased with their performance in Phoenix.
They came in fourth out of eight teams in their division with a 5-2 record, exceeding their expectations.
This team placed HIGH on my vote for sportsmanship. They not only played hard, their attitude on the field was awesome! They even gave every player, on each team they played, a pin from Alaska. They are also looking forward to participating in next yearís tournament.
Congratulations Northern Exposure and welcome to Senior Softball.