BELLEVIEW — The Okeechobee Angels X-Play 10 and Under All-Stars have advanced to the World Series following their stellar performance in the state tournament in Bellview, Fla., on July 12-14.
The girls will travel to Hopkins, Texas, for the 2019 X-Play Dixie World Series which runs Aug. 2 through Aug. 7.
Okeechobee won three back-to-back games in the state tournament to punch their ticket to the World Series.
The first game of the state tournament saw the team win by double digits over Springhill, 18-2, with Hannah Platt pitching a complete game for Okeechobee and shutting down the Springhill offense. Next, the girls played Holmes County in consecutive games for the state championship. During the first game, Okeechobee’s defense pulled off a shutout, winning 10-0 with Charisma
Micco going the distance. The second game, however, was just a little bit closer.
Okeechobee was able to put the exclamation point on a championship win with a score of 5-4 over Holmes County. Melaine Bonilla pitched for Okeechobee for the first, second and third innings while Charisma Micco closed things out in the fourth and fifth.
Head coach Daniel Nunez said his players were able overcome some early nerves in the beginning of the state tournament.
“All of our girls played very well,” explained Nunez. “They were a little nervous at first but then they were able to settle down. It was a really great experience for these girls to play in a state tournament like this and win it.”
Nunez also made sure to thank the Okeechobee Citizens Recreational Association program, along with its president, Jessica Sloven-
ski, for all the help.
“I would also like to give a big thanks to all the parents, the Okeechobee community, the Brighton Reservation, Council Rep. Larry Howard and Board Rep. Helene Buster. I also have to give credit to my assistant coaches Cheyenne Nunez and Eddy Gonzalez. They taught the girls a lot, and it shows.”
Now the team is starting to prepare for the World Series where they’ll face some of the best teams from around the country.
“On offense we will be working on swinging at only strikes and being more disciplined in the box,” said Nunez of the team’s focus in practice for the next few weeks. “As for our defense, we have a pretty solid infield and outfield so we will just keep practicing on making routine plays, communicating and backing each other up on every play.”
Okeechobee also sent a team to the World Series last year.
In 2018 the Okeechobee 8U All-Stars earned a trip to Lumberton, N.C., after pulling off a comeback victory in the state championship.
While the Angels practice for the upcoming tournament, they also are starting to raise funds to pay for the trip to Texas in early August.
Coach Nunez says the team will be doing fundraising around town, but local businesses that would like to help directly can reach out to the team by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Overall the coaches and I are extremely proud of these girls for all their hard work,” concluded Nunez, “because it has all paid off in the end. We are excited to be traveling to Hopkins, Texas, and are ready to let them know what we are really about.”