A local 14 and under girl’s softball team from the Douglas Girls Softball League in Douglas is raising money for a trip to California next week where they will play in the Pony Softball World Series.

The event is taking place July 24-27 in Hemet, California. Douglas will take part in the opening ceremonies Tuesday, July 23 at which time they will hand out custom made pins promoting Douglas.

Douglas’ team is being coached by Fernando De La Riva, Mike Bustillos and Gilbert Escalante. Joining them on the trip as chaperones will be Victoria De La Riva, Norma Hurtado, and Rocio Torres.

The team is guaranteed a minimum of four games and will be playing teams from all over the United States.

Coach De La Riva said Douglas sent a team last year that went 1-3.

“The girls that went had a good experience and I thought it would be fun to return this year,” he said. “I think its good for them to see the different levels of play. Some of these girls have dreams of playing at the next level. This experience will give them an idea of what that level of play is like.”

De La Riva coached in the DGASL during the regular season and said based on what he saw during the season he had a good idea of who he wanted on this team for this adventure.

To help get his team ready he has had them play some practice games against the bigger girls in DGSAL, which has helped.

“I was very impressed as to how they handled themselves against the big girls here, now we just have to see how we do in California,” he said.

Vanessa De La Riva, Fernando’s wife, said the girls all get a long and she sees good chemistry which is a plus going into a tournament like this.

“It’s very hot in Hemet,” she said. “We have been stressing to the girls they need to be hydrated because it’s hot.”

Both Fernando and Vanessa said the community has been very supportive as the girls have been holding fundraisers and getting donations.

“I love Douglas,” she said. “I always say when it come to kids and a good cause everyone seems to come together to help out. We had several people help us out through donations. We recently received a donation check for $250. It’s been truly amazing.”

“I just want to thank the community,” Fernando added. “Without them, this experience for our girls would not be possible.”

Donations can be made through Monday, July 22 by contacting Vanessa at Everette J. Jones Associates or contacting her or Fernando at (915) 861-1958 or (915) 227-4207.

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