Ramstein girls head to Italy for regional tourney

by Tech. Sgt. Leo Brown
Contributing writer

A girls softball team from the KMC went TDY to Arezzo, Italy, Tuesday, hoping to earn a spot at the Little League World Series in August.

The team, made up of 11- and 12-year olds, is from the Ramstein American Little League. They represent Germany as they face three teams from Italy, Netherlands and Russia. The games in Italy are a regional tournament of the fast-pitch Europe, Middle East and Africa League.  

Head coach Randall Pletzer said getting to the tournament is an accomplishment in itself, but he also has high hopes the 13-girl team comes out on the winning end.

“They didn’t have a district tournament to compete in, so this is their first tournament,” Coach Pletzer said. “At this point, it’s a combination of nervousness and excitement for the girls, but I just want them to stay positive and stress to them that they can’t let one mistake dictate the rest of a game.

“It takes a lot of focus and concentration when they get out there with all the noise and being in the limelight,” he said.

Coach Peltzer also stressed that the girls benefit greatly from participating in such tournaments.

“Besides improving their softball skills, they get a lot of team camaraderie and make new friends from new countries,” he said. “They get to see how well they’ve improved and overcome obstacles with confidence.”

Two other girls softball teams are also hoping to make the world series, which will be in Portland, Oregon, from Aug. 9 to 15. The 15-16-year-olds and 13-15-year-olds teams play this weekend in tournaments at Ramstein.

They will face teams from Russia, Poland, Italy, Netherlands and several other countries.