PORT ANGELES — After all its hard work of fundraising and practicing almost every day, the North Olympic 16U Babe Ruth softball team is on its way to the World Series.
At the end of a lot of picture-taking, farewells and smiles, the Port Angeles team left from the Swain’s General Store parking lot in a bus late Tuesday afternoon to spend the night in Seattle.
Players, coaches and some parents fly today to Varina, Va., to participate in the 10-team World Series.
There, the work really starts for the team, as well as some fun.
Port Angeles, the Pacific Northwest representative, plays three games in the first two days, including two contests the first day Thursday.
North Olympic plays four games in pool play in a bid to finish in the top-three of its five-team National Division pool and earn a berth in the double-elimination tournament.
Port Angeles plays in the first game of the tournament, taking on Pacific Southwest at noon PDT on Thursday.
Just five hours later, a probably tired Port Angeles team then plays host team Varina at 5 p.m. PDT in Game 2.
It will be the final game of the day and Varina’s first contest in the tournament.
Next, Port Angeles plays New England at 1 p.m. PDT Friday. The area team concludes pool play Saturday at noon PDT against Ohio Valley.
North Olympic then gets a bye and sight-seeing day on the final day of pool play Sunday.
The American Division has teams from Middle Atlantic, Midwest Plains, Southeast, Southwest and the Virginia state champion.
The top three teams from each division face off in a double-elimination tournament starting Monday and ending Aug. 12 with the World Series championship game.
Port Angeles plays three games even before the opening ceremonies, which are scheduled for Friday at 4:15 p.m. PDT at Dorey Park in Varina.
This is the ninth time in 10 years that Port Angeles has played in the 16U Babe Ruth softball World Series.
Three of those teams have come back with fourth-place finishes. The 2006, 2002 and 2001 teams all tied for the best finishes in Port Angeles history.
North Olympic went to the World Series from 2001 to 2008 before missing last year’s tournament.But now that they’re back they hope to make some noise again, according to coach Warren Stevens, who has coached five of the World Series teams.