Peninsula Youth Softball sends record three teams to state tournament

SAN DIEGO -- The Peninsula Youth Softball league has enjoyed a banner season, sending multiple teams to the state softball tournament this weekend in Lancaster.

For several years, the Peninsula Breakers were accustomed to losing -- so much so that expectations were never high. That's all the more reason why this season was such a surprise.

"We're usually a really losing team," said Kate Yamashiro, a pitcher for the U12 Gold team. "So we got pushed really hard this season to do well and it just feels really good to have three teams going in to represent Peninsula and show people we're not really bad."

For the first time in it's 51-year history, the Peninsula Youth Softball League qualified three teams for the USA Softball Southern California Championships.

"I'm very excited because it's not every year that this happens," said Nanako Schroth, a catcher for the U10 Gold team. "I'm very excited that all three teams actually pushed through and that kind of makes me feel like, 'Wow, I'm so lucky to be in this great league.'"

A new U12 head coach combined with around the year practice began resulting in more wins.

"We started clinics on Saturdays and then we had them every weekend," said Rob Schroth who manages the U10 Gold team. "They would be pitching, hitting and catching and then we'd have fielding days and batting practice days and then as the momentum started to build and the kids got into it, we started working a fall ball program."

That extra experience and practice coupled with the friendships built off the field became the Breakers recipe for success.

"We live basically on a peninsula," said Schroth. "All the kids know each other, it's a really tight community and the girls love each other, they play hard for each other."

"I just enjoy playing with a team that I can have fun with and laugh and it's a very chill game," said Nanako Schroth. "But then there's also those times where it get's very (high-pressure) and you really have to stick as a team to work through it."

The team admits one of their biggest challenges will be playing through the heat and come this weekend in Lancaster,  temperatures are expected to be well over 100 degrees.

"All I've heard is that it's very high level," Nanako said. "It's very hot so the heat really really gets to you and every at bat and out counts, there's like no errors allowed."

The Breakers U12 Silver team was eliminated from the state tournament, meaning the pressure is on for the U12 Gold and U10 Gold teams this weekend.

"I'm kind of stressed out," Nanako said. "I'm trying to chill, I'm trying to hydrate and get my mind off of it. I'm trying to play loose and as best as I can but it's still very stressful."