Fruita Little League hopes to continue run in state tourney

ShaRae Dorscher and her Fruita Little League teammates have overcome a lot of adversity to reach the state tournament, which begins today.

No team showcased a better never-say-die attitude to get to the Little League state tournament than the Fruita Major Girls.

Fruita is hosting the Major Girls state tournament that begins today and runs through Wednesday.

The District 1 tournament was difficult enough for Fruita. Simply to get to this point, Fruita had to defeat Grand Mesa in back-to-back games. Fruita won the first 6-5 before overcoming a 13-0 deficit to win the championship game 14-13.

“I always tell the girls to play with heart,” Fruita manager Josh Zambrano said. “They aren’t the fastest or the biggest, but they never give up and have great team chemistry.”

Traditionally, chemistry is hard to create in the Little League All-Star tournaments because of the short amount of time the teams play together.

That’s not the case with this Fruita team because nine of the players are on the same competitive team, the Fruita Thundercats.

“Over the past five months, we have a lot of experience playing together,” Zambrano said. “We worked really hard to get to this point. Grand Mesa has always been our nemesis, it was a great battle, but this year was our year.”

Fruita begins the state tournament today at Fruita Little League at 5:30 p.m. against Shaw Heights of District 2.  The winner takes on Academy Little League of District 5 on Sunday.

The tournament is double elimination with a possible champion being crowned Tuesday.

“It’s the buzz around town and I expect the park to be packed,” Zambrano said. “This is a great opportunity to show our new facility, and I encourage everyone to go out and support the Fruita girls.”

The winner advances to the Southwestern Regional Tournament in Waco, Texas, where play begins on July 30.

Zambrano said his team isn’t looking beyond the state tournament, but still realize what’s on the horizon.

“I’ve downplayed it to my girls and I don’t want to overlook the state tournament, but we all know what’s right there,” Zambrano said. “After (last) Friday’s win I said jokingly ‘I hope you don’t have any summer vacations planned because I think we’ll be spending a lot of time together.’ “

The Major Girls tournament is going to be completed before many of the other state tournaments even begin. Here’s a look at the Little League state tournaments and the other local teams representing District 1.

9-10 Softball

July 24-28 at Arapahoe Little League

District 1: Orchard Mesa, manager Rich Gellermann

9-10 Baseball

July 24-28 at Monument Little League

District 1: Monument, manager Sean Kreidler

10-11 Baseball

July 24-28 at Hidden Lake Little League

District 1: Monument, manger Daren Biggs

Major Boys

July 24-28 at Summit Middle School

District 1: Orchard Mesa, Pete Steves

Regional — Waco, Texas,  August 6-12

Junior Boys

July 24-28 at Hidden Lake Little League

District 1: District 1 (Grand Mesa/Palisade), manager Andrew Linn

Regional — Midland, Texas, August 6-11

Senior Boys

July 24-28 at Grand Mesa Little League

District 1: Grand Mesa, manager Ben Garner

Regional — Seguin, Texas, August 6-11


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