The Grosse Pointe Diamonds travel softball team had a good showing at the Stars and Stripes Tournament, which took place July 14-15 in Roseville.
The Diamonds’ 14U and 16U teams faced off against each other in the championship game, with the 16U squad coming away as tournament champions.
Grosse Pointe’s 12u team also had a strong showing in the tournament, finishing in second place.
The Diamonds’ coaches are Ron Smith (12u), Joe Matthews (14u) and Jessica Richardson (16u).
Having all three of the teams finish in the top two spots made for a better result than even Smith expected heading into the tournament.
“The expectations were to be competitive; the results were hardware,” he said. “All three of them stepped up to a tremendous level, a better level than we anticipated originally. All three teams surprised a lot of people with how together they played. They delivered all the way up to and including the finals.”
For Smith, aside from the enjoyment players receive from having the opportunity to play organized softball during their summer vacation, there are also other benefits that can come as a result of playing on the travel team. He believes the experience helps them become better softball players and also aids in developing team and relationship skills.
“We got to see that at all three levels this year,” he said. “We had kids still in grade school that are going into middle school. We had middle schoolers that are going to be going into high school, and we had high schoolers that are going on to being varsity players at their high school. We got to watch them all develop their skill set to take it to the next level, and that’s really what it’s all about — enjoying it and developing your skills to take you to the next level.”