GLENDALE — While the rest of the District 16 Little League All-Star teams competed in tournaments, the Crescenta Valley 10-11 Softball team practiced on local diamonds.
Ideally, Crescenta Valley would have preferred participating in some All-Star games. However, there wasn't enough players in the age division to field another team in the district, forcing Crescenta Valley Coach Wade Oshiro and his team to go in a different direction the past two weeks.
Oshiro and Crescenta Valley hope that the preparation gained from the practices will bring success when Crescenta Valley begins the Section 2 Tournament with an opening-round game against District 51 representative Quartz Hill at 9:30 a.m. today at Canyon Country Little League Field.
"Had we played [in a District 16 All-Star Tournament] we would have been playing against a lot of players we are familiar with," Oshiro said. "That said, the big unknown is the level of talent that we will now be facing.
"We've had a lot of practices the last couple of weeks. They have been good and we've put in a lot of work."
Oshiro's squad still won't get in a lot of games, though, as Crescenta Valley and Quartz Hill are the only teams scheduled to compete in the tournament. The teams will meet at noon Sunday in the championship game. An if-necessary contest would be held at 5:15 p.m. Monday at the same location.
"I know that we will have to rely on our defense, especially in the infield," Oshiro said. "Most of our pitchers we have up are from the Minor team.
"We will have to trust our defense to back up our pitchers."
Oshiro said Crescenta Valley will look to use a three-member starting rotation of Therese Oshiro, Carly Griffin and Arleth Lima.
The top of the batting lineup will feature Oshiro, Griffin, Lima and Amanda Chookhachian.
"I think we have some fairly strong hitters in our lineup," Oshiro said. "If we face a team better than us, then so be it.
"It's now about enjoying the experience."
Crescenta Valley's Melissa Yoya said she would prefer practicing instead of playing games.
"You get to know more about your team and the skills that you have," Yoya said. "We also get to learn more things with all of the drills.
"It's exciting to be here and it takes a lot of pride to know you have gotten this far."
The winner will move on to the Division Tournament, which will be held July 14-20 at Quartz Hill.