ALACHUA, Fla. – The Sparta Diamonds U12 softball team qualified to play in the Babe Ruth World Series in Alachua, Fla.  The 10-girl team was one of the top 25 teams from across the country to play in the championship games from July 29 to Aug. 5.

On the first day they had practice and an orientation that included team photos, press interviews for print and TV, touring the facilities, givaways and a preview of the awards to be given out.

“It was as close to being professionals you can get and the girls were thrilled by the atmosphere,” said assistant coach Jason Villar.

Our newsletter delivers the local news that you can trust.

The Sparta Diamonds played well enough to get out of preliminary round pool play and into the championship bracket, making them one of the top 15 in the country. The Diamond lost the first game then followed up with two victories.

“This is a huge accomplishment for our team and our program,” said Villar. “The girls really played hard and were not taken back by the enormity of the World Series event itself. It was an experience that the girls and family members who made the trip will never forget.”

Head coach Joe Jacobs added, "When we started working out in March, none of us could have expected to be here. But it shows what a special bunch of girls we have to come together and never give up and fight all season long, through sectionals and regionals and make it to the World Series. Enjoy every minute of it, you deserve it."

Villar said, “The 12U Sparta Diamonds are a reflection of the Sparta Girls Softball program. SGS is based on the hard work and skill of the Sparta players, commitment by the parents and dedication of the coaches all coming together. These attributes and many more are what made this a special season for the 12U Sparta Diamonds. Each girl had a hand in getting the team to World Series.”

The SGS program will not rest on its laurels, as Sparta Diamonds girls' travel softball tryouts are Aug. 27 and 28 at Ungermann Field in Sparta from 6:30 until 8 p.m. The Sparta Softball program has competitive travel teams at all age levels from 8U to 16U. For more information, visit www.leaguelineup.com/spartadiamonds or contact Jacobs via email spartadiamonds2014@gmail.com