Smithville team headed to Little League World Series

The Smithville Little League Junior Softball team is headed to the Little League World Series in Washington state, but before they left, their hometown sent them off with a parade. 

The parade was a community effort to celebrate the girls’ success. They decorated the town with balloons, streamers and lights. 

The Smithville Tigers are made up of 12 girls who have been playing together since they were 5 or 6 years old.

They credit their successful season to the love and respect they all have for each other. Third baseman, Hadelee Ladwig, said she doesn't think many teams have that same bond. 

The team went undefeated in the 2018 season despite having some injured players, winning 20 games and outscoring their opponents in the regional tournament 37 to 1. 

The girls traveled to Albuquerque, New Mexico for the Southwest Regional Softball Tournament, where they defeated Texas West 13 to 1 and gained the title that sent them to the World Series. 

For a town of about 4,000 people, this was huge for everyone. 

Second baseman, Abby Kennon, said she couldn't believe her small town little league team was one of the best in the world. 

“I was like, whoa, we are like top 10 in the world, like Smithville.”

Ladwig said their softball team has put Smithville on the map.

Smithville will face Puerto Rico in their first Little League World Series game and hopes to continue to advance to the championship game on August 4.