How do you put your team at ease in the middle of a high-pressure situation in an elimination game at the Little League World Series? Bend North Softball coach Kevin Guiney had a heck of an idea.
During their game against Italy Tuesday, the score was 4-4 in the top of the 6th with Italy at the plate. There was one runner on with one out.
Guiney, who was wearing a microphone for ESPN’s coverage of the game, called a timeout and gathered his team at the pitching circle.
“I’m stealing this from the Puerto Rican coach. Everybody go around and say ‘Hi’ to someone at home real quick. On my mic.”
One by one, the players gave a shout-out to someone back home.
Once that was done, Guiney encouraged his team to focus. Then he had some words of advice for his daughter, pitcher Janelle Guiney.
“Suck it up. Dig deep. You got this. This is what you’re made for.”
Bend North got out of the inning to send the game to extras.
Unfortunately, a five-run eighth inning by Italy was too much to overcome and Bend North lost 9-5. It was their second loss in the double-elimination tournament.