▶️ Bend North Little League kicks off 2nd Annual softball jamboree


Over 200 girls ages 5-to-14 are coming together at Pine Nursery Park in Bend for one final tournament — the Bend North Little League Softball Jamboree.

“We’re hosting 27 teams, all over from Central Oregon to play softball all weekend long,” said Bend North Little League Softball President Dominic Gatto. “We really want to provide the girls with a tournament-style experience. We’ll have lots of umpires coming in from town. We have medals and grand opening ceremonies. I just want to provide a really cool, intense, fun experience for girls.”

Each team was brought out and recognized Friday before former collegiate athletes gave the kids some words of encouragement.

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“I really appreciate the fact that not only is the jamboree here, but the fact that you have this culmination at the end of the season. And, yes, it’s a playoff, but mostly it’s a celebration like what has happened over the course of the season, having so many alumni from college that live here in Bend,” said former Olympic athlete and current ESPN softball color commentator Jessica Mendoza. “I think showing these little girls where the sport can take you.”

Mendoza just returned from Oklahoma from the softball World Series, landing just in time for the Bend North Little League Softball Jamboree.

“I just honestly appreciate the sport that goes to girls in this community. As a mother of two boys and seeing how much baseball is grown,” Mendoza said. “I am so proud of Bend and how everyone within Bend is seeing and recognizing all these amazing girls and support in the sport of softball as well.”

The athletes were chomping at the bit to play.

“I am excited for the Jamboree and to most likely, probably win,” said Bend North Minor, Stevie. “I want to.”

The coaches they want to win too, but they also had more important goals in mind.

“I told my girls at the beginning of the year that my goal as a coach was not wins or losses, but how many of them come back to play next year, and I think we accomplish that goal,” said Coach Guiney of the Bend North Majors softball team. “I think most of my team is coming back.”


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