Perhaps the best thing about Bobby Sox softball, according to Cathy DiLeonardo, is that if you're on the team, you'll get on the field.
"Everybody plays," said DiLeonardo, manager of the Mountain View Bobby Sox 4A Division All-Stars. "It's fair."
And in Mountain View's case, the 13 team members did more than just play. DiLeonardo said each one of them contributed to Mountain View's success this summer.
"It was every girl who made the difference for this team at some point or another," she said.
The team of 16-and-under players from Mountain View, Los Altos and Sunnyvale recently capped a season in which it "did the best any Mountain View team has ever done," DiLeonardo said.
After winning its district in dramatic fashion, the squad placed fifth out of 16 teams in the Bobby Sox National Tournament of Champions.
Mountain View went 2-2 at the double-elimination tourney, held Aug. 2-4 in Buena Park, and was the only team to knock off eventual champ Pico Rivera.
Mountain View's roster changed a little from the district to the national competitions - a few players had previous commitments - but others stepped up in their stead.
"They were incredible," said DiLeonardo, whose husband Carl was on her coaching staff. "They worked hard and everything turned out great."
Mountain View began the national with a pair of wins. The girls topped Claremont 10-7 in the opener, with half their runs coming in the first inning when they batted around.
"They came out hitting phenomenally," DiLeonardo said. "They did really well."
Mountain View then squeaked by host team Pico Rivera 2-1. Celeste Guasch helped preserve the victory by running down a long fly ball in the seventh inning with two outs and runners on.
"It was an incredible catch," DiLeonardo said. "I thought it was gone; the field didn't have fences."
Earlier in the game, Guasch stole home for what proved to be the winning run.
Mountain View was eliminated from the event with back-to-back losses to Lakeside and the same Pico Rivera team it beat earlier. Mountain View fell 7-1 to Lakeside and 8-2 to Pico Rivera.
In the district tourney, played June 29-30 in Milpitas, Mountain View won five of its six games to advance to the national.
DiLeonardo said Mountain View's "bats were alive" in the district competition.
Alicia Olmos totaled 10 hits to lead the team with a .588 batting average; Genny DiLeonardo hit safely in all six games (nine hits total) and led Mountain View in slugging percentage (.684); Briahna Rousseau, Caitlin Mulloy and Ellie Aragon each had seven hits; Stephanie Jackson blasted a grand slam; and Megan Keefhaver produced five hits.
The team's top pitchers for the season included Olmos and Keefhaver, with Ciara Mirana turning out what the manager described as "a gutsy" pitching performance in the district tourney.
Also helping out along the way with clutch plays in the field and at the plate were Venice Higareda, Patty Garnero, Dana Schmitz and Lindsay O'Hearn.
With such a young team - the players were all between the ages of 13-15 - DiLeonardo said Mountain View should be able make another run at the national title next summer.