Eighth grader Brooklynn Nolot will experience a dream come true when she heads to the 2017 Little League Softball World Series as a member of the Floyds Knobs 11-12 All Stars. Brooklyn has been playing softball since she was 4 years old and has dreamt of going to the World Series since she was 8. After her team won the state and Central Region tournament last weekend, its next stop is Portland, Ore., and pool play begins Aug. 9. The team is coached by Travis Unruh ’95 and includes Future Pioneers from two Deanery schools as well.
Additionally, five Holy Family students, including the younger brother of senior Timmy Borden, will be heading to the Little League Baseball Great Lakes Regional Tournament as members of the New Albany 11-12 All Stars.
Brooklynn said it was hard to take it all in when the team won the region.
“There was so much going on,” she said. “You just wanted to hug someone and start crying.”
Now that it’s sunk in that she’ll be heading to the Little League Softball World Series, she’s looking forward to the whole experience.
“I just keep thinking, ‘I’m going to be on TV, I’m going to be playing softball, and I’m going to be with my friends for two weeks!’” she said.
ESPN will start broadcasting the games when eight teams remain, on Aug. 14 on various ESPN channels. The semi-finals will be broadcast on Aug. 15 on ESPN2, and the finals will be broadcast on Aug. 16 on ESPN. Click here for the full schedule, including broadcast dates and channels for some of the Great Lakes Regional games.
Brooklynn has been playing softball since age 4. Her parents, Chris and Tiffany Nolot, met playing softball, and her dad still plays in a league. She wanted to try it herself and fell in love with it, she said. She began playing on a travel team at age 10, and many of her teammates are also on this All Star team. Having played together so long, they are all close friends and have fun playing and traveling together. Being in the Little League Softball All Stars tournament together is on a new level, though.
“It is a big deal because you have to win all the other tournaments to make it this far,” she said. “I play travel ball, and if we don’t win there is always another tournament another weekend. If you don’t win these (All Star) tournaments, then we go home and another team gets to keep playing. I have dreamed of going to a tournament like this and the World Series since I was about 8 years old.”
For the Little League Softball World Series, however, the team does plan to spend the entire two weeks in Oregon. The team will fly out Sunday and is raising money to cover the costs, about $40,000 just for airline tickets, hotels for players and their families, and some food. That cost is in addition to what the families have spent on the state and regional tournament.
Mrs. Tiffany Nolot said the team received more than $20,000 in donations from local businesses and has set up a GoFundMe account so individuals can support the team.The community is invited to a sendoff for the team at noon on Sunday at Floyd Knobs Community Club.
Brittany plays outfield, either center or right, and usually bats eighth. Over the course of the tournament, she has scored 22 runs and hit 16 singles, one double and one triple. She also hit 11 RBIs and had only one strike out.