Sterling Little League team wins big

August 18, 2011 (STERLING, Ill.)

The girls returned home Thursday after Wednesday's big game in Portland, Oregon. Sterling is about 100 miles west of Chicago.

A grounder to third and a throw to first brought home the championship in the nail-biting game. The girls from Sterling deserve to celebrate. This is only the second time an Illinois team has won the national title.

As they arrived at O'Hare airport Thursday, the young champions are exhausted from their win and the long flight, but savoring the thrill of victory.

"It's probably one of the best things that ever happened to me, to be totally honest," Hannah Escamilla, shortstop, said.

Escamilla was key to Sterling's third-inning rally. The team was down 3 to nothing against a tough team from Waco, Texas, when it was time for pep talk.

"Once we get to the dugout and talking, we get pumped up. When someone's down, we lift them up and stuff. And get more pumped up," Erin Stroup, first base, said.

The girls got pumped up alright. The players found fire in their bats over and over, scoring seven runs in the third inning.

"We have, like, one really good inning and end up winning it, sometimes," Nadia Truillo, catcher, said.

When you're playing for the national championship, sometimes is a good time to come through.

"It was amazing. We knew we were a good team, when it all started. But at this game, you never know what's going to happen. You can get beaten at any point. For the girls to stay up and win 19 in a row, it's cool. And we get to bring the World Series title back to Illinois," Eric Staples, coach, said.

The team's won bragging rights for years to come. And on Friday, they'll get a hometown celebration complete with a parade.

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