Free all-girls hitting clinic coming to Murrieta in October

Summer is winding down; school has been back in session for a few weeks and new seasons of sports are coming into play. With that said, one local all-girls baseball team is still reveling in their summer to remember.

The Los Angeles Monarchs Baseball Club, which has ties to the Temecula Valley, was founded in 2015 so that girls aged 7-19 can experience the joy, camaraderie, and encouragement of playing baseball with other girls in Southern California. These girls have participated in MLB/USA Baseball’s Trailblazer events, traveled to Japan to represent the USA at the World Children’s Baseball Fair, competed in Baseball For All’s Regional and Nationals Tournaments, met the women of the AAGPBL and other mentors and advocates for women in baseball, starred in documentaries and won National titles.

The 14U Los Angeles Monarchs traveled to Aberdeen, Maryland, where they won the Baseball For All National 14U title. Valley News/Courtesy photo

Over the summer, the Monarchs 14U team took to the road, traveling around to play the sport they love and compete at a national level. One of the top tournaments they took part in was the Baseball For All National Championships. Baseball For All is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that builds gender equity in baseball by providing girls with opportunities to play, coach and lead in the sport.

Even though they went 1-3 during pool play, the 14U Monarchs fought back during the playoffs, duking it out against three teams over two days to take home the BFA National 14U (54/80) title.

“We didn’t think we’d make it to the championship, so we had to come together as a team to figure out what we needed to fix and how to do it,” Temecula’s Kate Weller, a BFA junior captain, said. “The East Bay Hurricanes team is so good, and we fought super hard in the elimination games because of them. They were behind our dugout during the semi-finals, being the loudest ones there, making sure we would be able to face them for a third time in the championship.”

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Yes, you read that right. The Monarchs and the Hurricanes have now faced each other during championship games at three different national events (BFA), with each team trading off to take home the title.

“I feel like we all had our parts [to play] and without each of us, it would have never worked,” Arden Hittner, one of this year’s newest BFA Junior Captains, said. “You can never just think that it was just one person that did all this. From Ava’s great catching to Tova’s hitting to Kate screaming in the dugout, we all had a part.”

Over a four-day span in Aberdeen, Maryland, (July 18-22), the 11 Monarchs players banded together as a family, and this year they also came together to play for one player in particular, Leighton Accardo. Leighton was a beloved member of Peaches Baseball who died from cancer in 2020. Hanging her jersey up in their dugout, the Monarchs played each game for her.

“It meant so much to be playing for Leighton. She meant so much to the team, so to have her number on our hat and to have the jersey up just shows she was there with us the whole time,” Arden said.

The 14U Los Angeles Monarchs traveled to Aberdeen, Maryland, where they won the Baseball For All National 14U title. Valley News/Courtesy photo

With the success from their summer, the Monarchs will be looking to recruit more girls to the program. There will be a free “All Girls Baseball Clinic” at Hitting Nukes Baseball Facility, 41795 Elm St. #201 in Murrieta, coming up Sunday, Oct. 10, from 12:30-2:30 p.m. For more information, or to sign up, contact Coach Don Weller at dew951@gmail.com.

For more information about Baseball For All, www.baseballforall.com. For more information about the L.A. Monarchs, www.lamonarchs.org. Article contributions came from the Baseball For All program.

JP Raineri can be reached by email at sports@reedermedia.com.