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Interview of Ashley Gruner: Memories of Playing on Team Germany

Poipu, Hawaii:

Legacy and Legends Softball (L&LS) caught-up with L&LS Elite Top 150 member Ashley Gruner, who is in Poipu, Hawaii to celebrate her grandfather's 80th birthday and her grandparent's 55th wedding anniversary. L&LS extends our warmest congratulations to Ashley's grandparents.

Ashley (Uncommitted - 2022) also plays on Explosion - Schimmel 18U out of La Mirada, California who recently were Championship Runner-ups in the USA Preps World Series Showcase/Tournament, in Lancaster-Palmdale, California.

How did you become a member of the German team?

Ashley: My mom first read about the inaugural Triple Crown International Challenge back in late 2020. I read the rules and I qualified for the German team since my Dad is 100% German and my grandparents are descendants of Germany. I applied by sending in the necessary information and a few of my highlight videos to the Germany Coach Mark Stoicheff. A few months later I received an email saying I was selected to play for Team Germany!

How did you feel when you were announced as a team member?

Ashley: It was such an exciting moment finding out I made the team. We had a few Zoom calls leading up to our tournament that was being held in Colorado in June 2021. Our team consisted of 19 girls from across the United States. The day my jerseys arrived in the mail was another exciting day!!!

When did you meet your teammates?

Ashley: We first met in person in Colorado 2 days before the tournament started so we could practice as a team. Instantly we became a big German family! I have never felt the immediate bonding on any team my entire life like what happened on this team. We immediately became great friends and teammates! The parents stayed at the practice and had the same experience! It’s as though we had known each other for years. What brought us together even more was the night before our games we went to an authentic German restaurant in Colorado. It was amazing! We laughed and created these memories and friendships that would last a lifetime!

Please tell us about your games and the outcome.

Ashley: I played second base and shortstop for the team. We won our first two games even during a major rainstorm. Most of our team were from California and we were not used to playing in this type of weather but we battled through it and it was even more exciting. The families and parents in the stands were cheering for us and it just made the event even more special.

My entire family flew out for this event and even rocked the German spirit-wear! Unfortunately we lost the following two games and we were eliminated. However the memories will last a lifetime! I am still friends with all of these girls on social media and Twitter. We know that we instantly became lifelong friends and we have a bond that can never be taken away! It was one of the most amazing softball experiences in my life! I am hoping I can compete again in the 2022 tournament and that my Class of 2026 softball sister can join me this year. That would be an amazing experience to be able to play with her before I go to college!

That concludes our interview with Ashley Gruner, a very gifted and talented player and an amazing young lady. We thank you, Ashley for your time and for sharing such a great memory. L&LS wish you the best of luck with your future endeavors. Stay frosty!

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