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Troy Lee Chupacabras softball_City of Laguna Beach
The 2022 winning softball teams include the Monday night champions, the Troy Lee Chupacabras. | Photo by City of Laguna Beach

Fun and fitness come together in the City of Laguna Beach’s summer softball league.

By Jessie Dax-Setkus

 

From running the bases to hitting it out of the park, live out your big league dreams on the field during the summertime, when the city of Laguna Beach hosts its adult softball league. With fitness benefits, fun times and a friendly environment for players, the short season is sure to fly by—but not before you’ve had the chance to make memories with your team.

Garrett Rauch, city recreation coordinator, runs the league, which has Monday and Thursday games with two groups playing on separate nights; the current season launched in mid-June. We caught up with Rauch to learn why the local softball league is a fun way to unwind during the summer and what to expect when taking to the field.

 

Laguna Beach Magazine: What is your background with softball/baseball?

Garrett Rauch: I grew up playing baseball through my senior year of high school. In my 20s, I joined a softball team and played … for five years until I suffered injuries that would no longer allow me to play.

 

Why did the city start the adult softball league?

GR: The city started this league to provide team sports opportunities for adults. Team sports are just as fulfilling to adults as kids, and a softball league is a great way to get people together for a little friendly competition and physical activity.

GTR - 2022 Thursday Night Champions_city of laguna beach
GTR, the Thursday night champions | Photo by City of Laguna Beach

What are the fitness and social benefits of playing in this league?

GR: Softball is a fantastic full-body workout, increases flexibility, improves mental health and [also] sharpens leadership skills.

 

What should you expect for your first season?

GR: Depending on a team member’s previous experiences, … [the games] can be extremely enjoyable. If you are new to this league or softball in general, it will take time to get used to the larger, 16-inch ball.

 

How does it all work?

GR: The season consists of a 10-game season with playoffs. Teams are seeded in[to] the playoff bracket, determined by how many wins and losses they have at the end of the season.

 

Where and when do you play?

GR: The games are held at Riddle Field in north Laguna on Monday and Thursday nights and the league plays throughout the summer.

 

What gear do you need to bring to a game?

GR: Softball does not require a lot of gear. All you need is a softball glove, 16-inch softball, bat and cleats.


Softball Superstar

Get ready for the big game with this top-notch gear.

Slowpitch bat
Ensure you have just the right amount of power at the plate with the EASTON REBEL USA/USSSA SLOWPITCH BAT, which comes in various weights and lengths so that you can find the one that best suits your needs, $79.99, at Dick’s Sporting Goods, Laguna Hills. (949-472-8180; dickssportinggoods.com)
Thalia Surf Water bottle
Get a literal taste of the town when drinking out of the 24-ounce, stainless steel THALIA SURF WATER BOTTLE, which pays homage to Laguna Beach with its whimsical design and keeps your water ice-cold throughout the entire game, $44.95, at Thalia Surf Shop. (949-497-3292; thaliasurf.com)
Melin A-Game Hydro Hat 2
Keep the sun or lights out of your eyes by wearing the A-GAME HYDRO ball cap, which comes in 13 different colors so you can match your hat to pretty much any outfit you can think of while playing on or off the field, $69, at Melin. (949-549-4634; melin.com)
Softball glove
Play softball in style with Wilson’s durable A360 14” SLOWPITCH SOFTBALL GLOVE; the glove, which comes in a chic gray color with black stitching, can be used for any position, from the infield to the outfield, $59.99, at Big 5 Sporting Goods, El Toro. (949-951-6311; big5sportinggoods.com)
Mineral sunscreen
Hit the field knowing your skin is completely protected from the sun thanks to the water-resistant SPORT LOTION MINERAL SUNSCREEN, $9.99, at Whole Foods Market. (949-376-7888; wholefoodsmarket.com)
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