TC fans are heard loud and clear at the World Series

by: DAN BROOD - FANTASTIC FANS -- Some of the members of Team Hillier gather together following Tualatin City's 7-1 victory over Italy Saturday during play at the Little League Softball World Series. PORTLAND — It seemed like where ever you saw the Tualatin City Little League Majors (ages 11-12) all-star softball team at the Little League Softball World Series, you also saw the sea.

The sea of blue, that is.

Fans of the Tualatin City team, which also included players from Newberg Little League, many of which were adorned in blue shirts, seemed to fill the stands when ever the local squad took the field during play at the World Series, which started last Thursday and ended Wednesday at Alpenrose Stadium.

“This is a great experience,” said Rian Hillier, whose aunt and uncle, Tom and Cyndy Hillier, are coaches for the Tualatin team, and his cousins, Elizabeth and Ella Hillier, play for the squad. “I coach baseball and, having been a Little League player myself, I know they’ll never forget this.”

The Hillier family had quite a following at the Little League World Series. Their group of devoted fans were known as “Team Hillier.”

“As a family, we can live this through them,” said Rian Hillier, who was part of group of the family that traveled from Bend to watch the World Series.

Team Hillier had their own distinctive blue shirts that they wore to the Tualatin City games.

Rian’s father, Kevin Hillier, came up with the idea for the shirts. Rian Hillier had 40 shirts made up for the DAN BROOD - SIGN OF THE TIMES -- Holly Sawyer shows off her sign, supporting the Tualatin City team.

“This is such a huge event,” Kevin Hillier said. “It was great to have a sea of blue out there. We really wanted to support the family and all of the girls.”

Elizabeth and Ella’s older sister, Missi, made a brief, but well-traveled, appearance to be part of Team Hillier.

Missi and her husband John Wilson, a former Tigard High School star athlete, after arriving in Seattle following a vacation in Belize, flew right down to Portland, watched Tualatin City get a 7-1 win over the team from Italy and then had to turn around and head back to their home in the Seattle area.

“It’s all been great,” Tom Hillier said. “They’ve all been behind us.”

The sea of blue included more than just Team Hillier.

“We had a car wash about a week before the World Series,” Tom Hillier said. “The Hall family was wearing blue shirts and everyone sort of caught on with it. We’ve got a big sea of blue.”

The Hall family also showed up in force as it cheered on TC manager Joey Hall and shortstop Camille Hall.

“It’s fun to watch this,” said Britta Hall, a 2013 Tualatin High School graduate who will play college basketball at San Jose State University. “For me, I wanted to be here when I played Little League, but it’s really fun to cheer them on.”

“We’re not jealous,” said Madison Hall, a Tualatin High junior-to-be and one of nine children in the family. “We think it’s cool. It’s our family’s last year in Little League.”

“I like the dancing,” Tanner Hall, a Tualatin High sophomore-to-be, said with a laugh. “If I’m going to be here, I might as well have fun.”

Britta Hall had already started classes at San Jose State University before coming back to surprise her youngest sister at Friday’s World Series game.

“It’s great coming back her and seeing the family,” said Britta Hall, who also spoke to the team following it’s loss to the Southeast squad on Friday.

by: DAN BROOD - I GOT IT -- Rian Hillier holds up the softball after making a reaching one-handed catch of a foul ball during Tualatin City's World Series win over Italy.“This is really nice for Joey,” said Monica Marshall, whose daughter, Lily, is one of the pitchers for the Tualatin City team. “Especially with this being the last year he’s coaching Little League.

The Marshall family also has been a recent fixture in Tualatin City Little League. Lily’s older sister, Grace, also played softball for Tualatin City, and she also was coached by Joey Hall.

“This has been a long season, but it’s been a lot of fun,” Monica Marshall said. “For me, it’s fun watching Lily pitch, but I like to see all the girls play. From the beginning to now, you can see a lot of improvement.”

Rian Hillier agreed.

“Winning is great, but the best thing is seeing the progression the girls are making,” he said.

Rian Hillier himself made an impressive play during Saturday’s game, making a reaching one-handed catch of a foul ball.

That earned him some cheers from that ever-present sea of blue.

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