PITTSFIELD -- Police sirens, a ride to City Hall on a fire truck, interviews -- even hot dogs.
The Berkshire Force girls softball team qualified this past weekend for the 16-U Babe Ruth Softball World Series in North Carolina -- and now, they're officially ready to go.
The City of Pittsfield threw the Force a championship send-off on Tuesday by holding a rally for the team in front of City Hall before friends, family members, and a smattering of city officials.
The Force's 13 players arrived at City Hall in a vintage fire truck escorted by siren-blaring police cruisers, then stood on Allen Street as Mayor Daniel L. Bianchi interviewed some of them for his show on Pittsfield Cable Television.
"We've got a spectacular group of kids in our community," Bianchi said. "We wanted to give them a send-off, and let them know we are thinking of them."
Eleven of the Force's 13 players are from Pittsfield.
PHOTO GALLERY: Berkshire U-16 softball heads to Babe Ruth World Series
The Force leave Pittsfield at 8 a.m. Wednesday for Manchester, N.H., where they will fly to North Carolina. The World Series tournament takes place Thursday-Wednesday in Wilson County, N.C.
Only one Force player -- pitcher Cat Record -- has played before in the World Series. Record, who won two games during regional play at the Doyle Athletic Complex on Sunday to send the Force to the World Series, went to the Series three years ago as a "bench player," she said.
Record said her teammates haven't asked her for a lot of advice about what awaits them in North Carolina. And, even if they did, Record said she wouldn't be able to tell them much about what to expect on the field.
"I can't really tell them about playing," she said.
Centerfielder Dominique Satrape has never flown on a plane before.
"That's my only worry," she said.
But the anticipation of playing in the World Series is helping her overcome that fear.
"The World Series!" she said. "What couldn't be more exciting?"
Second baseman Acacia Alston said she was a little nervous, too, but was looking forward to the social aspects of the trip.
"We've talked to other girls that have gone and they said that you meet tons of other softball players, and they've talked to them years later," Alston said. "It'll be cool to meet a lot of new players."
To reach Tony Dobrowolski: firstname.lastname@example.org or (413) 496-6224. On Twitter: @tonydobrow