BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Hundreds of people in Delano are coming together to pay tribute to a young girl killed by a car, as she walked to school. The 12-year-old who died in November played softball regularly and teammates are helping keep her memory alive.
The Delano Little League opened its 2013 season on an emotional note this weekend as players, coaches and city leaders honored one of their own.
Shaylyn Pinoliar always had a saying she shared with her friends.
"It doesn't matter whether we win or lose, but that we try our best," said Yolanda Paguia, who coached Pinoliar.
Friends are remembering her smile and kind heart as they begin to play the sport they all love.
"It's very inspiring to know that Shaylyn is watching over us,” she said.
Pinoliar died from her injuries after she was hit by a car at the intersection of summer drive and browning road in Delano as she walked to class.
You can tell just how much she meant to her fellow bull dogs who's eyes were all filled with tears as they presented the Pinoliar family with a banner in her honor.
“This year she was supposed to be our pitcher. She's been practicing and getting ready for pitching and last year she was ready at the end of the season and she was getting ready to go this season," said Paguia.
The family too emotional to speak helped release purple balloons into the sky, it was Pinoliar's favorite color and one that showed off her personality.
"She was very outgoing. She always lifted up all the players, every time a player was down she would encourage them to keep on going," she said.
Teammates are also wearing purple shirts in her honor as the league retires Pinoliar's number...it's a tribute that left everyone in the stands very emotional, even the mayor.
"She was a very special young lady that gave so much to this organization,” she said.
Leaders with the league plan to keep Pinoliar's banner hanging at the field all season long and after, it will head home and be with her family.