ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Despite being down, 5-0, after the first inning in the Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) World Series on Friday morning, Atlanta's softball team was just as loud as it was when the score was 0-0.
Players chanted and sang songs to inspire teammates. Though trailing the defending champions from Los Angeles wasn't easy, Atlanta wasn't giving in.
Staying enthusiastic and never quitting has been a trademark of this team, according to its coach, Richard Lee.
"It's not over until there are three outs in the seventh inning," Lee said. "That's the way they've got to play."
Los Angeles' Shanel Tolbert had connected for a grand slam as part of a five-run first inning, but Atlanta put up a challenge before eventually falling, 8-4, in the first of Friday's round-robin games.
"Most of the time, teams give up, put their heads down, especially when you hit a grand slam," Los Angeles coach Frank Price said. "With a grand slam, you don't see one too often. You think you have a shot, and then the next thing you know, one swing and you have four runs.
"Teams have a tendency to hold their heads down, and when they hold their heads down, we jump on them. We couldn't jump on them, because they kept fighting and fighting."
Price was impressed by the resiliency of the Atlanta team, a common opponent over the years at the RBI World Series.
"The thing I like about their team is, even if they might be overmatched, they don't quit," he said. "They're out there playing, and they play hard. And they play hard from the first pitch to the last pitch. I really appreciate that coaching style, keeping the kids in the ballgame. When they scored their first run, they got excited."
Atlanta (4-2) has also shown the ability to bounce back. The Southeast Region representatives rebounded from Friday morning's loss to post an 11-1 win against Harrisburg in the second game of the day in a game Lee called a "must-win."
As the No. 2 seed, Atlanta will face Cleveland (2-4) in Saturday's first round.
"It's still not over," Lee said. "We still don't feel like we're playing our best."
Los Angeles earned the No. 1 seed in its division with two more wins on Friday on the third day of competition. After beating Atlanta, Los Angeles finished the day with a 9-0 win over St. Louis.
With a perfect 6-0 mark, Los Angeles will face Houston (1-5) in the first round of the playoffs on Saturday.
"To be honest, it doesn't matter where you are seeded come tomorrow," Price said. "A lot of teams rest on their laurels, and the next thing you know, they're getting upset. The game has to be played, and I have no doubt in my mind, on the other side -- whether it's Hoboken, Houston, Cleveland or the Dominican -- they're coming to play, coming to win. For us to have the No. 1 seed and be the defending champs, it's nothing but a bigger target."
Brian Hall is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.