ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The Santo Domingo/San Pedro softball team from the Dominican Republic feels a great deal of pride representing the Caribbean Region at the Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) World Series in Minnesota.
It's been two years since the Dominican team has advanced to the RBI World Series. The girls feel they are holding up the tradition of an entire country.
"For us, it's a little different because we take it up as a country," coach Fabio Herrera said. "That's why they give 110 percent. They feel they're representing their country. That's why I think they put a little bit extra into every play.
"I tell them, 'This is RBI. This is giving you things that you've never seen before and you're playing teams that you've never seen.' It's an incredible experience."
After Saturday's playoff action, the Santo Domingo/San Pedro team will get to experience the biggest stage -- Sunday's championship game at Jane Sage Cowles Stadium at the University of Minnesota.
The Dominicans beat St. Louis, 18-1, in the opening round of the playoffs and followed with a 9-0 win against Atlanta in the semifinals.
"The way they have been playing, they play like true Dominicans and I am very proud of all the athletes' game; defense, pitching and batting," said head coach Santo Dotel, with Herrera serving as an interpreter. "I'm just going to tell them to keep doing what they've been doing."
Santo Domingo/San Pedro will face defending champion Los Angeles in Sunday's championship game. Los Angeles beat Houston, 10-1, and Hoboken (N.J.), 7-0, on Saturday on the other side of the bracket.
The two No. 1 seeds in their respective brackets are undefeated in the RBI World Series at 8-0.
"We're very confident," Herrera said. "We understand. We don't know very much about these teams. The U.S. coaches know them better.
"We were undefeated on this side. We feel very confident. We really do."
Facing the defending champions is a daunting task, but the Dominican team is excited for the opportunity.
"It's the biggest thing ever to come here and represent our country," Dotel said. "It's going to be even bigger when we take the crown back. We want to thank RBI for giving this opportunity."
Santa Domingo/San Pedro also has reason to be confident heading into the finals.
The Dominicans displayed an all-around game in Saturday's playoffs. The team certainly has pitching and power, and it starts with Rosaury Perez.
Perez homered three times in Saturday's two games, hitting home runs to end each contest. She hit two homers in the win against St. Louis, including a grand slam that ended the game due to the run rule.
In the second game, she pitched a one-hitter and ended the contest with a three-run homer.
"I'm confident about my swing," Perez said, with Herrera as the interpreter.
Perez was on the championship Dominican team in 2008 in her first year in the RBI program, and she wants to walk away with the championship in her final year.
"It's very important," Perez said.
Dotel said Perez would pitch Sunday's final against Los Angeles.
"I don't get nervous," she said. "I get excited."
The Dominicans connected for two grand slams in the first game, the first coming as part of a nine-run, three-homer first inning.
In the other quarterfinal games, Hoboken beat Harrisburg (Pa.), 10-2, and Atlanta pulled away late for a 9-4 win against Cleveland.
Atlanta, a seven-time champion, trailed 3-2 entering the bottom of the sixth, but rallied for seven runs to earn a trip to the semifinals.
"I don't know why it went to the last at-bat, but they started hitting the ball," Atlanta coach Richard Lee said. "You never count on the first game. You have to win the first game to get to the second game."
Brian Hall is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.