Warwick North dropped both Games 1 and 2 of the 12-U softball District 3 Final to East Greenwich on Wednesday night during a doubleheader at the Bend Street Complex.
East Greenwich won the first contest by a final score of 2-0 and the second 6-2.
Both teams sent their aces to the circle with North starting Emma Burr and East Greenwich, Ava Fairbanks and they each tossed all 12 innings between the two contests.
Burr finished with nine strikeouts in the first game and five in the second for a total of 14 Ks while Fairbanks fanned five in the opener and five in the second for a total of ten.
Not once did either team's manager think about pulling their starter from the game.
“I didn’t feel we needed to,” Burr said. “Fairbanks was their No. 1 and Burr was ours. Two No. 1 pitchers going at it, you can’t ask for any better softball than that.”
And Burr wasn’t worried about his pitcher’s arm getting tired at all.
“Those girls work a lot,” Burr explained. “So, you don’t wear down. It takes a lot more than two games to wear any one of them down.”
North played all three of its tournament games against East Greenwich. North won the first game 4-3 on Monday before dropping the final two games of the District 3 title series.
Despite the back-to-back defeats, Burr believes the season was beneficial and his only regret is that his all-star team didn’t get as much practice together as a team as he would have liked.
“Honestly, with this group here, we didn’t get a chance to really work together,” Burr said. “We have a lot of girls that are on different travel programs. So, we didn’t get a chance to actually get that two weeks of practice like you normally would for the all-star season.”
“But, I’ll tell ya, they fought hard and a lot of them that don’t know each other very well, except for the league, became really good friends out of this,” Burr said. “So, that’s something that I take to heart.”
“We had a successful year this year at Warwick North,” Burr continued. “The numbers went up, and the parents and players were absolutely helpful. Everybody contributed. It was a successful season by far.”
East Greenwich’s Emma Manzo hit a leadoff triple during the top of the third inning of Game 1, and then Fairbanks drove her in with an RBI single, which sailed by the second baseman and gave East Greenwich a 1-0 lead.
In the fifth frame, Margaret Neville plated Fairbanks with a two-out RBI single down the third base line, and extended the East Greenwich edge to 2-0, and that proved to be more than enough.
In Game 2, North got the bats going early.
In the bottom of the first, Warwick got back-to-back, one-out singles from Burr and Adrainna Pettinato before Bobbi Nardiolilo belted a two-out, 2-run single to left field, which scored both runners and gave Warwick a 2-0 margin.
But in the top of the third, East Greenwich got more than even.
First, Manzo hit an RBI double with none out and scored Layla Cameron from second and that pulled East Greenwich within 2-1.
Next, Emily Clarke scored during a passed ball and evened the score at 2.
Then, with runners at first and second, Neville belted a shot at Warwick second baseman, Finly Walsh, who fired towards third base, hoping to get the lead runner, Fairbanks, but instead the pass ricocheted off of the runner and into foul territory, and that allowed Fairbanks to not only reach third, but home as well, which put East Greenwich up 3-2.
Then, in the fifth frame, East Greenwich added to its buffer.
With runners at first and second, Neville socked the ball at the shortstop, Paolino, which went for an error, and that allowed Sacki Chan to score from second base, increasing the East Greenwich edge to 4-2.
Lastly, with Catherine Neville at the dish, and two runners in scoring position, Manzo came home from third during a passed ball before Margaret Neville scored behind her following an error at home plate, and that put East Greenwich on top 6-2.
With the victory, East Greenwich wins the District 3 Championship and advances to the states, which began on Monday.