After splitting its first two games at the state tournament, the Warwick West Side 9/10-year-old all-star team saw its run come to an end on Thursday with a 9-8 loss to District 2 champion East Providence.
Playing in the loser’s bracket final, West Side was pushed to extra innings before falling just short.
The game was stopped in the middle of the second inning on Wednesday due to loss of power from storms, and West Side was winning 5-4 at that point.
When the game resumed on Thursday, West Side continued its strong play. With spectacular defense on the diamond, Lexi Brown took the mound for West Side, and settled right in, scattering walks and hits, but she got stronger as the game went on.
"Lexi was on fire as the game went on,” West Side manager Frank Brown said. “It took her an inning to warm up but she then continued to gear it up. If she could've gone longer than the rules allow, she would have.”
Rules only allow for nine and 10-year-olds to pitch seven innings in a game. With Brown on the mound and a solid defensive effort the game went to the eighth inning. West Side got an opportunity in the top half but stranded a runner on third.
That brought the game to the bottom of the eighth, where Kaylyn Cieselski took the mound. She pitched well, but East Providence managed to score on a fielder’s choice with aggressive baserunning to walk-off with the win.
“This was a great game,” Brown said. “For nine and 10-year-olds to perform like this was something amazing. The girls took the loss tough, but certainly they left everything on the field." West Side finished the year as the No. 3 team in the state. The team members are Marilyn McKay, Danaja Alpaio, Kaylyn Ciesielski, Lexi Brown, Gianna Altieri, Taylor Suffoletto, Dyonna Rodas, Trinity Reilly, Bailey Arruda, Maeve Malloy, Sydni Bigelli, Alyssa Richard and Haley Marchetti. Along with Brown, the team is coached by Kelli-Lynne Palmer-Brown and Jesse Richard.