The Warwick West Side senior softball all-star team wasn’t supposed to make any noise at the state tournament this past week.
But West Side wasn’t paying any attention to that.
After hearing whispers that it didn’t necessarily belong the state’s elite teams, West Side – representing District 3 – won its second game of the tournament 17-4 over Riverside, validating its inclusion in the tournament.
Though it lost the first game 17-1 to Elmwood and was officially eliminated on Tuesday with a 19-6 loss to Burrillville, West Side had no real complaints about its time at states.
“A lot of people thought we were going to be two-and-out in the tournament,” West Side manager Hughie Cabana said. “There were rumors of us not being strong enough to compete down there. I thought the performance was good.”
It didn’t start out great, as West Side lost that first game to Elmwood on Saturday. It was forced use both its pitchers – Tayla Ferreira and Lucy Stringfellow, but it was to no avail.
On Sunday, though, facing elimination, West Side bounced back.
It jumped on top of Riverside early, and cruised to a dominating victory.
“It was a team effort,” Cabana said. “They did what they had to do. They ran the bases smart.”
Ferreira pitched the entire game, which was shortened to five innings because of the 10-run mercy rule.
“We scored a lot of runs,” Cabana said. “There were a lot of key hits. We made the plays when we had to. We made the defensive plays. The girls got key hits to drive in runs.”
On Tuesday, West Side squared off against three-time defending champion Burrillville and hung in the game most of the way.
Though the 19-6 score sounds like a blowout, West Side was ahead 6-4 in the third inning before Burrillville went on top 9-6 in the fourth.
From there, the floodgates opened. Stringfellow and Ferreira both pitched, and though 19 runs were scored, there was a lot of tough luck involved.
“Lucy pitched well enough to deserve a better outcome,” Cabana said. “She really did pitch well. She only walked two batters. They weren’t smashing the ball, they were just getting key hits off her.”
Offensively, West Side continued to hit the ball the way it had been earlier in the game, it just couldn’t seem to find a hole in the Burrillville defense.
“We stopped hitting,” Cabana said. “Well, we hit but they made the plays.”
And even though Cabana would have liked his team to still be playing, he was happy with the general outcome, and happy to prove some people wrong.
“We put in a good effort I believe,” Cabana said. “We just came up a little short at the end.”
The team, comprised of girls 13-16 year olds, was made up of players from the West Side senior softball league, which had three teams. Only two of the girls – Abigal McCormick and McKenzie Avedisian – were 16, meaning that just about everybody should be back next year for another run.
If this season was a learning experience, next year could be even better.
The future should be bright.
“I’m satisfied with the performance,” Cabana said. “They definitely have a good future, with 10 players coming back to be eligible for all-stars.”