The Warwick North Little League softball 10’s made the trip to Pennsylvania last weekend to compete in the Eastern Regional Tournament, going head to head against some of the country’s top clubs.
North fell to New York in the first game 10-2, but gave up seven of those runs in the first inning. The team then lost a heartbreaking 1-0 decision to Maryland to end the tournament.
Despite the loss, North coach Gary Dombeck was happy with his team’s performance across the two games and was excited to see the girls have fun.
“It was an amazing trip for the girls. They got to spend the week in the hotel with the other teams, they spent a lot of time at the pool. They went to the RailRiders game on Tuesday which was also a good time. It was a once-in-a-lifetime trip that I’m sure they’ll never forget,” said Dombeck.
“It’s always a bit concerning wondering how you will match up in a tournament of that stature, but I am proud of the girls and how they played. That first inning, we had a few issues but after that we settled down. We had the 1-0 game against Maryland, you never see 1-0 games at the 10U level, so it was a great game to be a part of.”
For some girls, traveling out of state to play ball was nothing out of the ordinary. For other though, it was the first time that they got to experience out-of-state competition.
“We have a few girls that play travel ball with the Elite programs. We had girls play in Maine the weekend before the trip, we had some play in Tewksbury the day we got back. We have a few girls that have experienced that, but we have a lot of girls that are recreational players that had not had that exposure,” said Dombeck.
North will have a new look next season, as a handful of its players will move on to the next level. Regardless of where each player ends up next season, Dombeck hopes that this year’s run will heighten their passion for the sport and pay dividends down the road.
“I hope they realize how fun softball is. When you play rec ball, you play the same girls from the same town, but when you play in other towns and other states, you get to see how fun and competitive softball can be,” said Dombeck. “I hope this trip makes these girls want to come back and bring some friends and help grow the game across the state.”
Gretchen Dombeck took the circle for Game 1 against New York and would pitch five innings and strike out six batters. Reagen Motta threw one inning in relief. Lily Andrews, Madison Tuirok and Lia Wasilewski all recorded hits to lead North at the dish.
Dombeck toed the rubber again in Game 2, and allowing just one run in five innings while striking out six batters.