Warwick North won the 8-10 year-old Little League Softball State Championship on Friday night at Middletown Little League Field, drubbing Tiverton 12-1 in five innings.
Gretchen Dombeck started in the circle for Warwick where she pitched a complete game and struck out eight while giving up three hits and one earned run. At the dish, Dombeck went 2-for-3 with two RBI.
With the victory, Dombeck and Warwick North will represent Rhode Island in the regional tournament.
“She’s been working hard since last year’s games,” Warwick manager Gary Dombeck said. “And she came and did her job through the whole districts and state tournament and hopefully it’ll continue in Pennsylvania.”
Leading the Warwick offense was Madison Tuirok, who batted 3-for-4 with five RBI, including one double and one triple, while her teammates Reagan Motta, Rory Kelaghan, and Hope Fitzpatrick each supplied a double.
Sara Poland tossed a complete game for Tiverton and struck out five and batted 1-for-2 at the plate while Brooke Sowa, Tiverton’s No. 3 hitter, went 1-for-2 with an RBI.
Warwick took a 1-0 edge in the top of the first inning when Motta, the No. 2 hitter, walked before scoring during a passed ball.
Next, Dombeck launched an RBI single to shallow right field, which knocked in Tuirok from third base and upped the Warwick margin to 2-0.
In the fourth frame, Warwick added to its advantage when with one out and the bases juiced, Tuirok rocketed a base-clearing double to right field, which drove in Fitzpatrick, Hailey Norman, and Lia Wasilewski, and that extended the Warwick buffer to 5-0.
Turk upped the lead to 6-0 moments later, after she sprinted home following two passed balls.
Then, with the bases loaded, Kelaghan placed a two-run single up the middle, and scored both Dombeck and Lily Andrews, upping the Warwick margin to 8-0.
Kelaghan trotted home during an error at home plate after that and gave Warwick a 9-0 advantage.
Tiverton inched within 9-1 during the bottom of the fourth when Sowa socked an RBI single by the second baseman and scored Elodie Cannon, who led off the inning with a single before stealing second base.
Warwick’s Motta started the fifth frame with a standup double before Tuirok drove her in with an RBI single, and gave Warwick a 10-1 cushion.
Next, Dombeck belted an RBI single, which drove in Tuirok from third base and put Warwick up 11-1.
Lastly, with Dombeck at third base, Andrews ripped an RBI single off the glove of the shortstop and ballooned the Warwick advantage to 12-1.
The two tournament wins felt great for Warwick, who was drubbed by East Greenwich during Game 2 of last season’s District 3 Championship series by a final score of 17-3.
“It feels pretty good,” Dombeck said. “We fell a game short last year and for the team to regroup this year and win the state, it’s a good feeling.”
And now the manager remains optimistic his team can win a third tourney when it heads to Pennsylvania on Sunday to play in the regionals.
“Anything’s possible,” Dombeck said. “I guess we’ll find out. We went two years ago and saw some amazing teams over there. So, we’ll do our best to represent the state for sure.”
Dombeck’s daughter Gretchen, Warwick North’s ace, has relished her time with the team during both tourneys.
“I liked it,” Gretchen Dombeck said. “I had a good time. It was fun to play. We lost last year, but this year we came back and we won.”
Gretchen used this past offseason to enhance her skills after last season’s defeat.
“I’ve been working on it,” Gretchen said. “I’ve been hoping to go to Pennsylvania and now we’re going to be going.”
And Gretchen like her father, is hopeful the team can continue its success there.
“I’m pretty confident,” Gretchen said. “We can do it. I’ll have fun. I’ll just play hard and do my best.”
Between both the district and state tourneys, Warwick went undefeated with a record of 5-0 and scored a combined 72 runs compared to just 2 total runs for all of its opponents.