The Warwick West 9/10 softball all-stars are one win away from a second consecutive District 3 championship. West Side posted come-from-behind victories over Westerly and South Kingstown to earn a spot in the title game, which will be played on Sunday.
West Side’s run started with a game against Westerly, and the Warwick club found itself behind the eight ball immediately. Westerly jumped out to a 4-0 lead, while West Side stranded five runners on base in the first three innings.
But from there, Kaylyn Ciesielski settled in on the mound, holding Westerly scoreless for the rest of the game and paving the way for a comeback. West Side chipped away and eventually took a 5-4 lead into the bottom of the sixth. Westerly loaded the bases, but Ciesielski kept her composure and recorded a strikeout to slam the door.
“This was an amazing learning experience for our girls,” manager Frank Brown said. “The last speech I gave them in practice was to never, ever give up. Whether we are winning or losing we play until the last out is made. These girls saw their fellow league members overcome a 5-0 deficit the previous night, so they witnessed how it can happen."
West Side then punched their ticket to the championship game with another comeback win, this one over South Kingstown. The team once again fell behind early 4-1.
Lexi Brown struck out 12 to keep West Side within striking distance, and West Side again staged a comeback. Marilyn McKay came up with a double to left field to get a rally going, followed by a single by Dyonna Rodas. Rodas eventually scored on a wild pitch to secure the comeback win.
"Again these girls know how to battle until the last out is made,” Brown said. “With Lexi mowing down 9 of the last 10 batters I was confident we could pull it out."