The Warwick North softball program just continues to become more and more of a powerhouse, not only throughout the state and region, but throughout the entire country.
Just a day before the Warwick North Junior League all-star group secured its second consecutive World Series trip, the Warwick North 8-10-year-old all-stars gathered at the Bend Street Complex in preparation for their journey to the Eastern Regional in Pittston, Pennsylvania, where the team is looking to make some history of its own.
Warwick North cruised through District 3 and state tournament play, defeating East Greenwich twice and 10-run ruling South Kingstown en route to a District 3 crown, before securing the prestigious state championship, defeating Cumberland twice and Cranston once at Glen Park in Portsmouth to earn the title banner.
“We had a great run,” Warwick North manager Kevin Burr said of his team’s march through district and state play. “We have a very young team, the girls have been playing softball for a couple years now. This is going to be my daughter’s (Emma Burr) last year in the 10s, so this is a great way to end it.”
Kevin Burr pointed to a couple of keys that helped his team punch its ticket to the Eastern Regional, one being the superb pitching of Emma Burr and the standout catching of Genna D’Amato behind the plate.
“Probably Emma’s pitching and Genna D’Amato’s catching behind the plate,” Kevin Burr said when asked what his team’s biggest strengths have been. “We were probably the only team that didn’t allow runners to go from first to third on passed balls because we didn’t have any. Emma ended up with a minimum of 12 strikeouts per game, so that right there helps you.”
Another key that Kevin Burr pointed to was the level of focus and dedication that his group of girls brought to the field every day, whether it be a practice or a game.
“These young kids came to play every day, it’s actually kind of amazing,” Kevin Burr said. “I coach an older group of girls, and to watch these young girls come out and actually play like that, it’s something else.”
Before departing for Pittston, Warwick North got a special visit from Mayor Scott Avedisian, who presented the team and its coaches with citations on Wednesday evening, while also providing words of encouragement for the girls.
Much of the team traveled to Pennsylvania on Friday, and tournament play began Saturday. So far, so good for Warwick North. It has kept its unbeaten summer alive with a 5-3 victory over Massachusetts on Saturday and a 15-5 win over Vermont on Sunday. Warwick North was set to take on Maine, which is 1-0 thus far, on Monday, but results were unavailable at press time. It is also scheduled to take on Connecticut on Wednesday at 12:30 p.m., before the top four teams, two from the Mid-Atlantic pool and two from the New England pool, advance to the semifinals.
Warwick North was confident in its play before leaving for the Eastern Regional, and it’s proving that it might just be the team to beat.
“We should see some better ball than what we’ve been playing against, but if these girls play the way they’ve been playing, I don’t see a problem,” Kevin Burr said before the team departed last week. “I think we’re coming home with another flag.”