For the second straight summer, the Warwick North Junior League softball all-stars are in the World Series.
The team rolled through district, state and, most recently, East Regional play to earn a trip to Kirkland, Washington, to take on the world’s best.
This is becoming a regular occurrence for this talented group, with some of Warwick North’s players making their third consecutive World Series trip after making it to Oregon as 11/12s in 2015.
Eleven of the 14 players on this year’s team were on that 2015 squad that fell just short of winning a world championship, being edged out in the championship game to take second place.
This summer, the team is meshing well together once again. Warwick North was clicking on all cylinders at the East Regional in Orange, Connecticut, last week, going 8-0 with seven mercy-rule victories, ultimately sweeping Connecticut East in the title series to win the East crown.
“The defense has been great helping out our pitching, and we’ve been hitting well,” Warwick North manager Kevin DeTroia said. “We’ve been a well-oiled machine, with our subs and relief pitchers coming in and doing a great job. We’re putting up big numbers, there isn’t a weak spot in our lineup. Everyone is doing what they’re supposed to do.”
That was evident in the team’s first game at the World Series on Sunday against the West’s representative from Missoula, Montana, as Warwick North used balanced hitting and strong pitching on its way to a commanding, 13-1 victory. Dyonna Rodas and Alyssa Richard led the way offensively against West, with Rodas totaling three hits and three RBIs and Richard compiling three hits, two walks and two RBIs. Olivia Murray also added two hits, while Emily Tow drove in a pair of runs. Sierra Ricci earned the win in the circle, tossing six strong innings.
With Warwick North’s track record as a program and its performance on Sunday, it is feeling confident that it can make a deep run once again, but it knows that making it to the end certainly won’t be easy.
“I believe so,” DeTroia said when asked if he thinks his team can make another deep run. “There were a lot of people and coaches watching us Sunday, and a lot of people are saying we’re the team to watch. But, it all comes down to the single elimination round. We have to be ready to play every game.”
Warwick North was set to take the field again on Monday afternoon against Helotes, Texas, but results were unavailable at press time.
It will also play Latin America from Maunabo, Puerto Rico, on Tuesday at 4:45 p.m. and Europe-Africa from the Netherlands on Wednesday at 5 p.m.
“These girls are excited to all be back together again after a couple of years,” DeTroia said. “They know what they have to do. Hopefully we’ll have a flag to come home with.”