By MICHAEL LETENDRE
BRISTOL – Well, there’s only a few words to describe what went down at the Bristol Little League Softball City Series over the fourth week in August.
And the words “fun,” “competitive,” and “awesome” truly described a wonderful week’s worth of softball from McCabe-Waters Little League at Rockwell Park.
And the series between the Blast and Nitro was the most competitive bout of games over the past five seasons and easily the most entertaining.
Both championship showdowns were decided by a total of four runs and the first encounter, a 4-3 triumph by the Blast, needed two extra innings before a winner was crowned.
It was the Blast’s first City Series championship but could be just the start of something bigger for the program.
The Blast aren’t exactly punching their title ticket in 2018 yet but the foundation of the team is returning with pitcher Alex Sciarretto and Lorelei Stancavage coming back next season as 12-year-olds and will be some of the featured players of the City Series once again.
“Alex, Lorelei, we have a few 11-year-old players on the team” that will play again next year said Blast manager Tom Policki.
The pitching was off the charts from both Sciarretto and the Nitro’s Ashley Serafin as the duo nearly combined to punch out 20 batters over the final game and kept run scoring drives to a minimum, making each score an exciting one.
And while the Blast and Nitro were the featured teams of the City Series event, the Freedom showed a little shine as well and will be a year better come next year.
Hailey Beebe is a 9-year-old stud on the mound who showed the Nitro toughness and grit over the second to last contest of the tournament.
If all goes well next year, there will be three competitive teams available for next year’s big main event.
“It’s grown,” said Policki of softball in town. “I’ve been doing this for seven years. I started out with t-ball and just to see the parent participation, and getting the kids involved and like I said, it’s all about having fun, getting them out here and having fun.”
And there were certainly a lot of laughs at the event – highlighted by Policki’s hair being turned a lime green color after the Blast’s 4-1 championship clinching win over the Nitro on Friday, Aug. 25.
“There’s no stress, no pressure,” said the now green-headed Policki. “You mentioned the practice and I said, ‘Don’t worry about it, these guys know what to do.’ They know what to do. Just go out and play ball.”
And the final quote of the tournament was from the winning pitcher and certainly captured a special moment of what City Series softball in town was truly all about.
“I felt like they were really aggressive and they wanted this just as bad as I did,” said Sciarretto or the Nitro. “I wish there could be two winners. I feel like that they deserved it just as much as we did.”
Bristol Little League Softball City Series Champions – Since 2008