HALIFAX 12A HURRICANES ARE 2011 BABE RUTH STATE CHAMPIONS !!
Back row- Coach Pat Macomber, Coach Pete Barone, Madi Gillen, Shannon Grindle, Coach Rich Critch, Maggie Czarniak, Olivia Macomber, Libby Czarniak, Coach Jamie Mason. front row - Maddy Barone, Ari Levenson, Lea Mason, Leah Mackiewicz, Cassie Murphy, Emily Critch.
The Halifax Hurricanes 12A Girls Softball All-Star team fought through the heat and some very strong competition during the EMass District Tourney this past weekend at the Ginn Field Complex in Winchester, MA. The team is in it's 2nd year chartered in the Babe Ruth Softball program, which is the sister program of Cal Ripken Baseball. The team follows the success of last year's 14A team that captured the state title, winning the tournament held in Kingston. On Friday night, in the opening game of the tourney the girls roared out to a 14-0 lead in the first inning and went on the defeat Randolph 26-6 in a 4 inning mercy rule shortened game. Olivia Macomber and Lea Mason split the game on the hill for Halifax, while Emily Critch had 4 had 4 hits and 7 RBI. Sparkplug Leah Mackiewicz was on base for all 5 at bats and scored 5 times. Ari Levenson (9 for 13 in the tourney, with 8 runs) knocked in 5 runs.
On Saturday the girls took on Burlington and again were able to achieve a mercy-rule victory, this time the final score was 10-0. Lea Mason pitched 4 scoreless innings and Shannon Grindle had 3 hits and 3 RBI. Libby Czarniak chipped in with two bunt hits and great defense at shortstop. Olivia Macomber was a rock behind the plate.
Later on Saturday, the girls faced SSSL rival Raynham and this game lived up to it's billing of showcasing two of the top 12U girls Softball teams in the area. Halifax ace Maddy Barone shut down Raynham tossing a complete game 1-hit shutout with 8 K's. Madi Gillen slammed a long double and Maggie Czarniak preserved the 2-0 win with a spectacular catch in leftfield to end the game.
By late Sunday Revere was the only opponent remaining in the tournament, having fought their way through the loser's bracket. But they would have to beat the Hurricanes twice to take the title. In the 5pm game the Hurricanes had their only bad inning of the tourney, making several errors in the 2nd inning leading to eight Revere runs. Lea Mason was the victim of non support on the hill. Cassie Murphy returned from vacation to get on base 3 times, but despite a late inning comeback led by Grindle and Levenson (3 hits each) the girls ran out of gas 10-6. So the "If" game was scheduled for Monday night at 6:00pm, with the winner to be crowned State Champion. Revere jumped out to 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning on a hit batter, stolen base and what would turn out to be their one and only hit of the game. In the bottom of the 2nd the Hurricanes exploded for 7 runs highlighted by run-scoring hits by Mackiewicz, Critch and Levenson. In the 3rd, Gillen slammed a run scoring single and Barone helped her own cause with a two-run double. Mason and LIbby Czarniak produced two more runs in the 4th, running the score to 11-1. This was more than enough for Barone, who settled down after the first inning to strike out 8 of the next 10 batters to shut the door. The game was called after 4 innings due to the mercy rule and the girls were STATE CHAMPIONS !
This was a total team accomplishment with each player contributing in various ways and supporting each other. The girls now move onto the New England Regional Tournament in Pittfield, MA July 22-24 They will be competing against the Connecticut, Maine, Rhode Island, Vermont & New Hampshire champions.
12A HURRICANES ARE
NEW ENGLAND REGIONAL CHAMPIONS !!
The Halifax 12A Hurricanes continued on their tremendous roll this past weekend as the girls traveled to Pittsfield, MA to take on the champions of New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut and Maine. Despite having to come out of the loser's bracket and play 3 games in a row in the heat, the team never gave up and took the title.
In game 1 of pool play on Friday afternoon the girls were paced by Shannon Grindle (3-3, 3 RBI and Maddy Barone (2-3, HR 2 RBI) in defeating Rochester, NH 5-0. The Czarniak sisters, Libby & Maggie, made big defensive plays to preserve the shutout.
In game 2 on Friday evening, the girls fell behind quickly 3-0 to NewTown, Connecticut, rallied late, but it was not enough as they fell 3-2. Lea Mason pitched 3 strong innings, catcher Emily Critch threw out 2 runners stealing & Julia Maker made a big catch in left field.
On Saturday morning the girls took out their game 2 frustrations by routing Vermont 13-0 in 4 inning slaughter-rule. Lea Mason pitched the shutout, Libby C drove in 3 runs, Olivia Macomber went 3-3, Rebecca Hapgood added an RBI hit and Barone hit for the cycle w/ 5 RBI. At the end of the pool play the girls were the 2 seed in their bracket which earned them the right to advance to the final four and begin Double elimination play.
The girls began the elimination round vs Litchfield, NH. But too much time in the pool and on the mountain led to a tired squad squandering an 8-2 4th inning lead and losing 11-10 on a walk-off 3 run home run. However this may have been the wake-up call the girls needed. On the last game of Saturday, the Hurricanes faced Stamford, CT, knowing that their next loss would mean elimination. The girls responded by jumping out to a quick 3-0 lead with Ari Levenson (3 RBI) and Leah Mackiewicz (3 Runs) leading the charge. Mason pitched 4 innings of 1-run ball and the girls rolled to a 12-1 slaughter-rule victory.
Sunday morning found Halifax as one of only three teams remaining along with Litchfield, NH and Newtown, CT, unfortunately the two teams that had defeated them earlier in the tourney. At 9;30am the girls made quick work of Litchfield, eliminating them with an 8-2 win. Madi Gillen had a big triple and several big defensive plays in RF, while Mackiewicz had 3 hits and scored 2 runs. Maker put the game away in the 5th inning with a 2-run double.
Next up was undefeated Newtown, CT. Barone & Mason combined to keep the Newtown hitters off balance, allowing only 3 baserunners and one unearned run in the 5-1 victory. Grindle knocked in two runs, Libby C had two bunt hits and Maggie C scored a big run. Macomber was a rock behind the plate.
The girls now had to defeat Newtown one last time in the "IF" game. The game began as a pitcher's duel between Barone and NewTown's ace Lauren. In the top of the third inning Newtown scratched out an unearned run to go up 1-0. In the bottom of the 4th Levenson singled, stole second and a batter later Maker drove her in with a long double down the left field line, knotting the score at 1-1. In the 5th inning Grindle stroked a one-out double. One batter later, Levenson stepped to the plate with a chance to be the hero. After fouling off a few pitches, she calmly dumped a short fly ball behind 1st base that landed on the foul line for a double, driving in Grindle with the go-ahead and tourney clinching run. Newtown had one last at bat but Barone (no-hitter, 10 K's) shut the door 1-2-3 and the girls were New England Regional Champions!
The girls were met by a police and fire truck escort back into town after the tournament, ending at the Fire Station where they were greeted by hundreds of friends & supporters. The Hurricanes now move onto the Babe Ruth Softball World Series August 4-9 in Annaloosha, Alabama. Team parents are coordinating fundraisers to help with the extensive travel and lodging costs. If you would like to make a donation of any kind please e-mail Jen @ firstname.lastname@example.org
OFF TO ALABAMA !!