12U Redmen 2015 Milford Summer Slam Recap
Jul 31, 2015 10:07AM
● By Eric Costello
Pictured Left to Right; Brianna Iandoli, Amanda Moreira, Abby Demos, Emma Demos, Ashley Giordano, Lauren Mazzarella, Olivia Paulding, Gianna Ragucci, Alexa Harrington, Katie Cueva, Madison Cueva, Faith Mazzapica and Madison Stovesand
Milford, MA – The 12U Tewksbury girls’ softball team ventured in Milford, MA for their fourth travel tournament this year. The previous three tournaments in Tewksbury, Grafton, and Westford were highly successful for the team as they appeared in the Finals in all three but came up just short times in thus finishing in second place. However, this weekend was a little different as the team had a determination not only to make it to its fourth consecutive final but to win it all.
The weekend began on Saturday with decisive wins over the Charlton Wildfire 9-2 and the Bellingham Blaze 12-5 and a tie against a very talented Nipmuc Gold team 2-2. The pitching duo of Amanda Moreira and Oliva Paulding gave up only 5 runs in 17 innings of work during Saturday and the offense was paced by leadoff batter Gianna Ragucci, catcher Alexa Harrington (who caught every pitch of the tournament), outfielder Faith Mazzapica, first basemen Emma Demos, second basemen Brianna Iandoli, and outfielder Lauren Mazzarella. The defense was led by shortstop Ashley Giordano, Madison Stovesand, and outfielder Madison Cueva who turned in some slick fielding throughout all of Saturday. The resulting 2-0-1 record lead to a number 3 seed in the Sunday knock-out round which lead to a first round bye.
Day 2 began with another tremendous pitching performance from Amanda Moreira against a very good Nipmuc - Green team. The Redmen held a 5-3 lead with two outs in the 6th inning after jumping out to a fast start with key hits from Katie Cueva, Oliva Paulding, and Lauren Mazzarella; then with two-out Brianna Iandoli made a diving stop in the hole and jumped up and threw out the Nipmuc runner to seal the victory. If that wasn’t exciting enough the Redmen, behind the pitching dominance of Olivia Paulding, defeated the Charlton Wildfire in a rematch in extra innings, 2-1 in the semi-final game. Tewksbury jumped out a 1-0 lead after a clutch two-out hit by Abby Demos and then solid defense by Ashley Giordano, Faith Mazzapica, Alexa Harrington, and Madison Stovesand helped keep the game 1-0 until the 6th when a very game Charlton team tied the game with two-outs in the 6th inning. Tewksbury then fought back and Gianna Ragucci scored the winning run on an Emma Demos single which sent the Redmen off to the Finals again.
The Finals, against a very talented Grafton Diamondgems team who knocked off the number one seed earlier in the day, was an epic game that was tied 0-0 after 6 innings after each team couldn’t capitalize on several runners in scoring position in the late innings. The Redmen were again led by pitcher Olivia Paulding and stellar defense by Brianna Iandoli, Ashley Giordano, and Alexa Harrington. Grafton team was able to push across 2 runs in the bottom of the 7th but the ever-game and never-quit Redmen rallied to make it 2-1 on an RBI single by Lauren Mazzarella who scored Ashley Giordano. The stage was then set for the climactic finish a championship game like this deserves. With two runners on and one out and down 2-1 Katie Cueva stepped to the plate and delivered a ringing double to center field that plated Lauren Mazzarella and Faith Mazzapica with the tying and winning runs.
The team and coaches mobbed Katie as she rounded second base and the Redmen had finally broke through and were able to capture their first title of 2015. Head coach, Rich Iandoli, continues to be amazed at what these young ladies continue to accomplish and their never-say-die attitude and determination.Special thanks go to the coaching staff of Ed Paulding, Tim Harrington, Jay Demos, and Ed Moreira and the Redmen families who do so much to make this happen. The Redmen head to in Swansea, MA next weekend to try to make it five-for-five.