The 10-12-year-old Windham Little League All-Star softball team have had an amazing journey during the past six weeks and despite being eliminated during the East Regionals, this team has a lot of accomplishments to be proud of.
After winning the District 6 championship against South Portland/Falmouth, Windham knocked out Ellsworth in the state championship game and earned the privilege to represent the state in the East Regional tournament in Bristol, Connecticut on July 24.
The girls left it all on the field and represented Maine extremely well. They played Maryland to open the tournament and fell 10-0 in the first game of the double- elimination event. This did not destroy their spirits. They returned the next day to take on Delaware in Game Two and Windham put in a solid effort, but Delaware won 5-2.
The girls were excited, but a little nervous as they headed into their game against Maryland.
The Maryland game showed some excellent Windham defense. Seventh-grader Sarah Smyth has been described as a vacuum; the ball is drawn to her. Once the ball is there, Smyth knows exactly what to do with it. She made several throws to get outs during the tournament.
“The competition was hard, and it was such a great experience,” said Smyth. I was not nervous at all; I just blocked out everything around me and focused on the game itself.”
Smyth had a lot of fun and said it was the best time of her life.Seventh-grader Kaylee Napolitano caught a pop up in the bottom of the second inning against Maryland. She also tagged a runner out on their way to third base in the third inning. This was followed by seventh-grader Evelyn Anderson who made a throw to seventh-grader Ava Cole at third base who tagged a runner and got the out.
Windham headed into Game Two, they had a win or go home mentality.
After Delaware took at 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning, Windham answered in the top of the third when Smyth walked, and seventh-grader Kiley Card bunted out. Smyth advanced to third, and an error from Delaware allowed Smyth to score. Napolitano singled, and eighth-grader Lacie Higgins doubled. After eighth-grader Addison Caiazzo popped out, Napolitano scored to tie the game at two.
Napolitano said playing in this tournament was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. She had fun and said it felt great when she crossed home plate in the game against Delaware. It was exciting for her to cheer for her teammates to score.
Windham minimized Delaware’s scoring chances in the bottom of the third inning when Windham only allowed three Delaware batters to the plate.
Delaware loaded up the bases in the bottom of the fourth inning, but Windham ended their inning with the bases loaded.
The Lady Eagles worked very hard and worked very hard but weren’t able to get ahead.
“(It’s) a great accomplishment when you think about how many girls play Little League softball,” said Windham Coach Nick Caiazzo. “It was a great experience and I appreciate the players and families’ efforts and energy they brought for the last six weeks. This was a fun group of girls ... and the ... effort is always there. These girls should be very proud of their accomplishments.”
Congratulations are in order to the 2021 Maine State Champions Evelyn Anderson, Addison Caiazzo, Kiley Card, Ashley Cloutier, Ava Cole, Chloe Delewski, Lily Gallagher, Lacie Higgins, Eliana Kostopoulos, Kaylee Napolitano, Belle Pinto, Evelyn Robinson, and Sarah Smyth on a great tournament season and memories to last a lifetime. <