TOMS RIVER – Like the cast of a sports movie, the 10-U Little League Softball team were the scrappy underdogs that made it to the top.
They weren’t underdogs because of any lack of talent. Far from it. They had the talent to head to the North East Regional despite only having played together for two years, Manager Bob D’Ambrosio said.
The team beat Jackson Little League to win the District 18 championship. That put them in the Section 3 championship where they beat Freehold Little league to come out on top again. This promoted them to the New Jersey State Championship. They overcame Morristown Little League to win that, which was played at Fairleigh Dickinson University.
This was a highlight of the season, as it placed them into the East Regional tournament, which is the top game for their age group.
Unfortunately, they lost their first game against Delaware. Then, they won three in a row against Vermont, Massachusetts, and Delaware. Their time came to an end against Pennsylvania in double elimination.
Still, they only lost 1-0 to Pennsylvania. Of the 10 states in their region, they were in the top four.
“They were more upset that it was over,” D’Ambrosio said. They had been hanging out in the hotel, playing games, and being with friends during the competition and now it was time to come home.
But they came home as heroes.
“I couldn’t be more proud of what these girls accomplished this all star season. We are not the most talented team, not the biggest team and even a little younger than our opponents. Nothing came easy for them but they kept fighting for each other, their coaches and their parents. They created memories for me that will last a lifetime and as their coach I have them to thank for that,” he said.
He also thanked the parents and other supporters for all their help this season, as well as coaches Brad Bossow, Joey Humenik, and Melissa O’Neill.
He highlighted several athletes from the season: The team was led by the phenomenal pitching from Lily Humenik. Offensive stars were Lily Bossow, Zoey Rodriguez, Maddison Valles, Eva Vasilakis and Hailey Cohen. Defensive stars were Tessa D’Ambrosio, Ella O’Neill, Jamie Forrester and Juliana Garafalo. Clutch at bats and baserunning from Layla Hatton, Ashlyn Doyle and Rylie Goodale.
The team roster is as follows:
Lilly Bossow #4
Ella O’Neill #20
Maddison Valles #31
Zoey Rodriguez #7
Eva Vasilakis #15
Juliana Garofalo #10
Tessa D’Ambrosio #5
Lily Humenik #11
Jamie Forrester #19
Layla Hatton #8
Ashlyn Doyle #14
Hailey Cohen #2
Rylie Goodale #12