Train For The Game LI works with 5 of the softball players from Team LI ’02, some of them mentioned in this article…including Jenna Laird, Katie Hand, Julianna Sanzone and Amanda Thompson. We work with them on developing explosive power, speed, agility, running mechanics, strength and conditioning. We are happy to be a part of their success and happy to see their hard work at Train For The Game LI pay off on the field!
TEAM LONG ISLAND ’02 WIN JENNIE FINCH TITLE
By Bob Behre
Kelsey Carr and Alexia Lacatena combined on a two-hitter and Team Long Island ’02 hammered out 13 hits on the way to a 12-2 victory over Team Long Island ’03 in the Jennie Finch Spring Invitational 14U championship game last night at Diamond Nation in Flemington, N.J.
The PA Strikers ’03 won the 12U championship and the Delaware Cobras had a stranglehold on the 10U crown in the three-day event which featured an appearance by softball legend Jennie Finch.
Carr limited Team Long Island ‘03 to two runs on two hits over the first three innings, struck out three and walked three. Lacatena closed out the four-inning, 10-run mercy rule victory with one shutout inning in which she retired the side in order. Lacatena induced two groundouts around a pop up to first base to stifle Long Island ’03.
“Carr and Rachael Perez handled the bulk of the pitching for us,” said Team Long Island ’02 head coach Jim Laird. Team Long Island ’02 went 6-0-1 in the tournament while permitting just 22 runs in its seven games. Team Long Island ’02 finished the tournament in dominant fashion, outscoring its four opponents on Sunday, 37-8.
Team Long Island ’02, which struck for five runs in the second and five runs in the third inning to take a 12-2 lead, opened the bottom of the first inning in ominous fashion. Maddie Gallagher, Jenna Laird and Lacatena each singled to tie the game at 1-1. Laird would score the go-ahead run on a wild pitch and Team Long Island ’02 would never look back.
Team Long Island ‘02’s top three batters in the order, Gallagher (1-for-2, walk, three runs), Laird (3-for-3, three runs, RBI) and Lacatena (3-for-3 with a triple and home run, two runs and five RBI) would combine for seven hits, eight runs and six RBI.
Lacatena delivered the RBI single in the first inning that put Team Long Island ’02 in front, 2-1, an RBI triple in the second to extend the lead to 6-1 and a three-run, inside-the-park home run in the third that boosted the advantage to 12-2.
“This was our first tournament of the spring and we seemed to get better through the weekend,” said coach Laird. “Katie Hand (1-for-1, walk in final) had a ton of big hits for us in the tournament. And it seemed like Lacatena started every game with a double.”
To Team Long Island ‘03’s credit, it played with grit against its older counterpart in the Team Long Island program. Alyssa Siedler came through with a two-out RBI double in the top of the first inning to give the L.I. ’03 squad the initial lead at 1-0. It played fairly efficiently on defense but could not overcome the L.I. ‘02’s big bats.
Caroline Hobbes, who drew a leadoff walk in the first inning, also chipped in with an RBI double in the third inning for Team Long Island ’03.
But Team Long Island ’02 would have big at-bats from all parts of its lineup.
Julianna Sanzone had an RBI single in the second inning, Jazmine Cuffie led off the third with a triple to center field and Maxine Payton played the part of the team-first player with a successful sac bunt and an RBI on fielder’s choice grounder. Perez, the No. 9 hitter, drew a walk and singled and scored two runs.
It was Payton we delivered a walk-off hit as Team Long Island defeated the Staten Island Saints, 6-5, in the tournament opener. Team Long Island ’02 also avenged a 4-4 pool play tie to the PA Strikers by beating the Strikers 14-3 in the quarterfinals. Team Long Island reached the championship game via a gritty 3-1 decision over the top-seeded NJ Mystics Futures in the semifinals.
The PA Strikers 12U squad pitched four shutouts and outscored its opponents 85-12 in a dominating 8-0 performance on the way to the 12U championship. The Strikers won in walk-off fashion, 5-4, over the Jersey Outlaws ’03.
The seventh-seeded Delaware Cobras 10U went 3-0 on Sunday to bounce back from a pool play loss late Saturday and capture the 10U crown. The Cobras beat the Jersey Flames 10-0 in the quarterfinals, rolled to a 7-1 victory over the SJ Mystics in the semis before outlasting the Banshees 10U 3-2 in the final.