PAWTUCKET — The Rhody Wave Runners, Westerly's 12U travel softball team, stayed alive in the state tournament with a 6-2 win over the RI Rockets on Saturday morning, but they suffered their second loss of the tourney in the afternoon, 5-1 to the Cumberland Comets, and were eliminated at Bailey Field.
In the first game, Ava D'Ortona pitched a four-hitter and allowed just one earned run.
She was scheduled to throw two innings in an effort to keep the Rhody pitchers fresh, coach Gerry Auth said in an email, "but she "kept throwing strikes, so we stuck with her. I kept telling her one more out and one more inning. With that mentality she made it the entire game. She gave the team a huge boost [in the] morning. I’m so proud of her effort.”
D’Ortona also had a big game at the plate, going 2 for 3 with a run scored and an RBI. Maya Henderson added her first three-hit game of the season, and Tori Gabriele contributed two hits and two runs scored.
In the afternoon, the top-seeded Comets were too much for Rhody, who managed just one hit.
Lyla Auth started in the pitching circle for the Wave Runners and struck out eight in 5⅓ innings. Auth was replaced in the third inning by Tori Gabriele for ⅔ of an inning. Gabriele induced a fly-ball double play to end the inning. Auth re-entered in the fourth and finished the game.
Gabriele had the lone hit for the Wave Runners. Auth scored their one run.
Rhody finished with a 3-3 record in the tournament.
It next hosts The Bash on the Beach, one of the largest northeast tournaments, July 12-14 in Westerly.
— Ken Sorensen