The Lynn Senior Little League Softball All-Stars watched their valiant East Regional Tournament run come to an end Thursday morning with a 5-3 loss to Maryland in the semifinal at Worcester State’s Rockwood Park.
“I’m extremely proud,” Lynn manager Chad Wilkins said. “They worked so hard for about a month now, probably a little longer. For them to go to a regional stage like this and continue playing well when the stakes are high, it was awesome to see. They didn’t melt in the moment. They really rose to the occasion. We faced a really good Maryland team. We didn’t play our best game but it was still close. If we played one of our better games we probably could’ve pulled it out.”
Lynn’s high-powered offense entered Thursday’s game having scored 46 runs through five regional victories. But Maryland limited the Lynners to just five base hits.
“Maryland’s pitcher was excellent,” Wilkins said. “They’re a good team. They hit the ball well. There’s nothing to be ashamed of losing to them.
“They were two wins away from getting to the World Series,” Wilkins said. “I couldn’t be any prouder of them. The girls really left it out on the field.”
Pitcher Lily Newhall gave Lynn seven solid innings. Newhall struck out six, walked three and allowed six hits.
“Every time she seemed to get into a little trouble, she worked her way out of it,” Wilkins said. “It wasn’t as clean a game as some of the others she’s had but she absolutely pitched well enough to win the game.”
At the plate, leadoff batter Julia Nickolau closed the tournament on a high note by going 2-for-4. Emely Rodriguez went 1-for-3 with two RBI and delivered Lynn’s biggest hit of the game. Down 5-1 in the top of the sixth, Rodriguez launched a 2-run triple to close the gap to 5-3 and get Lynn back into the mix. Kaelyn Jennings went 1-for-3 with one RBI and Riley Mannion went 1-for-4 to round out the offense.
Shortstop Reese Brinkler led the defense with five putouts.
Lynn graduates three members from this year’s roster in Nickolau, Abby Fila and Amanda Wilkins, Chad’s daughter. Wilkins applauded the three for the leadership they brought to the team.
“They were true leaders through this entire thing,” Wilkins said. “They were great teammates. They really led the team, especially with some of the younger girls that haven’t been there before. I couldn’t have asked for better leadership out of them.”
Lynn finished the tournament 5-1. Pennsylvania defeated Maryland 14-4 to clinch the East Regional title and advance to the World Series.
Lynn Junior Legion Post 291
Lynn 3, Andover 0
At Fraser Field, Lynn captured the District 8 Junior Legion title with a shutout win. Pitcher Andrew Luciano went the distance for the Lynners.
Aidan Dow delivered all the offense Lynn needed with two RBI.
Jared DeFilippo played a solid defensive game at shortstop as did Nico Galeazzi who was 3-for-3 throwing out runners on steal attempts
“Everyone up and down the lineup did their job,” Lynn manager Tony Luciano said. “It was just a great baseball game to watch.”
Lynn advances to the double-elimination state tournament and travels to tournament host Wilbraham Saturday night (7:30) for its opening game.
“I’m expecting tough competition,” Tony Luciano said. “I think our kids will be ready for it. We have a great group of kids up and down the roster. We’ll be ready to go and we’ll give it our best to try and take this title home.”