WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — A Warwick team has punched their ticket to the Softball World Series.
The Warwick North Little League 11-and 12-year-old girls will represent the East Region in the World Series, held in Portland, Oregon.
On Thursday, the girls beat Delaware 3-2 in the East Regional Tournament in Bristol, Connecticut. They were undefeated during the tournament.
The team, managed by Kevin DiTroia, is made up of girls from both Warwick and Coventry.
“We told these girls ‘whether you’re a starter, or you’re a girl that comes in and subs, pick up where the other girl left off and no complaints.’ They did what they had to do and got it done,” said DiTroia.
Many devoted fans followed the girls to Bristol to cheer them on.
“We’re very excited. We’re trying to stay humble,” said David Palumbo, co-president of the league. “We’re just trying to show these girls that we’re behind them. We rented a bus this morning. It’s just important to let them know that back in Warwick, we’re rooting for them.
“I got really emotional. I took a second and I realized we’re going to Portland, Oregon,” added Carlos Rodas, President of Warwick North Softball.
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To get to the regionals, Warwick won both the district and state championships — an effort requiring teamwork and skill.
“They’ve played together a lot for a lot of years and they’re all really good friends on and off the team. They’re a real softball family,” said Tammy Gagnon, of Warwick. “They got really close playing together for so long.”
According to Palumbo, the girls depend on each other for their success.
“They work year-round. No real stars on it [the team]. A bunch of underachievers that came together,” he explained. “It’s well-coached, and they’re a good group of girls.
The girls will now travel across the country with their families to compete in Oregon. Their first game is in two weeks against a team from Uganda.
A GoFundMe.com page has been set up to fund their trip.