PLAINVILLE - The Bristol Little League (ages 10-12) Softball All-Stars tore through the District 5 tournament.
Capped by Monday evening’s 21-4 win over Berlin, Bristol scored 45 runs in three tournament games on its way to the district championship and a berth in the sectional tournament.
“We’re good. This is the most runs our team has scored,” Bristol pitcher Ashley Serafin said, “It’s hard to keep the momentum because I feel like when one person strikes out, you feel like you’ve lost it. But when someone gets a hit, you keep going.”
In Monday’s game alone, every player that stepped up to the plate for Bristol scored at least one run, while two players - Sarah Romano and Ryleigh Hall - piled up three runs apiece.
Samantha Sklenka led Bristol with three RBI on Monday, while Alex Shorette and Hannah Webber each had two. But in addition to offense, the Bristol defense has also played an important role.
Over the three games in the tournament, Bristol only surrendered seven runs and four of them came on Monday against Berlin.
It has all started in the circle with Serafin.
“She’s on-spot every time, good speed, good pitching all around,” Bristol manager Barrett Cretella said. “She’s a great athlete and we’re very proud of her.”
For Serafin, being able to contribute on defense means a lot.
“When I strike someone out, it gives me momentum to keep working at it,” she said.
But with the success of the District 5 tournament behind them, the Bristol coaches and players are turning their focus to the next step.
“We are extremely excited to go to sectionals,” Cretella said. “Sectionals is going to be a good battle for us, some tougher teams. But we’re ready and we’re ready to work hard for it.”
That step up in competition could be daunting for some teams, but after seeing what his team did in the district tournament, Cretella isn’t worried.
“We’re going all the way. I’ll predict that now,” he said with a smile. “We more than have the talent to make it as far as our team desires to make it and we plan on going to Oregon [Portland, Ore., is the site of the Little League Softball World Series].”
Part of what Cretella feels makes his team so successful is how they interact with each other.
“They play very well as a team,” the manager said. “They cheer each other on. They’re their best support system. They’re just there for each other. They’re an extremely tight team.
“You can see, they love taking pictures, cheering each other on and standing up in the dugout. They’re awesome kids. I couldn’t ask for a better team.”
The district title feels good and Cretella is going to let his players enjoy it, but they will be back to work soon.
“They get one day of rest [Tuesday] and then we’re back to practice on [Wednesday],” he said. “Practice is just going to get more intense from here on out. They’re ready.”
Josh Kestenbaum can be reached at 860-973-1811 or firstname.lastname@example.org On Twitter: @K_baum30