WATERTOWN - Over the holiday weekend, the GROWS Watertown Rapids 16U squad was among the teams competing in a tournament at the Princess Anne Athletic Complex in Virginia Beach, VA.
Coming into the holiday softball feast, the Rapids had every reason to feel good about themselves, playing very well, bringing a 10-4 record south with them.
However, after losing three of their first four games, the Rapids had to scramble to finish with a 3-5 record on the southern swing which left them with a still-solid overall mark of 13-9.
In their tournament debut game on July 4, the Rapids were edged by the New England Fusion 16U Gold, 5-4 in a game which got underway at the ungodly hour of 8 a.m.
The Rapids found themselves trailing by four runs in the second inning, but managed to get themselves back into the game before ultimately coming up one run short.
Two Watertown errors and an RBI double got New England on the board before the Rapids responded in the second on RBI hits by Loren Mossey and Angela DeFeo.
Starting pitcher Brandi McIntosh took the loss for Watertown, allowing five hits and five runs over four innings, striking out four.
McIntosh, DeFeo, Brianna Catalani, and Cassidy Doiron each managed one hit apiece for the Rapids.
After a short break, the Rapids were back on the field for a more-palatable 11:30 a.m. contest against the Vortex Elite 16U team.
Watertown starting pitcher Alyssa Roberts made the Elite lineup look anything but, as she tossed a no-hitter to lead the Rapids to an 8-0 win.
A five-run fifth inning was fueled by singles by Cecily Zemaitis and Cassidy Doiron and walks by Mossey and McIntosh.
McIntosh singled in the first run of the game in the top of the first inning, and Roberts took it from there, striking out seven in five innings.
Watertown piled on 10 hits; Kendall Allen and Zemaitis had two to lead the way, after which the team was able to kick back and enjoy the rest of the holiday.
On July 5, the Rapids, again starting their day at 8 a.m., again fell behind quickly, and forced to play catch-up, again came up short, as they fell to the Virginia Legacy Elite 16U team, 7-5.
Trailing by six runs, the Rapids got four of them back in the fourth inning, as DeFeo, Allen, and Roberts drive in runs.
Virginia scored four runs in the second inning to take command.
Makenzie Jones and Roberts had two hits apiece for the Rapids.
In their second game of the day, the Rapids were overpowered by the Phantoms Elite, 10-0.
Watertown was held hitless in the four-inning game, which saw the Phantoms collect 13 hits, five of them for extra bases.
Moments after being held without a baserunner, the Rapids, again with Roberts playing the role of stopper in the pitchers’ circle, rebounded with a 3-0 win over the Crushers Fastpitch team.
With Allen going 3-for-3, the Rapids took an early lead and let Roberts do the rest.
Allowing only two hits over seven innings, Roberts struck out four without walking a batter as she won for the second time in the tournament.
Resuming play on July 6, the Rapids again began their day with a frustrating loss, this one to the Inferno Fastpitch, 5-3.
Trailing 1-0, Watertown came back with a three-run second inning on hits by Allen and Roberts, only to have the Inferno erase the deficit with two runs in the in the third and then put the game away with two runs in the fourth inning.
Doiron had two hits for the Rapids.
In their midday game, the Rapids again followed up a tough loss with a resounding win, as they pounded out a 10-0 win over the CPA Havoc 16U team.
A first inning RBI single by Doiron lit the fuse for Watertown; the explosion came in the third inning, when six runs crossed the plate, with singles by Doiron and Zemaitis and a double by Allen the big hits.
Roberts again was near-untouchable in the circle, yielding one hit over four innings, striking out four and walking none.
Watertown hammered 15 hits, led by Catalini and Zamaitis with three apiece.
In their final game, the Rapids were victimized by a late rally by the Tri-State Angels as they snapped a 1-1 tie in the sixth inning to record a 4-1 win over the locals on July 7.
Watertown’s lone run came on a sacrifice fly by DeFeo in the bottom of the fourth inning.
This time, Roberts’ solid pitching wasn’t enough despite another strong effort in which she allowed only three runs and struck out three in 5.1 innings.