The CLCF Bombers 10u softball team will compete in the Eastern National Tournament in Sterling, Virginia starting today in the Girls’ 10-Under Class B Division.
It has been a productive season to say the least for the Cranston group, which has been at it since the fall, practicing, training and taking on rigid competition in eight tournaments throughout the year.
CLCF has continued to get better and better throughout the course of the season, winning its own tournament, producing a strong showing at the Jennie Finch Tournament at the Diamond Nation Complex in Flemington, New Jersey and winning its division at the Smithfield Firecracker Tournament, which served as an Eastern Nationals Qualifying Tournament. With the win in Smithfield, CLCF earned itself an automatic bid for the tournament this week.
The team expects the level of competition to be high in Virginia, but it’s confident that it will be able to hold its own.
“We expect a very high level of competition,” CLCF manager Sal Piscione said during a send-off party held by State Rep. Robert Lancia at Garden City on Saturday morning. “The girls got a taste of it when we went to New Jersey to play in the Jennie Finch Tournament, which was some good exposure. We know we’re going to see more of the same on the national level, but we’re 100 percent going to go and be competitive. But, more importantly, this could be a once in a lifetime experience for the girls, and we want them to experience this.”
The time and effort that the girls and their coaches have put in has certainly been noticed by those who oversee the program. The trip to Virginia is certainly well-deserved.
“I’m very proud,” CLCF softball chairperson Tiffany Spiridakos said. “They’ve worked all season. They practiced all winter, they practice pretty much year-round, and I think the hard work that they’ve put in throughout the year has paid off. That’s why they’re at the point where they’re at.”
Piscione noted that team chemistry has been one of CLCF’s evident strengths throughout the year, as the girls are truly best friends who love to take the diamond together.
“They work extremely hard, they do not give up and the best thing to me is that they’re a team on and off the field,” Piscione said. “They really like each other and enjoy playing together. You can see that, especially when they’re on the field.”
The players on the team are looking forward to this rare opportunity, as well.
“We’re hoping to win, have a good tournament and have fun,” Vanessa Piscione said. “I hope it’s a good experience.”
One thing’s for sure – whether CLCF wins or loses, it’s going to do it as a team. It has been that team mentality that has gotten CLCF this far.
“It’s not just one person, it’s the whole team,” Siena Nardelli said.