The Cranston Budlong junior softball Little League team had a historic run this summer.
After cruising to a dominant state championship title, the girls would grind their way through the east regional tournament and eventually qualified for the Little League World Series in Kirkland, Washington.
The team continued to find success across the country, and finished the tournament with a solid 3-3 record and placed fourth overall.
“It was interesting, every game came right down to the wire. I was very proud of their performance, they never gave up every time they stepped on that field. The losses that we had our bats just fell asleep and we couldn’t get the hit when we needed it,” said Budlong coach Rich Ferry, who also thanked his coaches. “I also can’t say enough about our coaches Doug Doidge and Tom Lewandowski … both are really good guys.”
Although the team traveled to Washington to compete and win ball games, they were also focused on having fun and making the most of their potentially once-in-a-lifetime trip. The girls got to meet people from different states as well as different countries each day of the tournament, making memories that they will carry on forever.
“The girls were excited all the way through. The girls had an extremely fun time over there, obviously you meet a lot of girls and coaches from different countries. We built a really good relationship with Italy, they made some really good friends with Texas. They had a great time,” said Ferry.
Cranston softball enjoyed a successful summer at all levels. The junior team reached the World Series while the senior team won the state title but eventually lost in the regional tournament.
Ferry believes that continuity has been key in developing such a strong program that spans all the way to the high school level.
“The majority of these girls have been together since they were six years old. We have a bond with them that’s like no other. I always tell them that we have something special here with this team and this group of parents,” said Ferry.
The Budlong junior team will have a new look next season. However, Ferry and company are still enjoying what they accomplished in the past few weeks.
“Next year’s going to be different … obviously some girls will be able to still play juniors but some will move up and play senior,” said Ferry. “We’ll see what happens, we’re still enjoying this ride.”