The Havre de Grace Little League junior softball All-Stars had their East region tournament come to a tough end Tuesday afternoon.
Havre de Grace was beaten 12-1 in six innings by the host team from Milford, Connecticut in a semifinal game, which eliminated the local team.
Havre de Grace finished the tournament with a 3-3 record, good enough for a third place overall finish among 11 teams. The finish is the best of any Havre de Grace Little League All-Star team in the league’s 70-plus year of existence.
Despite Tuesday’s outcome, spirits were bright and attitudes were happy and thankful.
“If I had to be honest, it kind of hurts that it’s over, it’s been a good experience,” said Lilly Dalton. “It’s crazy to just be here, being able to play here is crazy.”
Dalton pitched all but 2.1 innings over the six games and finished with a 3-3 mark. The was 37.1 innings pitched, allowing 33 hits, 13 walks, 22 runs (12 earned) for an earned run average of 2.25. Dalton struck out 49. “It’s the best pitching I’ve had, maybe ever. I felt more focused and more confident in myself these last couple of days,” Dalton said.
In Tuesday’s game, Dalton worked all six innings, giving up 11 hits, two walks, two hit batters and 12 runs (11 earned). Dalton struck out four.
Milford scored three runs over multiple innings to pull away and win. Milford scored three runs in each of the first, third, fourth and sixth innings.
Havre de Grace, meanwhile, was shut down on three hits and the lone run crossed the plate in the sixth inning. Milford pitcher Abby Corris walked four and struck out 10.
Dalton (1-for-2) hit a leadoff double and Brielle Croxsell, who went 2-for-3, drove her in with a single.
“Even though we lost, we fought our hardest to be here and we had a great time,” Bayleigh Carstetter said. “I’m so happy to be in this position with my team, hard work and dedication really pays off.”
Teammate Sarah Weitzel said, ”It was a great time getting to this place, we worked so hard. It’s crazy to have made it this far when no other team in the history of Havre de Grace Little League ever has. We have a great team and we are proud of that.”
Both Weitzel and Dalton were thankful for the support of the community that helped in making the tournament trip and experience possible.
“It was a big relief. It was also a booster to our confidence because we had the entire city and our state cheering for us. It shows a lot about our town that everyone is so close,” Weitzel said. “It’s just amazing and caring and a community sticking together, it’s so special. They were a big help and we couldn’t have done this without them. We just want to say thanks so much.”
Dalton added, “Thank you so much for all of the support, the positive words, and the money. I couldn’t tell you enough, but thank you.”