PAWCATUCK — The Groton/Mystic 11-12 softball All-Stars scored eight runs in the third inning and won the District 10 championship Sunday evening with a resounding 13-1 victory against Waterford.
The champions now move on to the double-elimination Section 2 tournament, which includes the winners of District 7, 9 and 10. Groton/Mystic plays its opening game against the District 7 winner on Wednesday at 6 p.m. All Section 2 games will be played at Rotary Field in Waterford.
The first two games in this best-of-three District 10 championship series were come-from-behind battles. Groton/Mystic won the first game 5-3 and Waterford won the next game 4-3. The rubber game for the championship was decided early, when Groton/Mystic scored eight runs in the third inning and never looked back.
Leading 1-0 at the end of two innings. Groton/Mystic sent 13 batters to the plate in the top of the third inning and left with a 9-0 lead. Ellie Hohlfelder led off with a walk, Meagan Giwoyna and Nora Ryan singled to load the bases, and Olivia Carney walked to drive in a run.
The scoring march continued in rapid succession with a single by Aspen Ryan, a fielder’s-choice grounder and double-error, a single by Angelina Doak and another error. Giwoyna closed the scoring with an RBI-single.
“I’m glad it wasn’t another nail-biter,” winning manager Pete Georgetti said. “This team is a hitting team. From 1-to-9 (in the batting order) they hit the ball hard. If you hit the ball hard enough, good things happen.”
The winners banged out 15 hits, including six in the eight-run third inning and five more in a four-run sixth. Meagan Giwoyna and Aspen Ryan each went 3-for-4, including a double and triple for Ryan. Casey Flax and Allison Georgetti each had two hits, including a double by Georgetti.
Aspen Ryan pitched all six innings for the win, as she did in the first game of the series. Waterford managed seven hits in the deciding game, including two doubles.
“They hit and we didn’t,” Waterford manager Traci Susi said. “Neither one of us hit that well in our first two games. They sure did today.
“It was a sweet season for us. Of course the loss (in the championship game) was disappointing. But the district games overall were a lot of fun.”
The four runs scored by Groton/Mystic in the top of the sixth inning were icing on the cake. Aspen Ryan tripled home Olivia Carney, who had led off with a single. After a fielder’s-choice and two outs, the team scored its final runs on a single by Casey Flax, a double by Georgetti and Giwoyna’s third single of the game. “I am excited about the championship and very proud of my team,” Giwoyna said. “I have my days hitting and today was one of those days.”
Waterford finally broke into the scoring column with a single unearned run in the bottom of the sixth (final) inning. After a groundout and an error on a pop-up, Molly Quiles reached on a single and Jayne Darras singled in a run. But Aspen Ryan induced two weak groundouts to end the game and claim the championship.
“I’m very proud of my team,” Ryan said. “We’ve been together for a while and this is the first banner we’ve won as a team. We just tried harder and kept ourselves into the game. It’s a really good feeling.”
Pete Georgetti said he has been coaching Little League teams for 12 years and been team manager for seven. He started with some of these girls when they were at the Minors level and have progressed up to the Majors. Winning a division title is a first for him and for these girls.
“My daughter Allison said early on that she wanted to win the district,” Georgetti said. “She said she wanted to put that plaque in our clubhouse. We did it and that took a lot of hard work.
“We had a lot of ups and downs along the way, including a loss to Waterford after we we were ahead. This kind of made up for that. It’s a great feeling. It’s awesome.”