Saturday’s game was just flat out crazy.
Sunday’s game, well, that was a little more like it.
But the best part about the weekend for the Viera Suntree Little League 8-10 softball team is that no matter how differently their two District 2 All-Star tournament games played out, they’re now up 2-0 over Greater West Melbourne in their best-of-five series.
After rallying from a 23-10 deficit to win 33-23 on Saturday, the VSLL got a solid pitching performance from Alivia Roszkowiak and some excellent all-around defense to win Sunday’s Game 2 by a score of 10-5.
Viera Suntree can clinch the District 2 championship with a win Wednesday night at 6:30 at Rodes Park in West Melbourne.
“These girls, I’ll tell you what, they’re working hard,” VSLL coach Dan Smith said. “They’re doing it. We’re just having fun coaching it. A lot of them have never even done this before.
“Only three girls have ever played tournaments (before). These are all Little League girls. This is all new to them. It’s been great seeing them enjoy it and experience it. That’s what it’s about for us.”
Saturday’s game, which lasted four hours, was certainly one to remember. Facing the possibility of losing by the 10-run rule, the VSLL had an unbelievable fourth inning to go from trailing 23-10 to leading 30-23. Three more runs by Viera Suntree in the fifth inning ended the game.
Bella Smith went 2-for-4 with a double in that one. Arianna Vega also went 2-for-4 and Alyssa Furst had a big day, going 4-for-5 with a double.
Sunday’s game was much less dramatic, thanks in large part to Roszkowiak, who struck out nine batters over six complete innings.
“Alivia started out (Saturday), struggled, and we rotated her out,” Dan Smith said. “She came back in and finished the last inning. We put her back (out there again) today and she just mowed them down. She pitched all six innings and kept at it, kept us in the ballgame.”
Viera Suntree had a big first inning defensively as catcher Bella Smith threw out a runner trying to steal second. Later that same inning Smith scrambled to retrieve a passed ball and flipped it to Roszkowiak, who tagged out a runner trying to score for the final out of the inning.
“It was great. That was big,” Dan Smith said. “The catcher is 9 years old. I don’t see too many 9-year-olds throwing girls out on the bases, even in travel ball. And she doesn’t even play travel ball.
“That sets the tone.”
The VSLL would take a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Vega and Roszkowiak both scored on wild pitches. That lead would grow to 7-0 after three innings and Viera Suntree was on its way to its second straight win.
Arianna Vega went 2-for-4 to help lead the offense.
The VSLL also got key contributions over the weekend from Addison Couch; Claire Doolittle; Klara Latham; Cara Main; Morgan McNulty; Addison Steffen and Emily Volz.