EAST PROVIDENCE — East Providence High School sends three of its spring teams into championship tournaments beginning this week, the Townies being represented by their softball, baseball and boys’ volleyball clubs.
The EPHS softball team enters the Division I state championship tournament as the fourth seed. The Townies, LaSalle and Cumberland each finished in a share of third place in the regular season standings with 11-5 records. The rival Rams, however, beat both the locals and the Clippers to earn the third seed in the playoffs. E.P. beat Cumberland, giving the Townies fourth place.
“If you had told me at the beginning of the spring we would 11-5 and the fourth seed, I would have definitely signed up for that,” said EPHS head coach Rob Traverse. “I’m so proud of the kids. A number of them stepped up and have had tremendous years. Hopefully we can continue to play well over the next few weeks.”
East Providence opens its postseason opposite 13th-seeded Mount St. Charles at home Thursday afternoon, May 29, at 4 p.m. The Townies defeated the Mounties, 6-3, in their lone meeting to date this spring back on April 11.
The first round of the state tournament, in which all 16 teams in the league compete, is contested under a single-elimination format. The eight winners advance to the double-elimination portion of the event. The E.P.-Mount winner advances to face the winner between fifth-seeded Cumberland and 12th-seeded Westerly.
More softball notes
The Townies, as they’ve done for the last 16 years, held their annual Alumnae Charity Game Saturday, May 24. EPHS players as far back as 1984 participated in this year’s event. The softball program has donated nearly $25,000 to charitable organizations through the game, including this year’s gift to The Tomorrow Fund, a non-profit which provides financial and emotional support to children with cancer and their families. The Townies are doing so in name of EPHS senior Brittany Martins, who has valiantly battled the disease for the last 18 months.
“Brittany has shown tremendous courage in her fight,” Coach Traverse said. “She never complained. She’s done her work. She’s a special kid.”
One last softball related note, State Senator William Conley (D-Dist. 18, East Providence, Pawtucket) recently procured a $3,000 legislative grant for the program, which will be used to purchase a scoreboard for the renovated field on the school grounds. It’s one of the final touches in the refurbishment process that Coach Traverse and several benefactors began some two years.
The top-seeded EPHS baseball nine opens its Division II-Region I tournament Thursday afternoon, May 29, at home against 16th-seeded Tiverton at Pierce Field at 4 o’clock.
The Townies, 13-2 and winners of the II-Central regular season title, and the Tigers, 7-9 and sixth in the II-South, have yet to meet this spring. E.P. and Tiverton did meet twice in last year’s playoffs, the Tigers beating the Townies early in the D-II tourney before the locals turned the tables and beat Tiverton in an elimination game.
East Providence and the Tigers are in the same four-team pod in the double-elimination tourney with eighth-seeded Mt. Pleasant and ninth-seeded Narragansett. The winners of Thursdays game play at the higher seeded team Saturday, May 31. The losers likewise play Saturday at the higher seeded side. Games continue Monday, June 2, and Wednesday, June 4, the date of the regional final. If another game is needed to determine the Region 1 winner, it would be played Thursday, June 5. First pitch for each game throughout the event is 4 p.m.
Boys’ volleyball notes
The EPHS boys’ spikers are the second seed out of the Northern subgroup in the Division I state championship tourney. The Townies host South Kingstown, the third team from the Southern subgroup, in the opening round Thursday night, May 29, at 6:30 p.m. The winner advances to the state semis Monday night, June 2, at the Providence Career and Tech Academy Field House.
East Providence (8-6) and S.K. (13-3) met once during the regular season, the Rebels edging the Townies at home by a 3-2 count back on April 24. South also beat the locals in last year’s state semis, 3-0.
The E.P.-South Kingstown winner meets the winner of the opening round match between North Kingstown (No. 1 seed, South) and LaSalle (No. 4, North) in the semis.