Tiverton 12U softball wins District 2 title

Barrington falls to Tiverton after protesting game

Story and photos by Richard W. Dionne, Jr.  rdionne@eastbaymediagroup.com
Posted 6/29/23

The Tiverton 12U softball all-stars beat Barrington 8-3 in a game three showdown to take the District 2 championship at Barrington High School on Wednesday night. 

Tiverton ace Liliana Luis …

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Tiverton 12U softball wins District 2 title

Barrington falls to Tiverton after protesting game


The Tiverton 12U softball all-stars beat Barrington 8-3 in a game three showdown to take the District 2 championship at Barrington High School on Wednesday night. 

Tiverton ace Liliana Luis struck out 10 and scattered five hits, five walks and allowed three runs in six innings.

“My favorite thing, no matter if we won or loss, was playing Barrington,” Luis said. “Their energy was really good and it was fun to play them.”

“Lily’s amazing,” said catcher Abby Gilfillen. “I started catching for her around the age of 5. To see the progression throughout the years is just amazing. She’s my best friend on and off the field.”

Tiverton and Barrington played three times during the District 2 tournament. Tiverton won 2-0 to earn the winner’s bracket title, then Barrington won 2-0 to force a third game for the championship. 

“The girls really showed up today,” said Tiverton head coach Mike Martin. “Barrington is a great team. It took us a while to get going. But all the pieces finally fell together for us tonight.”


Tiverton offense, aided by dead ball calls, scores 8 runs

The Tiverton offense smashed five hits and scored eight runs in the first four innings. They scored 2 in the first inning, 1 in the second, 1 in the third and broke out for 4 more in the fourth. They were also aided by numerous dead ball calls resulting in six walks by Barrington ace Ava Lucas, who struck out 6, and allowed 1 hit and 4 runs in the first 3 innings. 

Before the game, umpires were told to look for Barrington pitcher Ava Lucas hopping off the mound instead of dragging her foot. 

“Hopping off of the mound is illegal,” said Tiverton Little League president Mike DeCotis during the game. Though Lucas’ pitching style wasn’t questioned during the first two games in which she struck out 25 and allowed just 3 hits and 5 walks in 12 innings.

“It was hard for us to go through the entire tournament under one set of rules and then to have everything changed on us in the last 24 hours,” said Barrington head coach Frank Lucas. “It’s just unfair.”

Tiverton shortstop Kelsey Conway scored the first Tiverton run in the first inning by reaching first base on a dropped third strike. Conway stole second and third, and scored on a passed ball to give Tiverton a 1-0 lead. Kristina DeCotis drew a walk aided by a dead ball — the umpire deemed Lucas’s pitch illegal, negating the strike call. She stole second base and scored on a base hit by Luis for a 2-0 lead. 

Megan Martin reached via walk in the second inning. She stole second and third base. Teammate Abby Couto also walked and stole second base to give Tiverton runners at second and third with no outs.  

Lucas fanned Teegan Nevitt for the first out of the inning. Martin took off for home on catcher Carly Gill’s throw back to Lucas. Lucas saw it and fired back to Gill and the catcher tagged out Martin at the plate for the second out. Couto, who moved to third base on the play, scored on a hit by Elena Silvia to give Tiverton a 3-0 lead. Tiverton’s Lucy Stearns walked to lead off the third inning, stole second and third and scored on a passed ball to give Tiverton a 4-0 lead.  

Luis, meanwhile, received help from her outfielders who made two big catches for outs with runners on base. Dimanno caught a towering shot by Erin Moran to end the first inning with Audrey Paxton on base to preserve a 2-0 lead. Right fielder Abby Couto caught a deep fly ball by Lucas for the second out of the second inning with Piper Morrissey on second base to preserve a 3-0 lead. 


Barrington protests

After three innings of play, Coach Lucas had seen enough and protested the game due to both umpires having ties to Tiverton Little League. He argued his case to District 2 Director Bob Walker, who was on hand.

Walker made a call to Rhode Island Little League officials and they determined that Barrington could not protest who umpired the game. 

In the fourth inning, Coach Lucas changed pitchers, replacing Lucas with Paxton. Tiverton broke the game open with three hits, two walks and four runs. Autumn Gerlach, Martin, Couto and Mia Cabral all scored to give Tiverton an 8-0 lead. 

Paxton who pitched the last three innings, struck out 3 and allowed 4 hits, 3 walks and 4 runs.


Barrington strikes back with runs in the fourth and fifth 

Barrington got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fourth inning. Layla Kupperman singled and Paxton walked for runners on first and second. Erin Moran grounded out to second, moving the runners to second and third. Kupperman scampered home on a passed ball to score the first Barrington run. Then Morrissey belted a single to plate Paxton and  cut the lead to 8-2.  Barrington scored again in the fifth inning when Fontaine drew a walk. She stole second and came around to score on a base hit by Keira Martin to cut the lead to 8-3. 

“The girls worked really hard tonight,” said Coach Lucas. “I’m proud of them. They worked hard and progressed through the entire season. The adjustments that they made at the plate and in the field were incredible. We had some adversity stacked up against us tonight and unfortunately it wasn’t just the plays in the field that we had to make and it wasn’t the plays that we had to make at the plate, it was the plays that we had to make politically that unfortunately cost us a trip to the states.”

After the game the players shook hands then both coaches spoke well of their opponents in a brief ceremony. Tiverton celebrated and took a team photo with the District 2 banner. 

Barrington was awarded medals for second place. 

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