Slugging it out: Islanders outscore Coppola for Rockland titleVinalhaven youngsters enjoy boat ride home with championship
Rockland — The Rockland Little League softball championship game between the Islanders and Coppola Friday night, June 15 had no shortage of offense, with both squads scoring many runs — almost at will — with the league's richest prize on the line.
In the end, the Islanders, who took a ferry boat ride over from neighboring Vinalhaven to complete for the title on George C. Hall Field, had enough pop in their bats and enough patience at the plate for an 18-13 victory to claim the championship.
The Islanders jumped to a large lead in the first inning and, despite a strong rally from the lower seed Coppola, the top-ranked team tacked on insurance runs late and held on.
The top-seeded Islanders defeated No. 5 George Hall 9-8 and then No. 2 Coppola (score unavailable) to advance to Friday's championship. Coppola defeated No. 3 Kenniston (score unavailable), fell to the Islanders and then defeated No. 3 Kenniston Machine 9-6 to advance to Friday's championship.
The Islanders were led at the plate by Gilleyanne Davis-Oakes (grand slam, triple, 3 singles, 3 runs), Deja Doughty (single, 3 runs), Carolyn Hopkins (single, 2 runs) and Hannah Jo Moody (2 singles, 2 runs).
Leading Coppola's offense were Alexis Mazurek (double, 2 singles, 3 runs), Zoe Goff (2 singles) and Lydia Gamage and Rachel Joyce, both singles.
Davis-Oakes pitched for the Islanders, allowing six hits and 14 walks, with five strikeouts. Olivia Staples, Erin Dugan and Joyce pitched for Coppola, allowing nine hits and 19 walks, with four strikeouts.
Joyce rapped a two-run single to put Coppola in front in the top of the first inning, but the Islanders were patient at the plate and swung the bats well, scoring 10 runs before the first frame came to a close.
The first three batters all drew walks, while Davis-Oakes hit an inside-the-park grand slam to center field to put the Islanders ahead 4-2. Four straight batters were later issued bases-loaded walks before Hannah Ames came in on a wild pitch and Paige Dennison scored on a fielder's choice to end the inning.
In Little League, the inning immediately ends when a team has scored 10 runs in a frame.
Coppola did not give up, however, as Mazurek, who singled home at least one run in the seven-run frame, led the offense that saw many walks issued and Staples reached on an error, to cut Coppola's deficit to 10-9.
The Islanders scored two more times on a fielder's choice and a bases-loaded walk in the second and increased their lead to 13-9 in the third stanza when Davis-Oakes tripled and scored on a wild pitch.
The top seed continued to add to its lead when Hopkins and Moody each rapped RBI-singles in the fourth inning to put Vinalhaven ahead 15-9.
Goff brought Coppola within five runs when she plated Mazurek, who doubled earlier in the inning, with an RBI-single, but the Islanders continued to swing the bats well in the bottom of the fifth inning with a two-run single by Doughty and an RBI-single by Davis-Oakes.
Mazurek had a two-run double in the top of the sixth inning, but Coppola could not complete the comeback.
Team members for the Islanders are Ames, Moody, Hannah Newton, Doughty, Davis-Oakes, Marina Davis, Cheyenne Bickford, Hopkins, Amber Shane, Bailey Wadleigh, Dennison and Ashlyn Littlefield. The team is coached by Michelle Stanley, Hollie Arey and Susanne Woodcock.
Team members for Coppola are Dugan, Jordan Brackett, Mazurek, Goff, Staples, Lydia Gamage, Joyce, Nicole Ladd, Gracie Woodman and Cassidy Robinson. The team is coached by Sarah Mazurek, Laura Mazurek and Rich Mazurek, who are siblings.
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