By Tom Robinson, NEPASportsNation.com
The Jessup-based Carbino Club team advanced to the 29th Big League Softball World Series in Kalamazoo, Mich. where it contended for a title into the next-to-last day of the event before settling for fourth place in August, 2009.
Big League is the Little League-sponsored division for 16-18-year-olds.
Carbino Club won five straight at one point, but ended with a three-game losing streak and had to watch as two teams it beat played for the world title.
Because of the limited number of Little League programs offering competition in the Big League age group, Carbino Club was able to draw some players from surrounding areas in addition to those in the Valley View School District.
Valley View High School coach E.J. Weston managed the team.
Tournament rules limited pitchers to 10 innings in a day and forced pitchers to rest a day any time they pitched more than 4 innings.
When rainouts forced Carbino Club into three doubleheaders, it hindered the team’s pitching staff, which was thinner than some of the others in Michigan.
“There’s no doubt that rules dictated a lot of what we did,” Weston said in an interview after the tournament. “Strategizing the pitching was a challenge.
“Most teams in Michigan had five pitchers. We had two and two kids who did a great job for us who aren’t traditionally pitchers.”
Mackenzie Lynn from Carbondale held opponents scoreless through four innings in four of her six starts, but left the game at that point in three of those four games because of some of those decisions Weston had to make. She finished the tournament with two wins and an ERA under 2.00.
Lynn was also second on the team with nine hits.
Molly Ann Mecca, a second baseman from Valley View, finished up with an eight-game hitting streak and led the team with 10 hits. She had a game-winning homer in a 3-2 victory over Kalamazoo.
Liz Aniska, a shortstop from Valley View, hit two homers and had seven hits.
Alley Stine, a pitcher from Valley View, had a win and two saves. She also had six hits, including two doubles.
The 11-player team had six players from Valley View, two from Scranton Prep and one each from Mid Valley, Carbondale and Moravian University.
Emma Blake, a junior outfielder from Scranton Prep, picked up some of the pitching duties and got two wins.
Blake combined with Katie Iyoob on a one-hitter against Windsor, Ontario, Canada and threw a one-hitter in a 6-1 victory over Brzeg, Poland.
To reach the nine-game world tournament in Kalamazoo, Carbino Club went unbeaten in both the Pennsylvania and East Regional championships.