Welcome home, champs
On Aug. 8, Cranston celebrated the return of two softball teams from the Cranston National Budlong Little League after their achievements at both the regional and World Series tournaments. Both teams finished their seasons as state and district champions.
The CNBLL Juniors, also known as ‘Team East,’ finished their incredible season ranked fourth in the world after a strong run that ended with a loss to Italy at the World Series in Kirkland, Washington.
The CNBLL Majors finished second at the East Coast Regional in Bristol, Conn.
The girls of both teams were recognized by Mayor Fung, Rep. Robert Lancia (District 16), Senator Hannah Gallo, City Councilman Ken Hopkins, and other local dignitaries for their strong performances on the field, and ‘for representing Cranston and the entire state of Rhode Island to the rest of the world with class, grace and sportsmanship,’ according to a press release.
The players on ‘Team East,’ under the management of Rich Ferry and coaches Tom Lewandowski, Doug Doidge and Mike Casale, were: Madison Salvato, Mackenzie Bessette, Emily Bessette, Lyndsey Brandow, Elizabeth Lewandowski, Sophia Ferry, Ava Brandow, Carissa Giarrusso, Sydney Casale, Delaney Doidge, Josie Di Troia, Ari Rodi, Maddy Gunderway and Georgi Edwards.
The players on the majors team, who are the Rhode Island district #1 champions, Rhode Island state champions and 2nd-place in the East Coast Regionals were managed by Dan Cote and asst. coaches Glenn Jeffrey, Dan Marella and Lori Healy. The winning team consisted of: Giselle Jeffrey, Samantha Healy, Sofia Marella, Henny Disla, Taylor Simoneau, Ava Santo, Paige Cote, Gabrielle Valletta, Gabrielle Jeffrey and Alessandra Messina.