Darlington 10U All-Star Team Wins 2018 State Softball Title

Taken from the Woonsocket Call. Original article dated July 11, 2018. Written by Jon Baker

The Darlington 10U all-star team claimed the ASA Class C state title Saturday night. The squad is made up of (front row, left to right) Ella Taylor, Jaliyah De Los Santos, Chelsea Godin, Mya Taft, Ryleigh O’Hara, Addison Kolb, Nethania Figueroa, Cassandra Dulude; and (back row, left to right) assistant coach Brian Dulude, Aniya Rua, Kaydence Holden, assistant coach Modesto Figueroa, assistant coach Andrew Charpentier and coach Joe Godin.

PAWTUCKET – Joe Godin, the head coach of the Darlington girls’ 10-and-under All-Stars, decided on a whim to book his team into an invitational tournament in Rehoboth in late June and early July. He did so because he thought it would be the perfect tune-up to the American Softball Association/Rhode Island 10U Class C event a week later. “We ended up playing a team from Dighton-Rehoboth who had been crushing other team by 12 runs or more,” Godin recalled Tuesday afternoon. “We did that to prepare the girls for the state championships. Anyway, we ended up losing to that powerhouse by one run, 6-5. I told the girls after that tournament that we were ready for Notte Park (site of the state event). I also said, ‘I feel bad for the teams we’re going to face.’ “We were ready.” It didn’t happen as easily as Godin would’ve liked, but his Darlington Fury not only finished the tourney with a 5-1 record, but also captured the state title, courtesy of a thrilling 10-9 walk-off victory over the West Warwick Warriors on Saturday night. The Fury sealed the crown in amazing fashion. With the score knotted at 9-9 in the top of the seventh inning, West Warwick had placed a runner on second, but pitcher Cassie Dulude and her defense escaped the jam with three consecutive outs. “The girls were all pumped up at that point,” Godin noted. “I just told them to put their helmets on. I said, ‘It’s our turn to hit, and I want everybody ready.’” The first girl struck out, he said, but Kaydence Holden smoked a triple to right. He then asked the next batter, Aniya Rua, to be patient, to look for her pitch and try to rip it.

He also instructed thirdbase coach Modesto Figueroa to send Holden home in the case of a wild pitch or passed ball. “That’s just what happened; it was incredible,” Godin laughed. “The pitcher threw it wide of the plate, Kaydence scored on the wild pitch and the girls went crazy. We celebrated on the field, we received our championship banner, then I led the girls up the hill and into the (Wenscott Pond beach) water. We took the plunge. “I can tell you right now that was at 10:15 p.m.,” he added. “It’s hard to say if I can believe it or not. Part of me says I can because I know how hard these girls have worked. But I’m also surprised because a lot of positive things have to fall perfectly into place. You also have to be a bit lucky. “After that Rehoboth tournament, something told me that we could go all the way.” Darlington took a long road to the championship. In pool play, it manufactured a pair of wins over the Coventry Crush and the Barrington Lightning, but then dropped a 9-1 decision to the Westerly Waverunners. Godin’s bunch earned the fourth seed for bracket play, which follows a single-elimination format, and immediately edged the fifth-ranked South County She-Devils, 8-7. It then had to battle Westerly again in the semifinals, but this one went different, as the Fury claimed an 11-8 verdict. It closed the event with its stellar 10-9 triumph over the Warriors. “I’m on Cloud Nine,” the skipper offered. “There’s just something about this team; the girls, they’re so resilient. It’s an amazing group of players, and they deserve this. “The funny thing is, I have the game ball, and I don’t have a clue what to do with it,” he added. “I feel like everyone deserves one because they played as a team and earned it.” Among those making up the Darlington roster: Ella Taylor, Jaliyah De Los Santos, Chelsea Godin, Mya Taft, Ryleigh O’Hara, Addison Kolb, Nethania Figueroa, Cassie Dulude, Aniya Rua, Kaydence Holden and Chloe Lynch. The coaching staff consisted of Godin, Figueroa and fellow assistant Andrew Charpentier.

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