Little League softball team earns district title

WINOOSKI — The Mount Abraham-Middlebury 9-and-10-year-old Little League Softball All-Star team last week won the District 1 championship at Winooski High School to earn a berth in this weekend’s Vermont tournament in Swanton.
The Mt. Abe-Middlebury squad avenged its only loss in the District I tournament by edging South Burlington, 7-6, on July 11. Mt. Abe-Middlebury held off a rally by the defending champion Rebels in the top of the 6th inning — SB scored once, but could not push the tying run across.
The Mt. Abe-Middlebury team compiled a 4-1 record, losing only to SB, 16-8, while defeating Vergennes, Williston, and SB in games leading up to the double elimination tournament final. Other teams in the District I tournament came from Richmond/Jericho and Burlington/Colchester.  
Mt. Abe-Middlebury head coach Kevin Masse said the District 1 championship was a team effort.
“Every player got on base and scored during the five games. In the first game versus Vergennes, we had no errors. That is unusual for this level of play. We’ve had phenomenal hitting, pitching and fielding,” he said.
Assistant coach Kristin Blanchette said the team had spirit.
“The girls showed great determination and skill with two come-from-behind wins against Williston and South Burlington,” Blanchette said. “This group of girls has a lot of focus and positive energy.”
Masse hopes for a title in the Mt. Abe Little League’s second recent appearance at the 9/10 Vermont tournament.
“Two years ago, we came in second place in the state tournament, and are looking forward to returning,” he said.
The Mount Abraham and Middlebury little leagues combined forces for this year’s team. Players are from Monkton, Starksboro, New Haven, Bristol and Middlebury. Coach Tim Paquette is also from Middlebury, and Steve Willsey from Starksboro rounds out the coaching staff.
The members of the Mt. Abe-Middlebury team are Eva Young, Cami Willsey, Hannah Whitcomb, Anni Funke, Steph Havey, Katie Havey, Grace Harvey, Txuxa Konczal, Camilienne Masse, Kiah Hines, Gracie Paquette and Abby Stafford.
The Vermont 9-and-10-year-old Little League Softball Championship is set for July 18 to 21 at the Swanton Recreation Field. The Mount Abraham-Middlebury All-Stars will play the District 3 Northwestern Vermont champs (that tournament was ongoing early this week) at 6 p.m. on Friday to open the tournament. 
The Connecticut Valley North Little League All-Stars, victors in Division 4, will play Friday’s winner on Saturday at 1 p.m. in the double elimination format.

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