By MIKE SMITH
It’s been quite a summer for the Larchmont-Mamaroneck Little League 10U softball team.
After capturing the District 20 crown last month and playing against some of the top teams in New York, the travel squad has continued to play at a high level, dominating the ranks of the Westchester Baseball Association as the summer season winds down.
For the first time in roughly a decade, the LMLL squad participated in the district tournament, which is comprised of other all-star teams from the lower Westchester area, and fared quite well, winning all five games in a double elimination tourney to claim the title.
Heading into the district tournament, which was uncharted territory for the LMLL players, the team’s coaching staff didn’t know how the squad would fare against in the nine-team pool.
“We knew we had a good team,” coach Jeff Jakob said. “But we really didn’t know what to expect. But we won our first two games convincingly and thought we had a good chance to win it.”
Of the five games the LMLL team played, they won three by the 10-run mercy rule, including the district finals against White Plains, whom LMLL beat 13-2.
Jakob credits the deep lineup and the efforts of ace pitcher Jordan Pryor as two of the biggest reasons for LMLL’s success.
“Our lineup was reminiscent of the 1927 Yankees,” Jakob laughed. “From top to bottom, we didn’t have one weak link.”
The LMLL team followed districts with a trip to sectionals, where it won its first-round game against Montgomery with a 9-8, come-from-behind effort. Though the team would then fall to New City, and then in a consolation bracket game against the same Montgomery team, Jakob felt it was good practice for his girls as they got ready for their summer campaign in the WBA, where they are currently 11-1.
“Playing against competition like that, we gained confidence knowing that we could hit those tough pitchers,” Jakob said.
Jakob also pointed out that, because the LMLL team features the best players from the Larchmont-Mamaroneck area, many of the girls are playing unfamiliar roles, something that will only benefit their development in the long run.
“We’ve really challenged our girls, put them into some positions that they’re not used to,” he said. “But, at some level, the kids want to be challenged like that, and that’s what differentiates this from the rec league.”
The LMLL team has just four games left in the WBA season, and is looking to close out its summer season on a high note. Although the stakes might not be what the girls got used to in sectionals and district, Jakob said, they’ve take a big game approach with them as they’ve stormed past their summer competition.
“It’s a double-edged sword,” he said. “We don’t have that same emotion, having 200, 300
people coming to watch the game. We’ve got a couple of decent teams left on our schedule to play, though.”
After the WBA season comes to a close, Jakob said the girls will get some time off before fall ball starts up in September.