TEWKSBURY — It’s very rare to an international team in any sport come to the United States to play a game.
But when USA Softball announces on social media that an international team is looking to play meaningful games in the States, it almost seems like a no brainer for Tewksbury to be involved in some capacity.
That’s what happened at the softball fields on Livingston this past weekend. An all star softball team from Aruba visited Tewksbury to play an exhibition, which was appropriately named “One Happy Game.”
“When this thing ended up coming together, I took a step back and said, we are playing an international game on the fields that we put pride and joy into,” said Mike Downing, who coached the Redmen All Star team.
“We only have five teams in Aruba and when you come out here and play different teams [in the States], it is great,” said Carmelita Haynes, the coach of the Aruban team.
The Tewksbury team was made up of on seventh grader, four eighth graders, and four ninth graders. Coach Downing had one simple message for the girls before the game.
“You’re not out until the last out,” said Downing.
A furious rally was cut short by a game ending strikeout as Aruba defeated Tewksbury 9-8 on Saturday morning.
Aruba had command of the game, leading 4-0 after two and a half innings.
The Redmen chipped away at the lead in the middle part of the game. An RBI single from Kayla Robertson plated the first run for Tewksbury. That was followed by a throwing error from Aruba’s catcher in the bottom of the fourth, scoring a run and cutting the lead to 4-2.
Aruba went on to score five runs in the top of the fifth, making the score 9-2.
Tewksbury fought back in a big way in the bottom of the fifth. RBI doubles from Allie Costello and Samantha Perkins, RBI singles from Sarah Downing and Molly McDonough, and a wild pitch made the score 9-8.
With the Redmen threatening with the bases loaded and two outs in the same inning, a strikeout from Aruban pitching abruptly ended what was a wildly entertaining game.
“We earned a couple of walks, a couple of hits, next thing you know we have bases loaded, a base hit we are sending the girl home from second base, said Coach Downing.
Downing went on to say he is proud of his girls, and although the nerves kicked in because of the gravity of this game, he was pleased at how “Tewksbury Tough” they were, and it will be an experience that he will never forget.
“I hope they enjoyed themselves, it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity, girls from Tewksbury know how to handle themselves,” said Eric Costello, Director of Communications for TYSL.
“We were impressed with the fields how they are beautifully maintained everything. When we came here, we were very welcomed by all the teams,” said Carmelita Haynes.
Tewksbury Softball is already in discussions with the Aruban team in terms of playing an exhibition game on the island in December or January.
The Tewksbury Redmen Softball Team included Mia Abromo, Morgan Barmash, Ally Costello, Sydney Cox, Colleen Crail, Kileigh Crail, Sarah Downing, Alex Macauda, Molly McDonough, Ellie Mitchell, Samantha Perkins, and Kayla Robertson.
The Aruban Softball Team included Ashia Kingsale, Xiorcanlyx Vargas Jimenez, Shareldin Krosendijk, Myah Thompson, Yee Mei Cheong, Rachella Sewdajal, Zoe Emer, Thulakia Rogers, Alana Borgas Pitre, Anchell Statie, Destiny Johnson, Elianne Croes, Ashmilayne Maduro, Jalliyah Vesprey, Jean Marie Kock, and Keyla Cham.