The New Hyde Park Girls Little League team is headed to the Little League World Series.
New Hyde Park won the Eastern Region Championship Saturday to advance to the Little League World Series in Portland, Oregon, held from Aug 9-16. This is the first girls’ team from New Hyde Park to ever play in the Little League World Series.
Two years ago most of the same girls were on the team that won the Eastern Regional Invitational tournament in the 9/10 Year Old Division, but there is no World Series at that age.
The team beat a very talented team from Robbinsville, NJ by a score of 4-1 in the championship game, avenging their only Eastern Region loss. Robbinsville had beat New Hyde Park in pool play by a score of 1-0.
The girls from New Hyde Park before going 3-0 in the single elimination round. In pool play they , Delaware 8-0 and Pennsylvania 9-0. In the quarterfinals they defeated Massachusetts 7-0 before a semi-final win over Connecticut by the score of 6-0. That was the same Fairfield, CT team they defeated in the Eastern Region championship 2 years ago.
The pitching staff for New Hyde Park gave up only 4 runs, 1 of them earned, for a microscopic 0.14 ERA over 7 games against other state winners. Pitcher Melissa Ward won 3 games including the championship game while teammate Jenny Hickey also had 3 wins to her credit, including and the semi-final win shutout against Connecticut.
Backing up the pitchers was a defense that included catcher Ann Grimshaw who had an outstanding 8 assists, 7 of them gunning down attempted base stealers and helping to completely shut down the running game for all opponents. Pitcher/shortstop Melissa Ward had a 19 assists in the 7 games.
The offense was led by rightfielder Hannah Arkin, who hit .643 over the tournament while leading the team in runs scored (8) and stolen bases (7). Arkin also had 2 timely hits in the championship game and a key base running play in the 3-run fifth inning against New Jersey to score the second run on a ground ball to second. Grimshaw batted .476 in the tournament with several key hits. Third basemen Maggie Donnelly led the team with 6 RBI and batted .385. Leadoff hitter and first basemen Kayla Fitzpatrick had a .385 on base percentage and scored 6 big runs.
Emma Nidermaier and Jenny Hickey came through at the plate in the championship as Hickey knocked in the first run by beating out a ground ball to short to give New Hyde Park the 1-0 lead in the third. She also grounded to second in the fifth when Arkin got a jump from third that led to a throwing error at home to score the second run. Nidermaier used her speed to score all the way from second on the same play. Melissa Ward then grounded out to score Fitzpatrick with the fourth run for New Hyde Park.
Gabby Morales had 3 big hits and 3 RBI in the tournament while playing left field, including a running catch in the semi-final win. Outfielder Katie Tubridy had a .625 also nabbed a defensive gem with a catch in the semi final win on a frozen rope to deep left. Sophia Jacoby played defense at secondbase with 6 put outs and 7 assists while also scoring 3 runs for New Hyde Park. Nicole Kuzler split time in the outfield and at second base while scoring 3 runs and adding 3 RBI for the team.
The New Hyde Park Little League All Stars will now travel to Portland, Oregon to play in the Little League World Series. Their first game will be against ILLMA Little League from Manila, Philippines on Aug 9 at 1 p.m. They will also play on Aug 10 at 10 a.m. against the winner from Canada, Aug 12 at 7:30 p.m. against the Southwest Region winner and finally on Aug 13 at 4 p.m. against Kapolei, Hawaii. After pool play the top 2 teams from each pool will play in the semi final and final games on Aug 14 and 15.