Marblehead Softball Little League Team Makes History
Marblehead Softball Little League State Champions Return from World Series Regional Tournament with First Perfect Game in Tourney History
By Eleanor Sachs
Marblehead Softball Little League (MSLL) 14U Juniors All Star team returned home earlier this week after completing a history-making season. The team of 13 and 14-year olds from Marblehead swept both the District and the State Championship tournaments this summer to take home the Massachusetts State Championship for the second year in a row. The girls then went on to compete in the Little League World Series East Regional tournament in Orange, Connecticut, as Team Massachusetts, where they played the first “Perfect Game” in tournament history against Team Connecticut.
To achieve a “Perfect Game,” a team must not allow any opposing player to reach base by any means: no hits, walks, hit batters, uncaught third strikes, catcher's or fielder's interference, or fielding errors; in short, 21 batters up, 21 down. After the completion of the game, which Marblehead (Team Massachusetts) won 7-0, the girls all signed softballs to be displayed at the World of Little League Museum in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
“To see this team accomplish a Perfect Game, and at this level, was an absolute thrill to behold and be a part of,” said Manager Jody Norton. “Our pitcher Tessa Francis had full command of the ball throughout – beautifully keeping the Connecticut hitters off balance the whole game. The defensive was also perfect, making every play smooth, clean, and with great confidence.”
“I am so happy to have achieved my first perfect game of my career with the Marblehead All Star girls,” said Marblehead Pitcher Tessa Francis. “All of the girls contributed and played the best I’ve ever seen them play. This whole season the team bonded and learned to play cohesively, and that showed true during the game against Connecticut.”
The team returned home Monday evening, after losing to Team Maryland (5-1) in the quarterfinal knock-out round. To get to the World Series Little League Regionals, the MSLL team beat Peabody 11-1 in the District Championships and Agawam (10-0) to become State Champions again in 2022.
“Our Juniors team made history this season with MSLL’s first victory at a Little League World Series Regional Competition,” said Art Rogers, president of Marblehead Softball Little League. “While this team performed incredibly on the field, I believe the coaches and parents are most proud of the way these young ladies represented Marblehead and the State of Massachusetts throughout the season with great sportsmanship.”
Following the tough loss to Team Maryland in the quarterfinals, the ‘Headers took a group photo with the Maryland team, having become friends with them over the course of the tournament. Following the game, Team Maryland’s Little League posted, “Sportsmanship! Marblehead’s ballplayers will be one of our favorite memories from a really memorable experience.”
The 2022 MSLL Junior All Star Team
Jody Norton, Manager
Anthony Andriano, Coach
Chris Francis, Coach
The MSLL is an instructional town league where girls learn softball skills, develop character, and become team players – all while having lots of fun. The league is open to players ages 6 to 16 at all playing levels and broken up into Lower Minors, Minors, Majors, and Juniors divisions, based on age, grade and experience. For more information, visit www.MarbleheadSoftball.com or the League’s social profiles on Instagram and Facebook.
Eleanor Sachs is a public relations professional, Mom to two MHS students, and an MSLL Board member.