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Eastchester Falls to Kensico in Softball Final

VALHALLA, NY -- One game into the District 20 Little League Majors’ Softball Championship, Kensico found itself in an unfamiliar situation. Kensico lost its first game, sending the defending champion to the losers’ bracket, a place it had never been in before. As a result, Kensico knew that one little mistake could end its summer in the double-elimination tournament. Kensico filed its opening-game loss to White Plains behind and went on a tear, winning five consecutive games, capping its run with a 7-1 victory over Eastchester, Friday, at Pat Henry Field to win the District 20 title.

This was Kensico’s second straight majors’ title and fourth in-a-row for this current team. They won the 9-10-year-old championship the prior two years. Kensico beat Eastchester on consecutive nights for the crown. The Section 4 tournament is the next stop for Kensico. It begins Sunday and runs through Friday, July 8, at Beekman Little League. The five-team field includes Districts 17, 18, 19 and 33. Kensico opens against the District 18 (Rockland County) representative Sunday, noon. New City is playing Nanuet for the District 18 title.

“Our coach’s main saying was it was the same movie with the same ending, it was just a different way of getting there,” said winning pitcher Kaylie Dymek, 13, an eighth-grader at Valhalla Middle School. “We never got down on ourselves. We always believed we could come back.”

Dymek went the distance, allowing four hits and striking out three. She also had four assists and two put outs, including a double play in the sixth inning.

“Kaylie did amazing,” said centerfielder Sophia Rizzuto, 13, an eighth-grader at Valhalla Middle School. “She threw a bunch of great pitches. I am so proud of her.”

Kensico raced out to a quick lead, scoring four runs in the top of the first inning, highlighted by Alyssa Giordano’s two-run double, scoring Alyssa Dolan, who had an RBI single, and Rizzuto. Rizzuto turned in the defensive play of the game in the bottom of the first. After Danielle Chiodi and Sophia Tiso singled, Cassie McGrath stepped in and ripped a drive to the gap in left center, which appeared to be a hit. Rizzuto, racing to her right tracked the line drive down and made the catch.

“It looked like it was going to go far so when I was running, I saw it curving toward left so I ran as fast as I could and I made the catch,” Rizzuto said. “I was all happy.” So was Dymek. “Sophia was amazing,” Dymek said. “With that catch she gave our team more confidence that we could do this.” Jenna Saldi and Dolan each had two hits and scored two runs. Dymek singled, scored a run and drove in a run. Emily Bisesto had an RBI and run scored. Tiso collected two hits for Eastchester, Chiodi scored a run and Amanda Cermele drove in a run.

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