Five Orange girls are among the West Haven-based team representing the area at the Junior League Softball World Series this week. And they're off to a great start, defeating Southwest champions Eagle Pass, 8-3.
Jill Demaio, Kate Koshes, Addie Robbins, Janaya Young and Tay Marchitto are on the District 4 team that took the Eastern Regional Championship. Though the all-star team also includes players from West Haven and Milford, these girls have plenty of experience representing Orange. Orange Little League President Tim Fox has coached the girls, and says he's not surprised at their success.
"They're a fun group of girls," says Fox. "It seems like sometimes they have more fun off the field together than on it, and that's why they're good softball players ... It's funny, I have a daughter the same age, and a lot of them are my daughter's friends. they've been over for sleepovers. regular kids, but great softball players."
The girls demonstrated a strong presence on the West Haven team at Sunday's game: Koshes was the game's winning pitcher with a 1.71 ERA, holding back Eagle Pass for the first five innings. And in the action-packed bottom of the fifth inning, when West Haven scored all eight of their runs, Marchitto contributed a two-RBI double.
"Winning the first game is a big deal," says Fox. "When you win the first game, you know you belong. The sky's the limit. And these girls are unselfish."
The game is the first in a week that will see the girls play teams from Prague, Alaska and Puerto Rico, with semi-finals and Friday and finals on Saturday.