With late-inning comebacks in semifinal and championship games, the Arlington Sage won the recent 14-and-under B Division of the Madison Small Memorial girls softball tournament in Sterling.
The tourney was reduced to one day because of weather issues. The Sage finished 6-0 in their 15-team age division, rallying for four of those victories.
“It was a long, cold, windy day, but this team was gritty, determined, and having a blast,” Sage coach Josh White said. “They really believed, regardless of the circumstances, that they could win.”
The Sage defeated the Great Falls Sharks, 7-6, in the championship game, a back-and-forth battle with four lead changes and a late Sharks surge that included a final-inning home run and ended with the potential tying and go-ahead runs on base.
In the fifth inning, Samantha White had a three-run double to put the Sage ahead for good at 7-5, scoring Kaya Randall, Noa Kammerman and Mikka Christensen.
Marie Gagliano pitched a complete game. She struck out five and walked one. The complete game was her second of the day and the win her third that same day.
In the semifinals, the Sage defeated the ShenVal Swarm.
After pool play, the Sage earned the No. 2 seed for the playoff rounds.
Grace Alltucker led the Sage with seven hits in the tournament. The team combined for multiple extra-base hits in the six games and had a .407 team batting average in the tournament.
Other top players for the Sage were Delaney Fleming, Emma Tao, Sabrina Driggers, Molly Rowland, Reagan Brand and Laura-Kate Gwilliam. Assistant coaches were Chris Gagliano, Eric Fleming and Julie Randall.
“More than the wins, it was the way they won that impressed me,” White said. “They supported each other, they worked together, and they never gave up.”
The tournament honors the memory of Madison Small, a former Broad Run High School student, who died in 2015 after falling ill with meningitis. The event raises funds for the Madison Small Scholarship.