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TRAVEL SOFTBALL NOTEBOOK: Newtown Rock Elite rolls to tournament title

Listening to members of Newtown Rock 18U Elite tell it, their squad shares a pretty special camaraderie.

“We’re literally all sisters,” recent Neshaminy graduate Devan Masciulli said. “Everyone on that team just means so much to me.

“I can talk to them about anything; they make me laugh. We’re always around each other because it’s travel, and that makes our bond so much easier to create. They’re my best friends.”

Teammate Maddi Bieber, who joined the squad last August, offered similar sentiments.

“In school, you felt all the team chemistry with one team,” she said. “You come back and play with another bunch of great girls, it’s amazing.”

Last weekend, Newtown Rock Elite rolled to a 6-0 record, winning the ASA 18U National Qualifier Tournament in Toms River, N.J.

“The previous weekend (at a showcase in Edison), we didn’t do so well, so I was really shocked how we came out really strong,” Masciulli said. “We really blew our own minds, I think, and we’re really proud that we played the softball we know how to play.”

The tone for the team’s strong showing was set in the first game of the tournament — an 8 a.m. contest against MPI Elite. Newtown Rock trailed 3-0 heading into the sixth inning and had not collected a hit, but rallied for the 4-3, come-from-behind win.

“It was our first game; we had to leave really early to get there,” Bieber said. “We just played our game and continued to fight, and it worked out for us.”

Bieber, a recent Central Bucks South graduate, played for Newtown Rock–Amendolara last year. The transition to her new squad was seamless.

At last weekend’s qualifying tournament, Bieber, who will continue her softball career at Moravian College, batted .412 (7-for-17) with three RBIs and five runs scored.

“We have a lot of good team chemistry,” she said. “We’ve been practicing, and we knew what we had to do. We just came out and did it.”

Other area players who came up big were Hatboro-Horsham graduate Brynn Griffith (.333, three doubles, three RBIs, five runs) and Souderton Area’s Jessica Lepore (.333). Nikki Vanelli (Quakertown) and Alyssa Myers (Hatboro-Horsham) also contributed.

Winning is nothing new for a team that captured ASA Class A 16U state titles in 2014 and 2015. Last weekend’s National Qualifier win ensured Newtown Rock 18U Elite a spot in ASA Class A 18U Nationals in Oregon. In early July, the team will look to earn a bid to ASA 18U Gold Nationals in Florida when it competes in a qualifier tournament.

“We would go to gold if we qualify,” Shockley said, pointing to the leadership of his seniors — Masciulli, Bieber, Griffith, Myers and Lawrenceville’s Melissa Rothenberg — as key in the team’s success.

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Article source: http://www.theintell.com/sports/high-school/spring/softball/travel-softball-notebook-newtown-rock-elite-rolls-to-tournament-title/article_f730f57a-5259-11e7-8e6a-f3087282e828.html

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