The winter doldrums didn’t affect the Canfield 12-under girls softball team.
After a full schedule of fall ball games, the girls spent the months that most teams would take off indoors at the Glacier Dome in Struthers.
“Anthony Ross, the owner was very generous to us and we had weekly practices and that carried into tournaments,” manager Kerry Durkin said.
It took Canfield just one step away from the Little League World Series in Oregon.
Canfield fell to Indiana 3-1 on Thursday evening in the championship game of the Central Region tournament.
“We got behind 3-0 and had opportunities to get back in it,” Durkin said, “but we couldn’t get the extra hit we needed.
“I’m very proud of the girls and the whole experience. It still stings a little, but we had a great time.”
Canfield scored its lone run in the fourth inning when Emerson Fletcher came across after tagging up on a shallow pop fly to the second baseman.
“It was a heads-up play,” Durkin said. “She had great instincts to give us some life.”
Earlier on Thursday, Canfield shut out Illinois 6-0 behind stellar pitching from Maddy Johns, Bridget Durkin and Jenna Gibson. Mia Kindinis collected two hits.
The Cardinals went 14-2 over the spring and Durkin said their first error came in the final game.
“Defensively, we were great,” he said. “The whole tourney they were tremendous and reliable.”
The core of the team has been together for two years and Durkin sees a bright future for them.
“They will continue to get better and better,” he said.