The Tri-Cape softball team made up of South Jersey All-Stars will compete against 15 other teams from the tri-state area at the Softball Carpenter Cup, which started on Monday and runs through June 22.
Tri-Cape’s first game is 11 a.m. Tuesday against Delaware County East at the Phillies MLB Urban Youth Academy Softball Fields at FDR Park in Philadelphia.
The Carpenter Cup, named for former Phillies owners Bob and Ruly Carpenter is a double-elimination tournament featuring more than 250 players from different leagues around the region. Last year, Tri-Cape lost in the final to undefeated Berkshire/Lancaster Lebanon 9-1.
Kiersten Hughes, the Gloucester Catholic High School softball coach, will return for her second year as the head coach for Tri-Cape. Joining her will be Buena Regional coach Pam Pickett.
“We’ve been pushing the girls, and offensively we look very impressive,” Pickett said.
“We’re excited to open up against Delaware tomorrow,” said Hughes. “We did well last year, and we’re hoping to go a little bit further and take the finals.”
Hughes spoke about the time-constrained process of bringing a talented group of girls together in just a few days time.
“We have had three practices so far. It’s different when the girls don’t know each other, but they have so much talent,” Hughes said. You have to hope they mesh and a lot of practice is just about them realizing they’re a team. We know they’re talented, and we just have to rely on them coming together.”
With every team being new there is little information to gather about each other.
“That’s what makes it fun, you’re just relying on the girls to do their thing,” Hughes said.
Buena Reigonal’s Brittanie Gilliano, a junior, is one of the hand-picked players on the roster made up of players from the Cape-Atlantic League and the Tri-County Conference.
“It was really exciting to find out that I would play,” she said.
“I know other players who have been on the team, and they said it was an awesome experience. We had practice (Monday) in the morning, and all the girls came together. It’s weird to play with girls you play against in the regular season. I’m excited for the competition, we play games and it can be a 10-run game or a 1-1 game. We’re all good an experienced.”