V.I. softball team finishes third in Florida tourney

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ST. THOMAS - The V.I. Softball Federation team lost to Sopocientos of Venezuela, 8-1, on Sunday to finish third in the ISGU - International Men's Fast-pitch Softball Tournament at the Seminole Softball Complex in Almonte Springs, Fla. The V.I. won its pool with a 3-0 record, finished the tournament with a 5-1 record.

"The VI team was very impressive," said coach Athniel "Bobby" Thomas. "The team used the tools, which they have. It's hard to teach speed and it's a very fast team."

"Levron Sarauw Jr. started in all six of the games that the team played in. He took every at-bat when his turn came around and finished the tournament with a 1.000 batting average. He did not get a hit at every at-bat - he was walked a few times. The one time he got out it was a sacrifice fly."

Sarauw led the team with a 2-for-2 performance at the plate against Sopocientos, followed by Deshaun Brooks at 2-for-3. The team totalled six hits and committed five errors, while Sopocientos collected eight hits with no errors. Larry Escalona got the win in the circle, while Teddy Velasquez took the loss.

The team was coming off a doubleheader sweep on Saturday with a 9-1 win over the Bravos of Venezuela, followed by a 6-3 win over Team Puerto Rico.

Against the Bravos, Kyle LaMotta went 2-for-3, followed by Akeem Francis at 2-for-4 and Lloyd Jackson and Sarauw at 1-for-2 apiece. The V.I. totalled eight hits with no errors, while the Bravos got six hits with one error. Warren Brooks was the winning pitcher, while Jesus Rodriguez took the loss.

Sarauw again stepped up against Puerto Rico, going 2-for-2 with two runs batted in as the V.I. totalled five hits and no errors. Puerto Rico got three runs on nine hits and two errors. Allen Smith was the winning pitcher and David Rivera got the loss.

Thomas said that he and the team are looking forward to possibly participating in more tournaments abroad.

"We are hoping to receive something from the V.I. Olympic committee that would allow us to participate in more events," said Thomas. "The more experience we get the more the team will develop."

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