Biddeford All-Stars, back row, left to right, Lauren Small, Katherine Napolitano-Aberle, Maeve Donovan Gabrielle Diggins, Madison Roy, Mariah Villandry, front row, Lola Laverriere, Mia Mariello, Corinne Ramunno, Kayla Magnant, Kaileigh Dorais and Lalia Martel come together to commemorate a great run at the East Region Invitational Tournament for 8 to 10-year-olds in Jenkins Township, Pennsylvania, that ended with a hard-fought 16-14 loss to New York on Aug. 1. (Photo courtesy of Derick Ouellette Photography)

BIDDEFORD – The motto heading into the summer for the Biddeford Little League Softball All-Stars was to put in the work and the fun will follow.

The dozen 8 to 10-year-olds on the roster bought into the philosophy and made memories that will last a lifetime.

“I am so proud of the girls,” said Biddeford coach Andy Donovan after the New York All-Stars eliminated the Tigers from the East Region Invitational Tournament for 8 to 10-year-olds in Jenkins Township, Pennsylvania, on Aug. 1. “They worked seven days a week for the past eight weeks … Every girl found a special place in my heart, and I have learned more from them then I could ever teach.”

Representing Biddeford this summer included: Lauren Small, Katherine Napolitano Aberle, Maeve Donovan Gabrielle Diggins, Madison Roy, Mariah Villandry, Lola Laverriere, Mia Mariello, Corinne Ramunno, Kayla Magnant, Kaileigh Dorais and Lalia Martel.

The Tigers earned their spot in the regional with three consecutive wins while facing elimination in the Maine Little League tournament. Biddeford defeated Westbrook 4-2 in a winnertake all championship after the two teams had split the previous two meetings. Roy had the game-winning RBI and Magnant struck out 10 batters in six innings in the circle. Biddeford staved off elimination for the first time in the state tournament with a 15-4 win over Ellsworth and then beat Westbrook 5-4 to set up the decisive Game 2.

Biddeford opened the East Region Invitational with a 10-0 loss at the hands of New Jersey, but, just as they did at state, the Tigers bounced back with multiple elimination-game wins. Biddeford, who represented Maine at the regional, beat the Pennsylvania All-Stars 5-4 in extra innings and then defeated Massachusetts 8-1 the same day.

The Tigers summer on the diamond came to an end in their next game, a 16-14 thriller against New York, but Biddeford once again showcased “Tiger Pride,” nearly erasing a seven-run deficit in their final at-bat.

Even though Biddeford didn’t return to Maine as regional winners, they still came back as champions.

“The memories the girls have created are once in a lifetime,” said Andy Donovan. “Priceless.”

— Sports Editor Anthony Lombardi can be reached by email at [email protected].