Playing softball, or most any sport, at the AAU level can be a costly endeavor. Fees for participation, plus uniforms and equipment, add up quickly. It is not out of the ordinary for players and their families to have to shell out several thousand dollars in order to play for a team.
The Cape Cod Dugout Dawgs girls’ softball team has not had to worry about those exorbitant and prohibitive costs for their very successful program. Outside of travel and food expenses, the Mashpee-centric club has worked to not only keep the costs down for their players but to nullify them altogether. Through fundraising and donations, the Dawgs have not had to pay to play. Instead the team has been able to focus on winning, which is something they’ve done quite a bit over the course of the year.
Coaches Leon Pinsonneault, Ron Carpenter and Charlie Schmelzer have helped lay the foundation for an under-14 girls’ team that has had a great deal of success, both on and off the field. Pinsonneault explained that the cost of the program, had the girls had to pay to play, would have easily approached $1,000 per player. Thanks in large part to a donation from the Cape Cod Police Athletic League, as well as a sizable donation from Dino’s Pizza of Mashpee, the Dawgs have remained a free program for the local girls. The team also had major contributions from Bob Feinstein, Pinsonneault Builders and Salon Fabulous of Yarmouth.
“It hasn’t cost our kids, or their parents, a dime, other than travel costs,” coach Pinsonneault said. “That’s important, because the focus is on playing and getting better.”
The majority of the girls who play on the team are from the area. Eight girls reside in Mashpee, with one from Bourne, and three coming from the Lower Cape area. Those girls have come together to post a great record in the local Cape league, going 9-1, to win the regular season. They entered the postseason last night, with hopes of taking the league crown.
The team has also fared well in tournament play as well. Over the course of several tournaments, the club has finished in the final four a handful of times, including third-place finishes in Attleboro and Bellingham recently.
“We found that a lot of the talent was leaving the Cape to go and play softball and we wanted to keep the kids on the Cape. They’re dedicated, they play it the right way, and they’re all the best of friends,” coach Carpenter said.
Four girls serve as pitchers for the team. Sam Feinstein of Yarmouth has been the number one hurler. Cece Piermattei of Mashpee pitches and plays left field. Bourne’s Maddie Doyle recently returned from a concussion and will be pitching for the team. Abby Sullivan of Harwich also pitches.
Behind the plate, Jordan Schmelzer of Mashpee and Karley Marchese of Harwich handle the workload. Sydney Pinsonneault is the primary first baseman and also plays shortstop. Carlee Tolley of Chatham plays second base. Jess Schmelzer of Mashpee is the shortstop and also plays the outfield. Jordyn Carpenter of Mashpee is the third baseman and also plays in the outfield. Alexa Horton of Mashpee is the center fielder. Grace Shinn of
Mashpee starts in right field and also sees time at third, and Abby Feinstein of Yarmouth is a backup catcher and outfielder.
“What’s great, is that they’ve shown that they can play with anyone,” Carpenter said.
The coaches said that the Mashpee team will continue to play through the start of the school year, with a small break in late August. In September the girls are registered to play in two tournaments, one in Sharon and another in Westerly, Rhode Island.