2013 Mango Queen Scarlett Player threw out the first pitch at the second annual Duel of the Islands Tournament Saturday, June 15. The Pine Island All-stars hosted the Sanibel Babe Ruth League in a two-game tournament at Phillips Park, competing for the traveling Tarpon Bay Cup.
It was a fun-filled day, featuring an appearance by the Mullet Wagon and a dip in the Pine Island Pool for all the players following the awarding of the traveling cup. Shade structures for all four bleachers were installed the week of the tournament, courtesy of three successful fund-raisers put on by Sandbar Productions, LLC, as well as donations from the community.
"We may not have won the cup, but I'm very proud of all of our players," said Wendy Mills, president of Pine Island Little League. "Every one of them worked hard and kept a good attitude. We're looking forward to coming back next year and winning back the Tarpon Bay Cup."
The Pine Island All-Stars and the visiting Sanibel Babe Ruth League squad.
The Pine Island Majors team was managed by Jamie Bartolotta with help from coaches Eddie Mills and Phil Picanso, and team mom Lorri Bartolotta. The team captains were John Bartolotta and Zack Mills, and the rest of the team included David Bollen, Dakota Darna, Connor Darr, Billy Ellis, Kaleb Hein, Ethan Alvarez, John Burbage, Joey Gay, Robbie Gay, Kelby Lynn Kolaz and Nickollas Pilka.
Pine Island won the first game, and while the local team lost the second game, it was hard-fought. This was manager Jamie Bartolotta's last season with Pine Island Little League.
"The Bartolottas have been involved with our local league for 11 years," said Mills. "They will be sorely missed."
The Pine Island machine-pitch Minors team was managed by Robin Ramming, with assistance from coaches Joe Jamison, Lee Hagan, Glenn Green and Brian Frock, and team mom Heather Ramming. The players were: Matthew Bollen, Jacob Bollen, Thomas Green, Tori Hagan, Gavin Mills, Trent Olsen, Elizabeth Ramming, Cameron Frock, Kelan Jamison, Evan Alvarez, Layne Postel and Landon Hodges.
The Pine Island Little League is a non-profit athletic organization that relies on registration fees, team sponsors, and donations from the community to pay for the day-to-day operation of the only organized sports organization for children on Pine Island.
The league held its inaugural season in 1981 and many of the parents in the stands played on the ball field as children.
This year Pine Island Little League had over seventy children on the roster, with eight teams spread between three divisions. The league chose an Allstars Minor and Majors team to compete in the tournament.
"Pine Island won last year and we were hoping to come back for another win," said Mills. "But there's always next year."