Charlestown’s 14-year-old softball sensation, Ryleigh Williams-Arroyo, reached another milestone in her rising career with an appearance in the Babe Ruth World Series this month in Jensen Beach, Florida.
Playing for The BASE team of Boston against the top 16-under teams in the international tournament, Williams-Arroyo received offensive and defensive awards and was selected to the 2021 Babe Ruth 16U All-World Tournament Team. The BASE finished fifth in the country.
A 5-foot-1-inch, left-handed hitting first baseman and outfielder, Williams-Arroyo batted .400 in eight games and played flawlessly in the field. At 14, she was the youngest player in the tournament.
The daughter of James Williams and Roslyn Arroyo and the stepdaughter of her softball coach, Billy Nugent, Ryleigh has been tearing it up on the softball diamond for a few years now as a player for the Charlestown team in the Middle Essex Softball League and for her AAU team, The Show.
But according to her father, James, who was scouted by the Major Leagues during his career at East Boston High School, the Babe Ruth World Series provided the strongest competition yet for Ryleigh.
“The pitching was phenomenal – Ryleigh probably faced the best pitchers she has seen to-date in Florida,” said James. “The teams came from as far away as Hawaii. It was unbelievable, a great experience for all the players. I’ve personally never experienced anything like that. It was awesome.”
In an acknowledgment of her power-hitting capabilities, the coaches placed Ryleigh in the clean-up position in the batting order. During the tournament held in southern Florida, Ryleigh and her teammates had to contend with muggy conditions.
“The temperature most days was 96, but it felt like 108-110 degrees,” said James, who made the trip to the World Series.
Ryleigh seems to have inherited the splendid baseball/softball genes of her parents. James Williams was a fire-balling pitcher and slugging third baseman for the East Boston High Jets after being the undisputed home run king of the East Boston Little League. Ryleigh’s mother, Roslyn, who bats left (as her daughter does) and throws right, excelled in softball in the East Boston High School program and for Jack Schievink’s youth softball teams in Charlestown.
Ryleigh will be taking her talents to St. Mary’s High School in Lynn, where she will join a powerful Spartans team that advanced to the North sectional finals this spring. With future freshman phenom, Ryleigh Williams-Arroyo, joining the St. Mary’s varsity and All-Scholastic pitcher Lily Newhall returning, the St. Mary’s Spartans should be one of the favorites for the 2022 Division 3 state championship.