After winning its World Series opener, 2-1, over Latin America, the District 9 Little League Senior softball team battled into the night with the host team, Delaware, at Connie Mack Field in Lower Sussex, Delaware.
With the game locked in a 1-1 tie in the 12th inning, Delaware walked off with the 2-1 victory after a double with a runner at second and one out brought the winning run home.
Jordan DiFava reached first off an error to lead things off before she was bunted over to second. Sierra Livingston then stepped to the plate and, with a 1-2 count, hit a double to right field to score DiFava.
Each team scored its lone run in the first inning before both defenses locked down and the pitching heated up.
With two outs in the top of the first, Haylie Mitchell walked to put a runner on for District 9. Mitchell then stole second before Kennedy Cox hit a grounder toward third. However, the third baseman erred on the play, which allowed Mitchell to score and give District 9 an early 1-0 lead.
Delaware didn’t take much time to answer, though, as a single to center field by Kylie Kruger scored Ryleigh Elliott from third. Elliott got on with a leadoff double to left before she stole third.
After that, the game was mired in a scoreless battle. It looked as if District 9 might score the go-ahead run in the top of the seventh when they loaded the bases with two outs. That didn’t happen as the next batter up grounded out to the pitcher to end the frame.
But that didn’t rattle the Southwest Regional champs. They retired three of the next four batters to force extra innings.
Delaware threatened again in the bottom of the eighth when DiFava doubled on a line drive to center field to start things off. A sacrifice bunt and a strikeout put two outs on the board, but not before DiFava advanced to third. There she watched Livingston strike out before Taylor Wroten struck out to end the inning.
Delaware tried again in the bottom of the 11th as the host team had the bases loaded with two outs. Kelsey Kormanik got on with a single before she advanced to second and Kayla Evans reached safely off an error. Siera Jones then singled to left field which loaded the bases. District 9 retired the next batter when Elliott grounded out to shortstop Haley Nichols who threw the ball to Cox at first for the out.
After giving up one run in the bottom of the first, Alex Earhart went on to hold Delaware scoreless off five hits to go with five strikeouts. Earhart, who started in the circle for District 9, then handed things off to Emily Rader who continued to keep Delaware off the board. Through three innings, she gave up three hits with three strikeouts.
Kennedy Parker took over in the ninth for District 9 and continued the trend her teammates set before her.
While District 9 continued to put aces in the circle, Delaware stuck with its starter. Through 12 innings, Taylor Wroten had thrown 151 pitches. She gave up one run off seven hits to go with six strikeouts and a walk.