‘Home State Showdown:’ USA?East edges District III 6-5 behind Reed

Date Published: 
August 7, 2014

Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark  : Alexis Howerin is tagged out at second base as District III?pitcher Regan Green looks on.Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark : Alexis Howerin is tagged out at second base as District III?pitcher Regan Green looks on.Though they hail from bordering counties within the same state, the USA East (Milford) and Delaware District III (Laurel) Big League Softball World Series teams took very different routes to make it to Roxana this year.

Laurel earned a bid as the host team by besting 2013 Big League World Series Champion Millsboro Little League in Game 13 of what was supposed to be a 12-game series. Milford punched their ticket to represent USA East by not only winning at districts but by then heading up to Worcester, Mass., to win the regionals, as well.

No matter how they got there, both teams came to play last Monday night in what was the first game of the 2014 Big League World Series, with USA East able to hold on after a late District III rally, for a 6-5 victory.

Featuring two of the better pitchers in not only the state, but the tournament, as well, the scoring would start surprisingly early, when USA East’s Harley Rickards made it 1-0 with a sacrifice fly RBI in the second inning.

Cassetty Howerin would add to the lead significantly the next inning, crushing a three-run homer over the centerfield fence, to make it 4-0. Laurel catcher Sara Jo Whaley threw out a runner at second to get her team out of the inning.

Laurel pitcher Regan Green kept her composure enough to turn things around after her team failed to answer offensively, making a key play in the field and notching one of her seven strikeouts in the game for a quick three-and-out.

Though she is known for her pitching, Green sparked the offense to get her team on the board with an RBI-single in the fifth, making it 4-1. Savannah Brown added an RBI-single of her own in the same inning, to cut the East lead to two runs.

Alexis Hudson would go on to even the score with an RBI-double before East pitcher Shaina Reed could get her team out of the inning.

Back on the mound, Green started the bottom of the fifth inning with back-to-back strikeouts for Laurel, but Reed crushed a two-run homer over center, to give the East back the lead at 6-4.

Hailey Andrews would take over for Green in relief after giving up an uncharacteristic two-home runs, but the game would ultimately come down to Reed — who, after giving up a seventh-inning RBI-single that made it 6-5, would hold on for the win and leave two-runners on base.

“I knew that my defenders behind me were gonna get it. I just had to stay calm and make sure that I had good spin and make sure that I hit my spots,” said Reed, who recorded six strikeouts in the victory. “These girls and I — it’s been a struggle trying to beat Reagan [Greene] and this team all together, and being able to beat them today was awesome. It was great.”