Host team Laurel opens up with win over East
Laurel Little League, Delaware’s District III champs and hosts of the Senior League Softball World Series in Roxana, proved again that they are a force to be reckoned with in the opening game of the tournament. Despite sweltering temperatures, Laurel powered past the USA East team out of Pacatuk, Ct., 8-5, in Game 1, behind strong offense from the plate and a one-two punch from sibling pitchers on the mound.
A back-and-forth offense from both teams got the game off to an explosive start. The East came out first and scored two runs, courtesy of Gabi Hoops, but Laurel answered right back. Alyssa Givens, Regan Green, Sara Jo Whaley and Alison Pusey came together at the plate to help drive in runs for a 4-2 lead.
The East battled back in the second inning with three runs, thanks to a Laurel error, as Jen Paride, Roslin Wilhelm and Andrea Chiaradio rounded the bases, but Laurel was able to tie it up, 5-5, in the bottom of second, as Wheatley drove in Emily Pusey.
A quiet third and fourth innings came and went, but Laurel pulled ahead in the fifth, as Wheatley brought in Logan Green and scored on a wild pitch herself, to pull ahead in the lead. Laurel got one more run before the final inning, to seal the 8-5 opener.
Laurel pitcher Regan Green captured the win from the mound for District III, picking up seven strikeouts in three innings. Her sister, Logan, began the afternoon on the rubber. The two threw a combined 89 strikes in the game.
“We really want to set the tone with the pitching,” said Laurel head coach Brad Lee. “We kind of got off to a slow start, and it took our defense a little longer to get going, but having these sisters throwing for us really helped. They are two totally different pitchers. Logan is about the spot, the movement and the experience. We like to set it up with her, then, bringing in Regan behind her, we throw her harder and she brings that natural movement. We’re fortunate to have the two of them pitching for us and making that difference.”
Experience and tradition is rooted in the Laurel Little League. While Lee is enjoying his first managerial run in the series with the team, the Laurel Little League program is no stranger to the tournament, looking to make a statement this year in their seventh appearance.
“The girls have been here before,” said Lee. “They understand the process. From a manager’s perspective, you really just want to find that balance between resting and being active. We have [Monday] off, but we’re going to come back on Tuesday, ready to do it again.”
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