• 66°

Little League softball: Rowan falls to Virginia in championship game

Staff report

SALISBURY — Madison Hill struck out nine batters, as Washington County Little League of Bristol, the Virginia state champions, knocked off Rowan Little League, 6-3, on Sunday and earned a trip to the World Series in Delaware.

Virginia, 4-1 in the Southeast Regional softball tournament for ages 13-16,  had to win a game earlier on Sunday just to get to the winner-take-all championship game, but a breezy 15-0 victory against Tennessee didn’t tire Virginia out. That game only served to get the Virginians loosened up at Salisbury Community Park.

Rowan had whipped Virginia, 9-2, on Saturday to punch its ticket to the title game, but Virginia made good adjustments to crafty Rowan pitcher Aubrey Tuell, who had baffled Virginia on Saturday. Tuell was hit hard in the rematch.

Virginia’s first inning began with a sharp single and a wicked shot to the right side that Rowan second baseman Ellie Wilhelm gloved and turned into a double play. But then Virginia scored three runs with two outs. Three straight singles, all of them well-stroked, loaded the bases. Maggie Deel then whistled a liner to right field. Rowan right fielder Ally Young charged in and looked like she was going to make a knee-high catch, but the ball glanced off her glove, and Virginia had two runs. The third run scored when Tuell fired a pitch in the dirt with a runner at third, and catcher Lucia Barbon couldn’t block it.

Rowan, 2-1 in the tournament, got two runs back in the bottom of the first. Ellen Yang walked before Young drilled a double to the left-center gap. Kary Hales was hit by a pitch to fill the bases before Hannah Roberts grounded a run-scoring single through the left side. Young scored from third when a pickoff throw by Virginia’s catcher struck Young in the shoulder and caromed far enough away for her to score.

Hill doubled to start the Virginia second, but Tuell settled down and retired the next three hitters.

In the bottom of the second, Wilhelm pulled a one-out double, a long drive that nearly reached the left-field fence, but Rowan couldn’t get her home.

With two runners on and one out in the third, a flash of lightning halted play and gave Rowan 30 minutes to regroup.

Kali Morton entered the circle for Rowan after the delay, but Hill delivered a clutch hit as Virginia pushed its lead to 5-2.

Virginia tacked on another run in the sixth, and Hill kept putting up zeroes. Lauren Coughenour finally knocked in a run for Rowan to cut the deficit to 6-3, but Hill didn’t wilt in the heat. She threw a complete game.

Virginia got two hits each from Deel, Hill, Haylee Dye, Sarah Musick and Sydney Bailey and will start play in the 10-team World Series in Lower Sussex, Delaware, on July 31. Virginia will play against Canada in its first game.

The Rowan team, managed by Rob Hales and assistants Shane Morton and Jimmy Roberts, has veterans from Rowan’s Little League World Series runs, but they are young to be competing in this age group. They have a chance to be a factor for years to come.

Virginia      302   100   0   —   6   12  1

Rowan        200  001   0    — 3    6    2

W — Hill. L — Tuell.

Comments

Crime

Blotter: Man faces sexual exploitation charge for images on Instagram

News

Defendant convicted in attempted murder case on the run after fleeing from trial

Business

Downtown Gateway Building to be renamed for late Paul Fisher

Coronavirus

Rowan County COVID-19 data for April 15

Local

Rep. Warren’s bill would prohibit parking in electric vehicle charging stations

Local

Historic Preservation Commission approves Integro Technologies expansion, Paint the Pavement project

Education

Faith Academy, RSS will negotiate over what goes, stays in elementary school

Crime

Teacher killed in Alamance County shootout with Mexican drug cartel

Coronavirus

Bill would give more tax breaks on COVID-19 loans

Nation/World

No response as divers knock on capsized ship’s hull

Local

Quotes of the week

Crime

Blotter: Man found on church property with litany of drugs

Crime

Man charged in connection to 2019 overdose death

Business

‘It’s our big time’: Salisbury Farmers Market reopens Saturday

Education

Schools capital funding still frozen as RSS sends local budget to county

Business

Shields, Cheerwine Festival receive N.C. Main Street Awards

Kannapolis

Duke University launches kidney disease study in Kannapolis for people of African descent

Education

Horizons Unlimited will hold in-person summer camps

Education

Education briefs: Catawba planning for more in-person activities, free summer school tuition

Coronavirus

County’s full COVID-19 vaccinations top 22,600

High School

High school golf: With Merrell, Mustangs back on top

Local

Spencer investigating rat problem on South Iredell Street

News

Livingstone, Mission House Church to host national ‘Black Voters Matter’ listening session

Education

Shoutouts