Little League Softball: Rowan pounds Tennessee champs
WARNER ROBINS, Ga. — Madelyn VonCanon pitched a complete game and Rowan Little League’s bats exploded late in Friday’s 16-2 win over the Tennessee state champions from Clarksville.
After one outing, Rowan’s 12U softball team is in great shape in the Southeast Regional in Warner Robins, Ga.
Rowan had a bye in Thursday’s first round, and only three teams will left from the original field of seven when Rowan takes the field for its next game on Sunday afternoon.
“We’ve lost to that Clarksville team twice in the past, with almost all the same girls on their team as well as our team,” Rowan manager Johnny Meadows said. “And it was a tough game for a while today against one of the best pitchers down here.”
It was still 0-0 after three innings. Rowan stranded a runner at third base in the first inning and failed to score in the second inning after a leadoff triple by Cailynn Winford.
“Runner at third, no outs, and you don’t score — a coach’s worst nightmare,” Meadows said. “But VonCanon and our defense kept us in the game until we got the bats going.”
VonCanon struck out only one batter, but she allowed only two hits in the five-inning game. Rowan didn’t make any errors.
Tennessee pitcher Emberly Nichols struck out eight Rowan batters, but Rowan broke through for five runs in the fourth inning. Key hits were delivered by Bentli Meadows and Brooke Piper. Rowan scored three times on passed balls.
Tennessee scored two runs in the bottom of the fourth, but Rowan scored 11 times in the fifth, knocking out Nichols and then roughing up the bullpen.
Brooke Kennerly crushed a bases-clearing triple to the fence in the fifth.
Rowan had 15 hits, with VonCanon going 3-for-4 and scoring three runs.Kendall Robinson had a double and scored three runs. Piper drove in two runs. Karsen Simpson scored twice. Winford, Robinson and Kenadi Sproul had two hits each.
“I think we’ve got the most power of any team down here,” Coach Meadows said. “But there are a lot of good teams. It won’t be easy.”
South Carolina already has been ousted from the tournament. Elimination games will send three more teams packing today.
Rowan will play unbeaten West Virginia at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday with the winner advancing to Monday’s championship game. If Rowan loses to West Virginia, it will have to play again on Sunday night in the losers bracket final.
There are five regionals being played in the U.S.
Delaware has won the East Regional. Champs also will be crowned in the Southeast, Central, West and Southwest regions.
Those American regional champs will join international champions from Latin America (Puerto Rico), Asia-Pacific (Philippines), Canada and Europe-Africa, plus the host team, in the 10-team World Series in Portland, Oregon. The World Series starts Aug.9.
Rowan LL 000 5 (11) — 16 15 0
Tennessee 000 20 — 2 2 3