Rowan Little League Softball wins, moves into semifinals

Published 2:31 am Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Staff report

PORTLAND, Ore. — Rowan’s Little League Softball team has moved into the World Series semifinals after a convincing 11-1 rout of the Philippines on Monday night at Alpenrose Stadium.

Rowan will have its second straight nationally televised game tonight, playing Indiana at 9 p.m. on ESPN 2. Texas will play Delaware in the other televised semifinal, slated for 7 o’clock.

“There’s only 52 girls left in the world who can win the world championship,” Meadows said. “I’m hoping our 13 can walk away with that trophy. They’ve done a lot of good things to get to this point. They’ve done a lot of hard work.”

The Rowan girls are trying to duplicate the feat of the 2015 local squad which won the World Series championship. The 2016 team also made it to Portland, but finished as the runner-up.

Last night, manager Johnny Meadows’ Rowan team pounded out 16 hits against the over-matched squad from the Asia-Pacific region.

“That little pitcher from the Philippines threw about as hard as anyone we’ve seen, but we’ve been hitting the ball the whole tournament,” Meadows said. “Emma Clarke just ripped the ball tonight.”

Madelyn VonCanon belted a clutch, two-out double in the top of the first inning to give Rowan a quick 2-0 lead.

The Philippines team did manage a run off of Rowan starting pitcher VonCanon, pulling to within 2-1, but it was all Rowan after that.

“Madelyn pounded the zone,” Meadows said. “The only trouble she had was in the first inning. I went out there and asked her to throw me strikes, and she did.”

VonCanon, Emma Clarke and Kendai Sproul all collected three hits for Rowan. Clark drove in three runs and Sproul scored three runs.

Rowan catcher Brooke Kennerly picked up two hits and two RBIs, including a blast off of the left-field wall for a double in the top of the fifth inning.

“They tell me only three or four balls have ever been hit out here,” Meadows said. “The fence was 209 feet, and she hit the middle of the wall.”

Kendall Robinson also had two hits and an RBI for Rowan.

VonCanon was followed in the circle by Karsen Simpson and together they held the Philippines to just two hits. Simpson recorded three of her four outs by strikeout. VonCanon was the winning pitcher for the third time in the tournament, going 3 2/3 innings.

Rowan ended the game in five innings, due to the 10-run mercy rule. It might have ended in four innings, if not for some outstanding defensive plays by the Philippines’ players.

Rowan was also strong on defense, playing errorless ball.

“All four of the teams left now are good enough to be world champions,” Meadows said. “There’s been a lot of support from back home, a lot of texts today, and it’s all appreciated. We’re going to give it our best shot.”


Rowan               215  03  — 11  16   0

Philippines       100 00  —   1    2   1