Little League softball: Ride ends for Rowan

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Staff report

GREENVILLE. N.C. — Rowan Little League’s softball team lost 4-2 to Texas on Monday night in a World Series quarterfinal.

The loss eliminated Rowan, which went 3-1 in the Jessica Mendoza Pool to earn a No. 2 seed. Texas (4-1) moves on to today’s semifinals.

Weather delayed the game 90 minutes from its scheduled 4 p.m. start time.

The quarterfinal matchup figured to be a challenging draw for Rowan, which lost to Texas teams in the championship games of the World Series in 2016 and 2017.

Texas teams have won, by far, the most championships in the World Series.

Texas was seeded third out of its pool based on a runs allowed formula, but it had tied for first in the Jennie Finch Pool with Missouri and Virginia. Texas beat Southeast Region champ Virginia, which was seeded No. 1 from that pool.

Texas opened Monday’s game with a double and scored a run in the top of the first, but Rowan came back to score twice in the bottom of the inning. Reese Poole led off with a single, Myla McNeely sacrificed her to second, and Leisha Carter singled to score Poole. Carter would score on Eva Shue’s infield hit.

But Rowan wouldn’t score again.

Texas tied the game in the second inning at 2-all and it stayed that was through the regulation six innings.

Texas loaded the bases in the sixth with two walks and a hit batter, but Poole got a fly ball to end the threat.

Poole pitched out of jams most of the game, as she allowed nine hits and seven walks, while striking out four. Texas, which smacked three doubles, left 13 on base.

Texas finally broke through for the deciding runs in the seventh. Two walks and an error loaded the bases before Haven Hansen grounded a two-out single through the left side to plate two runs.

Rowan had a walk and hits by Poole and McNeely in the bottom of the seventh, but a runner was cut down on the bases for the second out and a groundout ended the game.

It was Rowan Little League’s fifth 12U World Series appearance in the past seven years, with championships in 2015 and 2019. COVID wiped out the tournament in 2020. Rowan’s 2018 team lost to Tennessee in a regional final.

In other quarterfinal games on Monday, Missouri eliminated Nevada 4-0, while Oklahoma ousted Arizona 4-0. Virginia played New Jersey in a late contest.

 

Texas    110  000   2   —  4    9   1

Rowan  200  000  0    — 2   8   2

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