Little League Softball: Heating up in Rowan

Published 11:04 pm Monday, June 27, 2022

 

From staff reports

Rowan Little League’s Majors team (12U) has big home games coming up at Salisbury Community Park.

The District 2 champions will be hosting the state tournament on July 1-4.

Little League softball has expanded since it got back into full swing post-COVID and has made some interesting tweaks.

With the World Series being played in Greenville, this is now the home state for Little League softball, and the N.C. state champion will move directly into the Little League World Series and won’t have to go through regional play.

The runner-up team in the  state tourney in Salisbury (the winner of the loser’s bracket) will still be alive and will travel to Warner Robins, Ga.. That team could still make it to the World Series by winning the Southeast Regional.

A Rowan Little League vs. Pitt County matchup on July 3 for the state title and the automatic World Series berth is a probability.

Pitt County has been growing as a force in Little League softball. Rowan has been the state’s dominant program for a number of years.

Donnell Poole, Steve Yang and Jeff Bernhardt coach the Rowan team.

Players are Kayla Burns, Emma Efird, Morgan Efird, Remi Haggerty,  Brinley Hiatt, Josophina Huynh, Ansley Jenkins, Myla McNeely, Cressley Patterson, Reese Poole, Sophia Redding, Leah Troutman and Regan Williams.

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Rowan Little League’s Minors girls (10U) romped 15-0 and 19-0 in their first two  tournament outings in Pilot Mountain. They’re well on their way to the District 2 championship.

That team is coached by  Brett Mulkey, Jac Mulkey and Greg Deal.

Players are Peyton Mulkey, Bristol Smith, Tenley Shell, Emory Stewart, Jenna Smith, Blakely Gantt, Harper Deal, Graci Cooper, Megan Linebarger,  Courtlyn Bost, Zoey Correll, Aubrey Jenkins and Allie Talley.

Assuming Rowan wins District 2, the girls would advance to compete in the state tournament in the Hendersonville area.

If they win the state, they’ll get to compete for regional honors in the tournament of champions in Clarksville, Tenn. There’s no “World Series” for this age group.

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Rowan Little League’s Coach Pitch girls (8U) also are undefeated — and  like the two older teams, they haven’t allowed a run yet.   

They won big in their first three games in the District 2 tournament.

Jeff Bernhardt, Ashley Poole, Hillary Hampton and David Brown coach the team.

Players are Callie Barrier, Payton Brown, Sabrina Jackson, Karsynn Karriker, Rylie King, Annlynn Kluttz, Paisley Lanning, Nelly Leonard, Kinsley Linton, Rebecca Lombard, Jaylee Nixon, Lily Poole, Emerson Raper and Carsyn Smith.

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While Rowan isn’t fielding teams in the older age groups for girls, Rowan Little League will again host  the  Junior (ages 12-14) and Senior  (ages 13-16) Southeast Regional Tournaments on July 21-24.

State champions from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia in each division are eligible to play in the tournament.

It’s a massive undertaking.

If you would like to volunteer in any capacity, contact Dan Wales at 336-409-6342.

Announcers, scorekeepers, game changer operators, concessions workers, etc. are needed.

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