Wheelersburg Little League 11/12s softball team was dominant once again in Zionsville, Indiana as they defeated Ashland (Ky.) American Little League by a final score of 12-0 in their second game of pool play in the Central Region tournament.
The Wheelersburg offensive explosion allowed runners to score in each inning of the five inning contest, including a four run third inning, a three run fourth inning, and a three run fifth inning. Ashland was no match for the consistent hitting and stellar base running from the girls representing the state of Ohio in the Central Region tournament. “I’m not sure I have to tell them anything” head coach Dusty Salyers said when asked what he could tell his girls to ensure their bats stayed alive for the duration of the tournament, “The way we’ve been hitting the ball, we just have to stay focused and play the game”. The ESPN announcers assigned to the Central Region tournament spoke the praises of the Wheelersburg team, “Their offensive and defensive power are incredible, and an excellent pitching staff makes them the team to beat”.
The Burg offense was the story of the game, but that should not overshadow another incredible pitching performance by a Wheelersburg pitcher. Today, the girl on the mound happened to be the same girl that had an inside the park pinch hit home run in Tuesday’s 6-0 defeat of Floyds Knobs (Ind.), Ashley Spence. Spence only allowed a single hit during her pitching performance today, just a day after her teammate, AndiJo Howard, pitched a no-hitter. “In softball, often times you can only go as far as your pitching will take you,” said Salyers “We have two girls (Howard and Spence) that their styles really complement each other well”. In their two games of pool play, Wheelersburg has outscored opponents 18-0 and have only allowed one hit amongst the two games.
When the single elimination tournament begins Thursday morning, the Wheelersburg Little League 11/12s will be the number one seed out of eight teams thanks to their 2-0 record and the plus eighteen run differential. They will face Keystone Little League (NE) at 10 a.m. Thursday morning in the quarterfinals, opening a full slate of games to take place in Zionsville. “The girls are really excited” said Salyers, “To know we’re the first overall seed has really pumped them up”. Ashland American Little League was not one of the eight teams seeded in the tournament, as a result of their 0-2 record and minus nineteen run differential. All four quarterfinal games will be played on Thursday, spread over the course of the day.
The semifinals of the Central Region tournament will take place on Friday at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., before the championship game at 5 p.m. that same day. The winner of the Central Region tournament will go on to represent the Central Region in the Little League Softball World Series in Portland, Oregon August 8th-15th.
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext 1930, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT