The domination for the Wheelersburg LL softball team continued Wednesday evening in Portland, Oregon.
The girls from ‘Burg represented their hometown and area incredibly well, by winning their opening game of pool play against the representatives from Latin America, Liga Cuauhtemoc from Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico, 9-0.
AndiJo Howard took the mound and just as she had in her two starts in the central region tournament, shut down the opposing lineup by only allowing two hits and striking out ten opposing batters. Howard was also helped tremendously by her teammates defensively, including an inning ending double play in the bottom of the fourth inning turned by Howard, Catie Boggs, and Jaelin Thomas. Head coach Dusty Salyers spoke very highly of his girls efforts on the mound and defensively. “I thought AndiJo (Howard) threw a great game and our defense was outstanding” said Salyers, “That double play was huge.”
It was a pitcher’s duel for both sides until the top of the fourth inning, when Burg opened up their offensive fire power by scoring seven runs. The hit totals for the game were spread out amongst the Burg hitters, as Rileigh Lang and Sydney Skiver each collected two hits. AndiJo Howard, Maddi Kotcamp, and Haley Myers each had one hit a piece. Sydney Salyers was the only Burg player with more than one RBI, while Lang, Howard, Kotkamp, Myers, Ashlee Spence, and Alexis Gilliland each had one RBI.
Salyers said after the game he thought the girls started off slow, but really turned it on once the fourth inning rolled around. “I think we were a little impatient early on at the plate” said Salyers, “Once we became a little more disciplined, we started hitting some balls really hard and started drawing walks.”
This victory moves Wheelersburg to 1-0 in pool play, with a nine run, run differential, which is currently the best among the teams competing in the Little League Softball World Series. Burg is outscoring their opponents 99-2 so far through all of their postseason games and tournaments.
After having Thursday off from play, Wheelersburg LL’s next game will be Friday August 10th at 1 p.m. against Bacolod City West LL, from Bacolod City, Philippines who are the representatives from the Asia-Pacific region for this year’s Little League Softball World Series. Following their game against Bacolod City, Burg will go on to face Lake Oswego LL, the representatives from Oregon district four on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. EST, and then Eastbank LL, the representatives from the Southwest region, on Sunday at 7:00 p.m. EST. After Sunday’s final games of pool play, the top eight teams from both pools based on record and run differential will be seeded into a single elimination tournament that will determine the 2018 Little League Softball World Series champion.
Anyone interested in watching any of the Wheelersburg LL games this week can go to ESPN Plus, which is ESPN’s online streaming service, and watch any of the games in Portland if you subscribe to the service. Some of the games in the later stages of the tournament will be featured on the main ESPN channels on television.
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter at @JacobSmithPDT