WHEELERSBURG – In what might be considered their best game of this postseason run, West Portsmouth Little League’s 11-12 year old softball All-Stars fell to Tallmadge in Wednesday night’s State Championship game 2-0 held at the Wheelersburg Little League fields.
“I’m proud of the girls,” said West head coach Shad Ford following the 2-0 loss to Tallmadge Wednesday. “Overrall it was a really good season. Winning districts, getting through that was big with Wheelersburg doing what they did last year. We just fell short today, just had a bad day. Didn’t hit the ball really like we have been today. I expected five or six runs, but we just had a bad day, and you’ll have those.”
The lone two runs of Saturday’s game were scored in the top of the fifth inning while prior to that, the score remained knotted at 0-0. A fielding error scored the first Tallmadge runner from third base to home and a subsequent RBI double followed shortly after to give Tallmadge the only two runs they’d need in the game. Those facts combined with their ace pitcher taking the mound and striking out ten West batters and allowing just three hits meant that Tallmadge would come out on top in these two teams third matchup of this State Tournament.
“Their pitcher is outstanding,” Ford said. “If they can run her through regionals, they’ll make a run at regionals. She moves the ball up and down, changes speeds. I thin she was throwing a rise ball today and we have trouble with spin. We hit the ball, hit it right to them, and they fielded it because of how fundamentally sound they are. Hats off to them, it was their day today.”
Now that the West Little League Softball season is over for Ford and his group of girls, he believes this group of girls will move up through the ranks and accomplish big things at the junior high and high school levels as long as they stay energized about the game.
“This isn’t the end of these girls in the future,” Ford relayed. “Hopefully they stay together, build. They’re a good group of kids. If they can keep working, keep getting better, they can work towards something bigger.”
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT