District III romps 12-0 in Senior League Softball World Series opener

Host Georgetown/District III teammates Kelsey Kormanik and Ryleigh Elliott chest bump after Elliott scored to make it a 1-0 game in the top of the first inning against U.S. East in Monday night’s Senior Softball World Series opener. Delaware State News/Ben Heck

ROXANA — Not even Mother Nature could slow down the defending champion District III squad in Monday night’s Senior League Softball World Series tournament opener.

Taylor Wroten’s 13 strikeouts from the pitcher’s circle and the offense’s 18 hits led Sussex County’s District III to a 12-0 shutout victory over the East squad from Worcester, Mass.

Georgetown/District III’s infield takes a knee in the pitcher’s circle during an injury timeout.

“This definitely sets the tone for the tournament,” Wroten said. “This is exactly what we wanted to come out here and do the first game, just show everybody that we’re still the team to beat and that we’re not here to play around.”

Despite heavy rains for most of the day, Lower Sussex Little League’s grounds crew worked hard to make sure the field was playable before the game’s first pitch at approximately 8:02 p.m. — two hours later than scheduled.

About 30 minutes prior to the first pitch, Jordyn DiFava made her way out to second base to test out the playing conditions and thank a crew member for their hard work.

“The grounds crew was awesome, they were putting in a lot of hard work for hours, trying to get this field ready,” DiFava said. “I just wanted to go out there and thank them for the time they put in getting this field ready for us.”

“They’ve been hyped from 10 a.m. this morning until game time tonight,” manager Craig Kormanik said of his players, who had been dressed in their uniforms 10 hours prior to the game’s first pitch.

Taylor Wroten watches her RBI single sail to right field in the game’s opening inning.

“They’ve been waiting for this game since they got to the hotel room.”

Once the field was ready to go, District III — whose players are from district champion Georgetown/Cape — wasted no time getting things started offensively.

Ryleigh Elliott (three), Kelsey Kormanik (three), Wroten (two), DiFava (two), and Kylie Kruger (two) each had multi-hit games for the host team. Eleven of the team’s 12 members finished the night with at least one hit.

In last year’s tournament, Kormanik had a limited number of at-bats due to a knee injury she had suffered prior to the start of the tourney.

This year is different for her, as she stepped into the batter’s box and went 3-for-4 with a run and an RBI with the bat in her hand.

“It felt great tonight and it really feels like I’m back,” Kormanik said.

Manager Craig Kormanik speaks with Taylor Wroten, left, and Skylar Webb during a timeout.

“It’s incredible to have her back in our lineup and to have her do what she did tonight,” said Craig Kormanik.

“I am so proud of everyone, we hit from top to bottom,” said Wroten. “I didn’t know what to expect coming in offensively, we’ve all been playing travel all summer and we never know what the pitching’s going to be out here.”

“Our team all-around is sound,” said Elliott, the team’s lead-off hitter. “Everyone on the team can make a play and everyone can hit. I’d say we’re all pretty much equal.”

District III put up three quick runs in the top half of the first inning off a pair of RBI singles from Wroten and Kormanik and a passed ball.

Wroten struck out the side in the bottom of the first and shut down the East bats early, striking out six batters in the first three innings.

Taylor Wroten struck out the side in the bottom of the first inning.

District III extended the lead to 6-0 in the fifth inning on back-to-back Wroten and Sierra Livingston RBI singles and an East error.

One run in the sixth inning and a five-run top of the seventh, sparked by a lead-off single from

Kruger, put the game out of reach for the East.

Pending weather conditions, District III’s next game of pool play is set for 8 p.m. tonight against U.S. Southwest.

“It’s a great group of girls, but there’s a lot of talent out here and we don’t want to overlook that. We’re just going to take each game one by one,” Kormanik said.

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