District III wins Senior League Softball World Series opener 4-1 over East

Jada Evans slides safely into second base on a double for District III. She later came around to score on a Kylee Hill suicide squeeze. Delaware State News/Ben Heck

ROXANA — Any nerves that the girls were feeling heading into their first World Series experience quickly faded away in the top of the first inning.

The Laurel/Millsboro/Nanticoke all-star squad used a three-run first inning burst to cruise to a 4-1 victory over the East region representative in Monday night’s opening game of the Senior League Softball World Series at Lower Sussex Little League.

LMN, representing District III as the host team of the annual 10-team tournament, will play its second of four pool play games tonight at 8 p.m. against the Southwest region team from Waco, Texas.

“That was huge, getting those three runs in early,” said District III manager Mike Evick. “You could tell in the dugout before the game that they were very nervous, but going up 3-0 helps that a lot. We had girls contributing all up and down the lineup.”

Starting pitcher Jada Evans tossed four innings for District III, allowing just a pair of hits and striking out seven.

District III’s infield has a meeting in the pitcher’s circle.

Kylee Hill threw three innings of relief, surrendering just one hit, no runs and recording three strikeouts in the Game 1 victory.

“If I didn’t have those three runs, I probably would’ve been a little more nervous coming in,” said Hill. “But knowing I was already a few runs ahead, I was kind of nervous but I was a little bit more relaxed than I would normally be.

“I have a tough defense behind me, and our bats are tough, so I just know if we’re not scoring, we still have tough defense.”

District III collected eight hits, led by a pair from shortstop Carlie Venables. Evans, Hill, Aryanna Briddell, Tatum Otwell, Couri Smith and Saige Bullock registered one each. Briddell and Hill each collected a pair of RBI.

The East all-stars, comprised of players from the Levittown United Little League in Levittown, Pennsylvania, collected just three hits.
Jennifer Wolak tossed a complete game for East, striking out seven batters with no walks.

The three-run first inning for District III was led by a two-run single to left field off the bat of Briddell, scoring Smith and Venables.

“I took the first pitch because I wanted to check out the pitcher, but then she threw it again, so I drove it because I knew we had to get runners on the board,” said Briddell. “I thought only one runner was going to score, but it felt 10 times better when two did.”

Hill followed it up with an RBI double to left field in the next at-bat, scoring Briddell and breaking the game open with the early 3-0 lead.

“I was just like, ‘I have to get a hit, but I have to be patient,” explained Hill. “The pitcher wasn’t too consistent with her pitches, so I had to be selective.

“At the time, I was just thinking I had to keep my head in — because I had been pulling off a lot — and just hit the ball hard. It came through.”

Rylee Worthington, Laura Wang and Madison Kavulic registered the hits for East.

Left-hander Jada Evans pitched the first four innings before teammate Kylee Hill relieved her.

Lea Jones cut into District III’s lead, scoring East’s lone run of the game on a fielding error in the bottom of the third inning.
District III gained the run back in the sixth, with Evans scoring on a Hill suicide squeeze.

Evans led the inning off with a double and advanced to third base on a sacrifice bunt by Kaegen Brittingham before scoring on Hill’s bunt in the following at-bat.

“I think we got our nerves out with this first game, and we’re just going to go hard in the next game and keep doing what we do and play ball,” said Hill.

“We’re just going to keep on doing what we’re doing,” said Evick. “I’m not going to change anything we’re doing right now.”

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