Evans’ walkoff HR lifts District III at Senior League Softball World Series

Jada Evans is greeted by her teammates after her walkoff homer. Delaware State News/Ben Heck

ROXANA – Jada Evans had a pretty good idea of where the pitch was going to be.

When the District III starting pitcher saw the first pitch of her seventh inning at bat going inside, she immediately knew she was swinging for the fences.

“My last few at bats, they were throwing me inside,” Evans explained. “I struck out last time, so I was like, ‘OK, they’re going to throw me inside. I have to get a hold of it because the longer she goes into the at bat the more spin she gets.’

“So, I said, ‘the first pitch I’m going to hit it as hard as I possibly can.’ Hit or miss. And I hit it.”

Her walk-off solo home run deep over the centerfield fence gave her team a thrilling 6-5 Senior League Softball World Series win over the Southwest region representative Tuesday night at Lower Sussex Little League.

“I was so happy,” Evans added. “I jumped up in the air between first and second base, I was screaming, I was so excited.”

District III, comprised of players from the Laurel, Millsboro and Nanticoke Little League programs, is now 2-0 in pool play through the first two days of the annual 10-team tournament.

The team turns right back around and plays the Latin America representative today at 12:30 p.m.

The Southwest squad, consisting of players from Waco, Texas, drops to 1-1 in pool play heading into Day 3.

Evans finished 3-for-4, including the solo homer and a pair of runs, and pitched a complete game in the pitcher’s circle. She struck out two, walked zero and surrendered six hits in her seven innings of work.

“They’re really good. My changeup was getting them off-balance, which was getting a lot of ground balls, so that was working,” said Evans. “And I think if I keep that consistent throughout the tournament then I think I’ll be OK.”

District III’s bats collected seven hits, with Tatum Otwell recording two and Couri Smith and Carlie Venables registering one each.

Venables knocked in a pair of runs while Otwell went 2-for-3 with a run scored and one RBI. Smith, Saige Bullock and Makenzie Whaley also scored one run apiece.

Evans scored the first run of the game in the fourth inning, stealing third base and then advancing home on the errant throw from the catcher, putting District III out ahead, 1-0.

Southwest answered in the top of the fifth inning when Kennedy Cox belted a solo home run to dead centerfield to knot the game up, 1-1.

Otwell gave District III a 2-1 lead in the sixth with a single to score Whaley. Bullock scored on a steal at home and Venables plated two more runs with a single to highlight the four-run inning.

But Southwest capitalized on two errors to respond with four runs in the top of the seventh. It tied the game 5-5 when Kennedy Cox and Brighton Bain each scored on an error to set up Evans’ homer in the bottom half.

“It gives us so much momentum because we have to be back here at 11 a.m. to play the Philippines, so hopefully we carry this momentum into the next game and win,” said Evans.

Reach staff writer Ben Heck at bheck@newszap.com

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