Late rally falls short as District III falls to Asia-Pacific 8-6 at Senior Series

Left fielder Megan Sterling dives for a line drive. Delaware State News/Ben Heck

ROXANA — District III nearly pulled out of the hole it dug early on, but a four-run seventh-inning rally wasn’t quite enough to do the trick.

Trailing by six runs, the host Laurel/Millsboro/Nanticoke all-stars slowly cut into the deficit by plating four runs using a pair of RBI singles, a double and an error.

The late rally came up just short as District III dropped its first game of the Senior League Softball World Series, 8-6, to the Asia-Pacific region representative Thursday afternoon at Lower Sussex Little League.

“We fought to the end,” said manager Mike Evick. “We were down 8-2, then we come out and it’s 8-6 with a chance to win. We never gave up.”
The loss puts District III at 3-1 to end the pool play portion of the 10-team tournament.

Pitchers Jada Evans and Kylee Hill combined for eight strikeouts.

Offensively, the LMN all-stars collected 12 hits, including three from Evans and a pair of hits each by Daniya Dashiell, Kaegen Brittingham and Megan Sterling. Kate Evick, Aryanna Briddell and Tatum Otwell registered one each.

Carlie Venables takes a swing for District III.

Evans blasted her second home run of the tournament and drove in two RBI with two runs scored.

The Philippines collected 13 hits, led by three-hit performances by Jemalyn Santiago and Angel Joana M. Pascual.

Nickole G. Dela Cruz and Laica Atlas each finished with a pair of hits, while Delores Rocit Ortillo, Kacelyn Valino and Jessica Amante hit one each.

Pitchers Valina and Atlas combined for 12 strikeouts, with the starter Valina recording three in her one inning and Atlas adding nine more in her six innings of relief work.

“They said she (Atlas) was spinning the ball really well, out and away from us,” Evick said of the Asia-Pacific pitcher. “We have to make that adjustment, we just didn’t until towards the end, then we started seeing it a little bit better but it was too late.”

Relief pitcher Kylee Hill struck out five hitters in five innings of work.

Following a scoreless opening inning, Asia-Pacific (3-1) plated three runs in the top of the second inning.

Nine-hitter Jemalyn Santiago drilled a bases-clearing double down the left field line to push the all-stars from Bulacan Little League in San Miguel, Philippines ahead early, 3-0.

The Philippines added three more runs in the third and fourth innings to double the lead to 6-0.

Atlas singled in Pascual in the third. In the fourth, Valina scored on a passed ball and Pascual singled in Santiago.

District III put its first run on the board when Dashiell drilled an RBI triple to right field, scoring courtesy runner Makenzie Whaley.

Evans’ solo homer to centerfield in the bottom of the sixth brought the score to within four runs, but Asia-Pacific took advantage of a couple of errors and tacked on two more insurance runs in the top of the seventh inning.

Jada Evans safely slides into third base.

District III plated its four seventh-inning runs in consecutive at bats, with Evans getting the rally started by driving in Dashiell on a ground ball single to right field.

Briddell drove in Victoria LeCates after reaching on an error by the shortstop, which also advanced Evans over to third base.

Brittingham picked up her second hit of the game when she drove in Evans on a single to right field.

Sterling’s double scored Briddell before Asia-Pacific finally put an end to the rally by forcing a popout to first base.

“We have to fight back tomorrow, we’re a strong team,” said Evick. “Don’t worry about it, we’ll be back tomorrow ready to go.”

Reach staff writer Ben Heck at bheck@newszap.com

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