Laurel/Millsboro/Nanticoke punches ticket to Senior League World Series

Jada Stevens pitched in both games for LMN. Delaware State News/Ben Heck

ROXANA – Runs were tough to come by.

That’s why, when left fielder Megan Sterling threw a baserunner out from the outfield in the top of the fifth to end a scoring threat, Laurel-Millsboro/Nanticoke manager Mike Evick knew it could end up being a game-saving play.

“Megan threw her out at home, it was a huge play,” said Evick. “That’s great defense right there. Our whole team made a great effort and did their job.”

The LMN all-stars earned consecutive wins over Georgetown/Cape/Lower Sussex Wednesday night at Lower Sussex Little League to nab the District III championship and punch its ticket to next week’s Senior League Softball World Series.

LMN grabbed game one with a 2-1 pitchers’ duel victory and completed the two-game sweep with a thrilling 4-3 win that came down to the final play in the second game of the doubleheader.

“The defense played well, and the offense came through when they needed to come through,” Evick said. “That’s a great team over there (Georgetown/Cape/Lower Sussex) – those are the best players you’ll see in Sussex County, both of these teams.”

The World Series, also to be played at Lower Sussex Little League beginning July 29, features 10 teams from across the world. The LMN all-stars will represent the District III and act as host of the annual pool play tourney.

It’s the first World Series for every girl on the team.

The Georgetown/Cape squad earned district title sweeps in each of the past two seasons, placing third overall in last year’s World Series and winning it all in 2017.

When Sterling made the game-saving throw from the outfield late in the second game, the score was tied, 2-2. Jada Evans drove in a run on an RBI single, scoring leadoff batter Couri Smith, in the bottom half of the inning to put the go-ahead run on the scoreboard.

“I was trying to knock the ball just anywhere in a gap, because I knew if I hit it the person on second was going to score. And that’s what happened,” Evans said.

Battling through a sickness, Evans tossed a complete game in LMN’s 2-1 win in the first of two games.

She started the second game in the pitcher’s circle, but after feeling a bit nauseous she was relieved by Kylee Hill after throwing just one inning. Hill surrendered just one run in her six innings of relief to pick up the win.

“I play against those girls a lot,” said Evans. “I threw a lot of changeups, which kept them off-balance, but I just did what I do all the time.”

“Going into it, I was thinking I had to go hard, I had to give everything I had,” Hill added. “I knew I had to pick up Jada with her sickness and I knew I just had to give 110% for my team to help them through this.”

Hill surrendered six hits and struck out six.

LMN collected a combined 11 hits between the two games, registering five in the first game and six in the second game.

Smith and Tatum Otwell led the way, registering a pair of singles and a double each.

Hill, Evans, Katie Evick and Saige Bullock each recorded singles and Sterling belted a double for LMN.

For Georgetown/Cape/Lower Sussex, the bats combined for 13 hits, registering just three in the first game but 10 in the second game.

In Game 2, GCL plated a pair of runs in the top of the first inning, with Kayler Townsend and Kylie Kruger laying down consecutive singles to begin the game.

The GCL all-stars didn’t score again until Kayla Evans drove in Kruger with an RBI single with two outs in the top of the seventh inning, but catcher Evick laid the game-ending tag on the potentially game-tying runner between third base and home plate to cement the district title.

“It’s awesome. It’s the first trip to the World Series for all of these girls, it’s going to be a fun week for them,” said Evick.

Reach staff writer Ben Heck at bheck@newszap.com.

Reach staff writer Ben Heck at bheck@newszap.com

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