Local roundup: Laurel nips Camden-Wyoming 2-1 for Major League softball state title

SMYRNA — If Laurel’s players wanted to just pack it in, they could have done it after losing to Camden-Wyoming on Tuesday night.

Instead, they dug in their heels, won three games in a row and left Smyrna on Saturday evening with a state championship banner.

After forcing a second championship game on Friday, Laurel out-dueled Camden-Wyoming, 2-1, on Saturday to capture the state crown in Major League softball.

The title earns Laurel a trip to Bristol, Conn. for the East Regional, which starts on July 19.

“We’re a resilient bunch,” said Laurel manager James Shockley. “We won our last three games knowing lose and we go home. These girls, they’re clutch. They’ve known to be the type of team that comes back when they’re down.

“I would like to say it was all part of the plan but unfortunately it wasn’t.”

In Saturday’s low-scoring finale, Camden-Wyoming tied the contest at 1-1 with a run in the top of the fifth inning. Ellie McCarthy singled home MacKenzie Mitchell, who had two hits in the game.

But Laurel answered right back in the bottom of the inning when Bailey Ullman tripled and pinch-runner Ryley McCluskey scored the winning run on a passed ball.

That 2-1 lead was enough for pitcher Paityn Blake, who threw a five-hitter with two strikeouts and only two walks. Blake has pitched all but one inning in Laurel’s nine all-star games.

“I just had to tell myself to relax and keep pitching the way I am,” said Blake.

Camden-Wyoming pitcher Chloe Donigan put up almost identical stats. She also threw a five-hitter with five strikeouts and just one walk.

Laurel’s only other run came in the third. Bailey Lynch singled, went to third on an Ullman single and scored on a hit by Kiersten Passwaters.

It was a tough finish for District I champion Camden-Wyoming, which was 3-0 in all-stars before losing its last two games. McCarthy reached base three times for CW.

Laurel, on the other hand, will go to the East Regional hoping to earn another trip — to the Little League World Series in Portland, Oregon. It won’t be easy, of course.

“We’re definitely excited,” said Shockley. “It’s a blessing. Just to be able to play in this (state) tournament was a blessing. So, to win it, means all the world to us.

“We’re going to face really good teams, but I’m confident in our girls. I truly believe, if we’re playing our game, we are a tough group. Today showed it.”

Baseball

Junior League

Smyrna-Clayton 15, Dover 0: Nate Donahue pitched a no-hitter with six strikeouts and only one walk in Friday’s victory.

Jake Macey hit a fourth-inning grand slam for Smyrna-Clayton (1-0).

Camden-Wyoming 7, M.O.T. 4: Camden-Wyoming opened the District I tournament with a win on Friday night.

Jaxon Monroney (2 hits, 2 runs), Hunter Chambers (3 hits, 1 run), Colson Bennett (1 hit, 2 runs) and Conner Nester (1 hit) paced CW while Graham Buckson (1 hit, 2 runs) pitched four shutout innings.

M.O.T. was led by Louie Zitofsky and Matt Lewis, who had two hits apiece.

M.O.T. 20, Dover 1: M.O.T. stayed alive with the win on Saturday.

Andrew Steinhaus struck out seven for M.O.T. which also got three hits and five RBI from Andrew Pierce and five RBI from Matt Lewis.
For Dover, Conner Ridgeway pitched three solid innings.

Major League

Camden-Wyoming 11, Milford 1: Camden-Wyoming advanced to the winners’ bracket finals of the District I tournament with the win on Friday night.

CW (1-0) will face M.O.T. (2-0) today at 8:30 p.m. in Middletown.

Winning pitcher Kaden McCoy had four strikeouts in 2.1 shutout innings with Jordan Sims also striking out four. Offensively, Gabe Harris (2 hits, 3 RBI, 2 runs), Stephen Donnigan (double, 2 RBI), Merrick Hunt (1 hit, 2 RBI) and Sims (2 hits) led the way.

Milford (1-1) was paced by Jeremy Tenifloss struck out four in 2.1 innings while Emerson Layton had a hit and an RBI.

8-10 tournament

Milford 24, Dover 3: Milford picked up the victory in the opening game of the District I tournament on Saturday.

Milford next faces Smyrna-Clayton today at 6 p.m. at Dover.

Pitcher Mason Farissier went 4-for-4 with two RBI for Milford while Tristan Willey and Trent Lovett (double) both went 2-for-3.

Camden-Wyoming 12, Harrington 0: Brody Hinkle struck out six in three innings while Shane Powell and Jacob Madding also combined on the shutout for Camden-Wyoming.

CW faces M.O.T. today at 3:30 p.m. at Dover. Jay Sanchez (3-for-3, 3 runs), Zayne Collins (2 hits) and Cam Allen (2-run double) paced Camden-Wyoming at the plate.

Dylan Harvey reached vase twice for Harrington.

M.O.T. 18, Felton 3: M.O.T. started out with a win as Emmitt Robinson had three hits, including a triple

Ephram Starkey and Hunter Skelton added two hits each for M.O.T., which plays again today at Dover at 3:30 p.m. Braden Alexander, Bryce Stranahan and Tyler Jones all pitched.

Keith Young had a three-run triple for Felton with Vance Denton adding two hits.

Major League

Milford 14, Felton-Harrington 4: Milford stayed alive in the losers’ bracket and will play again today at M.O.T. at 6 p.m.

Ryan Zimmerman went 4-for-4 and scored three runs for Milford (1-1) while J.C. Kent, Emerson Layton and Josh Miller all added two hits.

Asher Grube and Ethan Stafford led Felton-Harrington offensivey.

Reach sports editor Andy Walter at walter@newszap.com

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