Smith, Evick homers power District III to 10-0 Senior World Series shutout

Couri Smith is greeted by teammates following her home run. Delaware State News/Ben Heck

ROXANA — Couri Smith set the tone, while Kate Evick provided the dagger.

Smith’s leadoff solo home run in the top of the first inning provided early momentum for the Laurel/Millsboro/Nanticoke all-star squad.

It was Evick’s two-run homer in the top of the sixth inning that all but solidified Wednesday afternoon’s 10-0 Senior League Softball World Series shutout of the Latin America region representative at Lower Sussex Little League.

“I saw that inside pitch and I just went with it,” said Smith. “She almost hit me like three times before that, so I was like, ‘it’s going to come inside.’ It was a pretty big hit, it got everybody going.”

Couri Smith sends her pitch over the outfield wall to lead off the top of the first inning for District III.

LMN, representing District III as the host team of the annual 10-team tournament, improved to 3-0 in pool play. The host team will play its final pool game against the Asia-Pacific region squad today at 3 p.m.

“I was hoping we’d finally break out,” said District III manager Mike Evick. “That’s our team, we should be doing this, we finally came out and swung the bat.

“We have a really good hitting team. It’s a breakout game going forward; this is what we wanted.”

Jada Evans and Kylee Hill combined to hurl a three-hit shutout, which took just six innings to complete.

Kate Evick smashes a two-run homer over the left field fence in the top of the sixth inning.

The starter Evans, coming off a complete game the night before, tossed the first three innings, surrendering three hits and striking out two before Hill entered in the fourth inning.

Hill pitched the last three innings, striking out six hitters and not allowing a single Latin America base hit.

“With Jada, we thought we’d get her off the mound and get her a little bit of rest today, out of the sun and ready for tomorrow,” said Mike Evick. “If we need two tomorrow, we’ll go with Kylee again.”

District III’s lineup collected 12 hits, including three-hit performances from Evick and Kaegen Brittingham. In addition to the homer, Evick registered a single and a double and drove in a game-high three runs.

Kate Evick dives back to third base on a lineout to the Latin America pitcher. Evick was called out on the play.

Smith went 2-for-3 with a pair of runs scored, while Evans, Hill, Carlie Venables and Megan Sterling each registered one hit. Designated hitter Tatum Otwell collected two RBI.

All 16 girls on LMN’s roster saw playing time, with 15 of those girls receiving at least one plate appearance, in the shutout victory.

Katiria Reyes-Gonzalez, Jaycemarie Fernandez-Rodriguez and Natalia Colon-Rodriguez collected the trio of hits for Latin America, which is comprised of players from Softball Femenino de Coamo Little League in Coamo, Peurto Rico.

Following Smith’s round-tripper, District III plated two runs in the second inning, three in the fourth and four in the sixth.

Shortstop Carlie Venables attempts to tag out Latin America’s Jaycemarie Fernandez-Rodriguez at second base. Fernandez-Rodriguez was called safe on the play.

Otwell reached base on an error to drive in Brittingham and, one at bat later, Sterling scored on a passed ball to put District III ahead 3-0 in the second inning.

Otwell drove Sterling in two innings later, this time on a groundout to right field. Consecutive RBI singles from Venables and Evick later in the inning pushed the host team ahead 6-0 in the fourth.

Evick’s two-run shot highlighted the game-sealing four-run sixth inning rally.

“These last two games I’ve been in a hitting slump and I just haven’t been hitting very well,” said Kate Evick. “I was just calm when I came up to bat and I was just focused.”

Left fielder Megan Sterling fields a ground ball.

An infield RBI single by Brittingham and an Aryanna Briddell run on a passed ball handed District III the double-digit lead.

Hill struck out the side in the bottom half to cement the shutout.

“All 16 girls contributed in some way, which is what we want them to do,” explained Mike Evick.

Reach staff writer Ben Heck at bheck@newszap.com

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