Southwest outlasts District III in Senior League Softball World Series final

District III shortstop Carlie Venables makes the throw to third base after making a diving stop of a ground ball Sunday during the final game of the Senior League World Series. (Delaware State News/Ben Heck)

ROXANA – The Southwest region representative didn’t let Mother Nature, or an early deficit, keep them from taking home a world championship.

Trailing by a pair of runs early, the Southwest used a three-run third-inning rally to propel to a 7-5 victory over the District III host team in Sunday afternoon’s Senior League Softball World Series championship at Lower Sussex Little League.

The win avenges a 6-5 loss to District III on the second day of pool play on Tuesday.

District III’s Jada Evans smashed a walk-off solo home run in the bottom of the seventh to capture the pool play win just five days prior. It was Southwest’s only loss of the tourney.

“We let that go,” Southwest manager Chance Bacon said of the earlier loss. “As soon as it happened, that next game, we knew we had to play to get back here, so we let it go.”

The Southwest region representative, made up of players from District 9 Little League in Waco, Texas, collected eight hits from seven different players in the win.

Southwest manager Chance Bacon hugs starting pitcher Madalyn Martinez following the final out of Sunday’s 7-5 championship win.

“That’s the definition of a team performance,” Bacon said. “You’ve got three or four of our best hitters not hitting the ball, and then you’ve got the rest of the lineup picking up that slack. So, I can’t say enough about the team.”

Madalyne Martinez tossed a complete game while striking out 10 batters. She also went 2-for-3 at the plate.

“I was really nervous and anxious to just start this game,” said Martinez. “We knew it was tough competition and we had to do very well. I’m just happy that each and every one of us gave 100 percent and all the hard work paid off.”

District III (5-2), made up of players from the Laurel, Millsboro and Nanticoke Little League programs, collected 11 hits. Evans and Kate Evick led the way with three hits each.

Evans, also the team’s starting pitcher who struck out three batters in her four innings of work, went 13-for-24 (.541 average) over the seven-game week.

Kylee Hill tossed two innings of relief, allowing a pair of hits and a pair of runs Sunday.

Evick smashed a solo home run, her third of the tourney, and scored three runs in District III’s loss.

Shortstop Carlie Venables went 2-for-3 with two runs scored.

Kaegen Brittingham, Tatum Otwell and Saige Bullock registered one hit each.

District III’s Daniya Dashiell slides safely into second base.

“We beat ourselves today. That happens, what are you going to do? It’s part of softball,” said District III manager Mike Evick.

“We gave up some runs early that we shouldn’t have given up, but we battled back. They’re a good team, don’t get me wrong. They’re a good team, but we beat ourselves today.”

Beronica DeLosRios, Kennedy Cox, Daniella Ramirez, Hannah Boettcher, Kennedy Parker and Hannah Sterriker each registered one hit for Southwest.

Boettcher (two), DeLosRios, Cox, Ramirez, Aubrey Garcia and Jordyne Reese each scored runs.

The District III girls finished the tournament as the runner-up after going 3-1 in pool play and picking up a 3-2 quarterfinal win over Southeast in Friday’s quarterfinals and an 8-7 win over a previously unbeaten Central squad in Saturday’s semifinals.

Following an hour and 45-minute weather delay due to heavy rainfall and lightning, the title game got underway at approximately 3:45 p.m.

Just three at bats into the game, a second lightning delay forced the players to wait it out another 30 minutes before settling in.

Two at-bats following the second weather delay, Evans broke the game open with a two-run double to center field put District III ahead early, 2-0.

Southwest loaded the bases in the bottom of the second inning, but Evans was able to escape any damage.

Southwest grabbed the momentum in the bottom of the third inning, taking advantage of three singles and an error.

Boettcher singled in DeLosRios with an RBI single to cut the lead in half, 2-1.

Boettcher and Ramirez both scored during the following at-bat when Parker reached base on an error, giving Southwest the lead for good, 3-2.

Southwest extended its margin in the fourth inning when a pair of bases-loaded hit-by-pitches scored Garcia and Reese in consecutive at-bats to push the Texas girls ahead, 5-2.

The District III crowd cheers as Kate Evick rounds third base and heads home following her solo home run in the seventh.

A half inning later, District III battled back with a pair of runs on a passed ball and a Brittingham RBI single, which scored Evick, to pull to within a run.

Cox and Boettcher provided a pair of insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, scoring on a fielder’s choice and sacrifice fly.

Evick smashed a solo homer in the top of the seventh, but Martinez recorded three straight strikeouts to strand a base runner and clinch the championship for Southwest.

“We never gave up, we battled back in the end,” said Evick. “We hit the ball hard in the end, but it happens. They’re a good team, they beat us, that’s all you can say.”

Junior League baseball

Camden-Wyoming trailed by only two before giving up eight runs in the fourth inning as New York posted a 15-4 victory in the Junior League baseball Eastern Regional on Sunday.

The loss eliminates the Delaware state champions, who went 1-2 in the tournament being played in Freehold, N.J.

New York (2-2) outhit Camden-Wyoming by a 10-7 margin. CW committed four errors while its five pitchers combined to walk 12.

Camden-Wyoming’s offense was paced by Colson Bennett (3-for-4, 1 run), Hunter Chambers (2-for-4, 2 RBI, 1 run) and Graham Buckson (2-for-4, 2 runs).

Reach staff writer Ben Heck at bheck@newszap.com

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