ROXANA, Del. — Emma Henry couldn’t let her twin sister have all the fun.
One day after Grace Henry jacked a grand slam as part of a nine-run inning that propelled the Illinois District 17 team to a victory in its opening game of the Senior League Softball World Series, Emma Henry followed suit with a long ball of her own.
The Pittsfield shortstop hammered a two-run homer to center field in the top of the first inning Tuesday and the Central Region champions never surrendered the lead, beating the Southeast Region champions from Fort Myers, Fla., 6-4 in pool play at Lyons Field.
The Land of Lincolners are 2-0 in pool play and will face the Canadian team at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday. Canada is 0-2 with an 8-0 loss to Florida and a 14-4 loss to California, which Illinois beat 17-13 in Monday’s opener.
Exactly like Monday’s game, Illinois seized control by scoring three times in the top of the first.
Pleasant Hill’s Ava Wombles led off the game with an infield single. Macomb’s Kylie Robinson dropped down a bunt single, and following a strikeout, Wombles scored by stealing third on a pickoff throw to first and scurrying home after a throwing error by the Florida first baseman. Henry followed two pitches later by blasting her home run to center field.
Pleasant Hill’s McKinley Lowe allowed a leadoff single to Florida in the bottom of the inning, but retired the next three batters to set the tone defensively.
In the second, Lowe led off with a single, and courtesy runner Elly Krieg of Carthage went to second on a wild pitch, to third on a sacrifice and scored on Wombles’ sacrifice fly.
Florida scored twice in the second and again in the fourth to pull within 4-3. However, Illinois answered in the top of the fifth with two runs as Pleasant Hill’s Makenna Winchell singled with one out and scored on a home run to center field by Havana’s Liz Waymire. Florida scored a run in the bottom of the frame, but Illinois still led 6-4.
Lowe worked out of trouble in the final two innings to preserve the lead.
In the sixth, she allowed back-to-back singles before getting two strikeouts and an infield popout. In the seventh, Florida again got the first two runners on base with back-to-back singles, but a popout, a sacrifice bunt and a lineout ended the game.
Lowe struck out eight and walked none in the complete-game victory. She allowed 12 hits and four earned runs over seven innings. Emma Henry finished 2 for 4 and Lowe went 2 for 3.
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