FRANKFORD, Del. — The Illinois District 17 softball team packed the lumber for the long road trip.
In the opening game of pool play at the Senior League Softball World Series at Bruce Layton Field, the Land of Lincolners scored 12 runs in the first two innings and pounded out 18 hits in a 17-13 victory over California District 51 late Monday night.
The game didn’t end until nearly 11:30 p.m., and the Central Regional champions must turnaround and play at 3 p.m. Tuesday against the Southeast Regional champion in the first game of the day at Lyons Field.
The three-run first inning featured a leadoff double by Pleasant Hill’s Ava Wombles, a one-out RBI double by Macomb’s Kaitlyn Robinson, an RBI single from Pleasant Hill’s Makenna Winchell and a run-scoring sacrifice fly from Carthage’s Elly Krieg.
California responded with four runs in the bottom of the frame, but Illinois scored nine runs with two outs in the top of the second. Winchell ripped a bases-clearing triple and scored on Havana’s Elisabeth Waymire’s single before back-to-back walks reloaded the bases.
Pittsfield’s Grace Henry unloaded them with a grand slam to left field. Robinson added an RBI single for a 12-4 lead.
The team from Palmdale, Calif., didn’t fold. It scored five times in the bottom of the second, and after Illinois tacked on three runs in the top of the fourth, the Californians scored four unearned runs in the bottom of the inning to stay within 15-13.
However, Brown County’s Taryn Moorman, who relieved Robinson in the pitcher’s circle to start the third, shut out California the final three innings. Moorman struck out four and walked two in earning the victory.
Illinois added two insurance runs in the top of the seventh, scoring on an error and an RBI single by Wombles.
Grace Henry finished 4 for 4 with four runs scored and four RBIs, while Wombles went 4 for 5 with four runs scored. Winchell had three hits and five RBIs.
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