Pool play ends with Illinois District 17 in perfect position to chase Senior League World Series title


Illinois District 17's Mia Volpert homered and drove in five runs during Thursday's 16-1 victory over the Czech Republic in the final game of pool play at the Senior League World Series in Roxana, Del. | Photo courtesy Tina Bunte

ROXANA, Del. — An emphatic ending to a perfect stretch of play has the Illinois District 17 softball team looking like the team to beat.

If the Land of Lincolners can keep that going, a World Series championship is within reach.

District 17 finished an undefeated run through pool play at the Senior League World Series on Thursday, scoring 10 runs in the sixth inning with back-to-back home runs from Springfield’s Mia Volpert and Illini Bluffs’ Cora Ellison in a 16-1 victory over the Czech Republic at Lyons Field.

The Illinois squad, which won the Central Regional to advance to the World Series, went 4-0 to finish atop the Pool B standings.

Single-elimination bracket play begins Friday with District 17 the top-seeded team on one side of the bracket. Illinois will face Latin America, the fourth-seeded team coming out of Pool A, at 4:30 p.m. Friday.

Like it has throughout the tournament, Illinois took control from the start.

In the top of the first inning, Havana’s Kaydi Miller led off with a single, Macomb’s Kylie Robinson was hit by a pitch and both runners advanced on a passed ball. Volpert drove a flyball to center field that was caught, allowing Miller to score on the sacrifice fly. However, Robinson was thrown out trying to get to third.

However, Illinois started over immediately with Ellison getting hit by a pitch. She took second on a wild pitch and scored on a single by Pleasant Plains’ Aspen Kitowski.

In the third, Volpert led off with a double and scored on Kitowski’s one-out single. In the fourth, the lead ballooned to 6-1 as Robinson put down an RBI bunt single and Volpert followed with a two-run single.

In the sixth, the final onslaught began with an RBI single by Pittsfield’s Emma Henry. The lead reached 9-1 before Miller delivered a bases-clearing double and Robinson followed with an RBI single. Volpert and Ellison homered after that.

Miller went 4 for 5 with three runs scored and three RBIs, Volpert went 3 for 4 with three runs scored and five RBIs, and Robinson, Kitowski and Triopia’s Mylee Tracy each had two hits.

Ellison allowed one run and eight hits in the circle with five strikeouts and two walks.

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