The North Carolina representatives from Dunn in the Dixie Youth Softball World Series in Alexandria, La., won games Tuesday and will play for championships this evening, weather permitting.
The North Carolina Angels (10-and-under) edged Florida 2-1 on Tuesday and can take the championship with a win tonight (Wednesday).
The N.C. (Dunn) Ponytails (12-and-under) were edged 2-1 in extra innings by South Carolina before staying in contention with a 9-2 win over Mississippi in an elimination game. The Ponytails must top South Carolina twice today to take the World Series title. The teams play at 5:30 p.m. today.
The N.C. Ponytails lost an extra inning battle with Latta, S.C.
“This was a pitchers duel that was by far the best softball game of the World Series,” said Dunn coach Jeremy Bass. “Both teams have excellent pitching staffs and that was on full display.
“South Carolina has two pitchers who throw upper 50s (miles per hour) and that is a speed that we have not seen in a while. Most teams have been throwing slow pitchers intentionally against us. Our girls are adjusting to it and we hope to show that in the championship game on Wednesday.”
South Carolina pitchers retired 11 North Carolina batters with strikeouts, allowing one hit, walking two and having two throwing errors.
The lone hit for N.C. was by Emily Williams.
N.C. pitchers struck out eight S.C. batters, walked two, gave up four hits and made three fielding errors that accounted for both S.C. runs
“We did not get enough hits and made one too many errors,” Bass said. “Our pitchers did exactly what we asked them to do. We have got to produce offense to get more runs.”
Emily Williams pitched two innings, striking out three, allowing one hit and a fielding error that accounted for one run.
Aubree Bass pitched two scoreless innings, striking out three and walking one.
Emily Scott pitched two scoreless innings, allowing two hits and walking one. Ashley Bliven made a catch in deep center and threw a laser to the plate to keep the sixth inning scoreless.
Carmyn Ivey pitched two innings allowing one run on two hits with two strikeouts. There was a throwing error from second to first that allowed the game-winning run to score.
The local team got a 30-minute break then faced Mississippi in an elimination game.
Williams pitched one inning with an error contributing to a run.
Bass pitched two scoreless innings, allowing one hit and striking out five.
Scott pitched two innings, allowing one run on three hits with two strikeouts.
Ivey closed out the game, pitching one inning and allowing no runs. After walking a batter, Ivey caught a line drive and threw the base runner out trying to get back to first.
N.C. scored three in the first, four in the third and one run each in the fourth and fifth innings.
Ashley Bliven had two singles and a triple. Emily Scott had two doubles and two RBIs. Harmony Horne had two doubles and two RBIs.
Bass hit the longest ball for N.C. of the World Series that hit the top of the fence. She had three RBIs. Lilly MCLamb had a single. Jazmin Rummel had a single. Anna Dudley had a sacrifice bunt. Lindsey Knoll had an RBI.
“Our girls were sort of going through the motions in the Mississippi game,” said coach Bass. “They were exhausted from playing at 1 30 a.m. against Mississippi, then playing an emotional extra-inning game with South Carolina, then finishing the night with a win over Mississippi.
“They are going to get some rest and come out to play S.C. on Wednesday.
“We have played on the last day of the World Series in 2016 and 2017 and will do the same for 2018. We are going to do our best to win it. Either way, not too many teams get to play in the last game at the World Series three years in a row.
“It is a special group of young ladies and coaches we have and they are representing Dunn and North Carolina well.”
Jordan Christopher pitched the first two innings for the North Carolina All-Stars. She had five strikeouts and allowed two hits with one walk. She yielded an unearned run.
Samantha Carter pitched one inning and struck out three.
Eva Kate McLamb pitched two innings with four strikeouts and no walks. She allowed one hit.
McLamb had two hits and an RBI for Dunn. Reagan Adams had an RBI. Eva Clark had a double. Kara Beth Benton and Addie Stanley had hits.
“We kind of fell off with the bats, but the pitching has come on,” said N.C. coach Cullen Clark.
The North Carolina team is unbeaten and faces once-beaten Georgia today at 5:30 p.m. for the championship of the double-elimination event.