GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Pitt County’s run to the Little League Softball World Series this week took one dramatic turn after another, each time the team rallying for a win all the way to the finals.
However, in Sunday’s title game against Massapequa Park, NY, the magic ran out. Mistakes against the Mid-Atlantic Champion proved costly as that and timely hitting led to a 5-2 win for the New York team.
It’s the first World Series title for a New York team. Pitt County was also seeking its first-ever World Series title and the third for North Carolina overall.
Massapequa Park, NY, which finished unbeaten in the tournament, had to rally after falling behind in its first two games of the tournament. On Sunday, they got off to a good start and never looked back.
Pitt County’s Brooke Rose hit a screamer to center with two outs in the top of the first but was thrown out trying to take third base. That play was momentum for Massapequa Park, which scored three in the bottom half and never looked back.
With one out. Alexis Fontana reached on an error and Olivia Feldman singled, eventually putting runners on second and third. Fontana scored on a failed pickoff throw to third, giving Mid-Atlantic a 1-0 lead. Abigail Long then launched a double to center that scored Feldman, giving the Mid-Atlantic champions a 2-0 lead. Emma Brown then singled in Long, who slid in under the tag at home, to extend the lead to 3-0.
Monica Jones, who started the game on the mound for Pitt County, was replaced by Brooklyn Medhus after Long’s hit. Medhus got the last two outs of the first and pitched the rest of the way. However, the Mid-Atlantic champs were not done scoring.
In the second, with two outs, Mia Victor singled and Jocelyn Vandenberg doubled. Pitt County’s throw to third to try to get Victor went wide, allowing her to score to give New York a 4-0.
Pitt County tried to rally in the third. With one out, Rayne Knittle doubled and went to third after Riley Shaw reached on an error. One out later and after Shaw stole second, Aurora Edwards hit a triple to center that scored Knittle and Shaw, making it 4-2.
That would be all the scoring for Pitt County. Rose reached on an error in the fourth but was thrown out trying to steal second. Massapequa Park worked the side in the fifth before Shaw drew a walk with two outs in the sixth. Lily Whitehurst popped out to the pitcher to end it.
The Mid-Atlantic champs scored in the fourth. Sienna Erker singled and scored two outs later when Cassie Van Schuyler singled.
Hewitt, Texas (Southwest Champion) 5, Milford, Connecticut (New England Champion) 1
Defending champion Hewitt, Texas, scored three in the fifth inning to pull away for the win. Hewitt used eight hits to spark the win, scoring a run in the first inning.
Massapequa Park, NY (Mid-Atlantic Champion) 5, Milford, Connecticut (New England Champion) 1
Pitt County (Southeast Champion) 4, Hewitt, Texas (Southwest Champion) 3
Third-place game: Hewitt Texas (Southwest Champion) 5, Milford, Connecticut (New England Champion) 1
World Series title game: Massapequa Park, NY (Mid-Atlantic Champion) 5, Pitt County (Southeast Champion) 2