Daniel Boone exploded for nine first-inning runs — and then duplicated the feat in the second inning — earning an 18-0 win over South Carolina in a game that was called after 2 1/2 innings. The blowout came in the opening round of the Little League Softball Southeast Regional tournament in Warner Robins, Georgia, on Thursday.
“Our girls were dialed in and focused,” said manager Lori Jenkins. “I told them before the game that this game is about heart. This game will come down to who wants it more. No one will give you anything; you have to earn it. All from that, they explode at the plate.”
Defending tournament champion Boone advanced to play West Virginia on Friday at 11 a.m. The winner of that game moves into the winners’ bracket final on Sunday. The championship is set for Monday at 10 a.m, and the winner advances to the Little League Softball World Series in Portland, Oregon.
Boone pounded out seven hits in the bottom of the first inning. Riley Croley got things started with a double, and Josie Jenkins was hit by a pitch. Kyleigh Bacon plated both runners with a triple to center field.
Kayleigh Musser reached on a fielder’s choice, and Ava Saul followed with an RBI single to make it 3-0.
Sadie Henson drove in a run with a single, and Lillie Walters pushed across two more with a single. With one out, Taylor Brinn drove in a run with a groundout to make it 7-0.
Croley returned to the plate and singled. In her second at-bat, Jenkins hit a home run over the left field fence for the nine-run advantage.
SECOND TIME AROUND
In the second inning, Boone got a pair of runs on passed balls and another on a groundout for a 12-0 lead. Bacon then added an RBI single.
Boone got three runs on the next play when Saul’s grounder got past the first baseman. An error in the outfield allowed the other two runs to score.
Henson made it 17-0 with an RBI single, and the final run scored on a wild pitch.
Bacon finished with two hits and three RBIs to lead Boone. Henson and Walters each had two hits and two RBIs. Croley had two hits and scored three times. Jenkins had two RBIs and scored three runs.
IN THE CIRCLE
Musser pitched all three innings, allowing just one hit. She walked two and struck out two.