The all-star team from the La Verne Little League opened play in the Little League Softball World Series Tuesday with a 9-2 victory over its counterpart from the Pitt County Girls Softball Little League.
La Verne is scheduled to face the all-star team from the Chesterfield Little League of Chesterfield, Virginia, the Southeast Region champion, at 4 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time Wednesday. The game will be streamed on ESPN+.
Chesterfield will be playing its opener in the modified double-elimination tournament being played in Greenville, North Carolina.
Wednesday’s winner will advance to Friday’s Orange Bracket Winner’s Bracket final, while the loser will play in an elimination bracket game at 10 a.m. PDT Thursday
Winning pitcher Katie Coldiron allowed two runs, both unearned, and three hits over five innings, striking out four and walking two. She also doubled in a run during La Verne’s three-run second inning, the team’s lone extra-base hit.
All of La Verne’s second-inning runs came with two outs. Ava Fisher, La Verne’s No. 9 hitter, singled in Sofia Ayaberrano, who walked to lead off the inning. Erin Garcia, who had also walked, also scored on the play on an errant throw home by Logan Smith, the Pitt County center fielder, which also allowed Fisher to take second.
Coldiron doubled in Fisher.
Ryan Torres singled leading off La Verne’s half of the third and moved to second when third baseman Ava Coward misplayed a ground ball by Laney Sweeney for an error. Torres stole third and Sweeny stole second two pitches later.
After Ayaberrano struck out, pinch-hitter Bailey Osborne was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Kylie Chavez grounded to Sarah Booth, the Pitt County first baseman, but Torres beat the throw to the plate, with Sweeny taking third on what was ruled to be a fielder’s choice. Sweeney scored two pitches later on a wild pitch, increasing La Verne’s lead to 5-0.
Pitt County, the North Carolina champion which earned a spot in the 12-team tournament as the host region champion, scored both its runs in the fourth. Jenkins led off with a walk, advanced to second on Booth’s fly out, stole third and scored on a passed ball.
Kamdyn Haislip walked on a full-count pitch and was replaced by special pinch-runner Kinsey White, who scored on an error by Torres, the La Verne shortstop, on a bunt by Kayla Johnson.
La Verne combined a leadoff walk to Coldiron, singles by Laila Washington and Ayaberrano, an error and a passed ball for four runs in its half of the fourth inning in the six-inning game.
La Verne out-hit Pitt County, 7-5, with Torres and Washington both singling twice.
La Verne is attempting to become the fourth team from Los Angeles County to win the World Series, and the first since 1990 when the all-star team from the Foothill Little League in Glendale won. Los Angeles County’s other two champions were also from Glendale.
The tournament is set to conclude Monday.