By Kevin Eickman
This past Sunday the District I girls softball team was scheduled to face off against arch rival, District III in their opening game of the Little League Big League Softball World Series. Unknown to the Kent County sluggers, their were other issues they would have to deal with first. Just two hours prior to the 5pm start, a majority of the District I team started to fall ill. One after another they began to complain of stomach pain. Due to the unique set of circumstances, the tournament committee in Roxana had to contact Little League Baseball on advice on how to proceed. The decision was made to reschedule the game and have the team from District I seek treatment and medical clearance in Milford, prior to returning to the tournament.
The result was a Sunday evening trip to Milford Memorial Hospital, where eight of the players where diagnosed with a stomach virus. After confirmation that the virus was not contagious, the team returned to Roxana on Monday night for a pool play game against Latin America. Speaking with coach Fry before the game, he said that the team had done all they could to get ready for the game. “We spent the day trying to hydrate and feel as well as we could, we just have to go out there and do our best tonight and hope we can come up with a win,” Fry said. “It isn’t the ideal situation, but our calls are tough and won’t go down without a fight.”
It all looked to have been a bit too much for District I, as they fell behind Puerto Rico early in the game. After going in order to start the game, there was little they could do as Puerto Rico got off to a fast start, putting up three runs to start the game. District I responded in the second with a run. That was quickly answered by Puerto Rico who put up a pair in the third inning and looked to be cruising along with a four run lead headed into the fifth inning.
District I would not go quietly however as they erupted for five runs in the fifth inning, taking the lead for the first time in the game. It looked as if Puerto Rico would have an answer, as their first two batters got on in the bottom of the inning. Reed responded however, striking out two batters and inducing a third into an infield pop-up.
In the top of the sixth, third basemen Whitney DeMora would hit a solo home run. With the lead now 7-5 this would give Reed some room to work with, as she attempted to shutdown the powerful offense of Puerto Rico. The Latin American champs would once again challenge in the sixth as they got a runner to third base. The only problem was that it took Puerto Rico two ground outs to get that runner to third. Reed would shut down the challenge, getting her third ground ball out of the inning. Reed would secure the comeback win, allowing a lead off runner before setting down the next three batters.
With a 1-0 record, District I will play Europe-Africa today at 3 pm. They will then play a double header on Wednesday starting at 3 pm against the Southwest, before battling Host District III at 5:30 pm.