La Verne eliminated in Little League Softball World Series

PHOTO: La Verne Little League (La Verne Little League)

The all-star team from the La Verne Little League was eliminated from the Little League Softball World Series Friday with a 6-1 weather-delayed loss to its counterpart from the Pitt County Girls Softball Little League in a rematch of the openers for both teams.

Pitt County had five consecutive batters reach base with two outs in the top of the third inning, scoring four runs. All the runs were unearned because of a two-out, two-base error by Ava Fisher, the La Verne third baseman, on a ground ball hit by Ava Coward, that allowed Harper Bradley, who singled, to score the first run.

Michelle Jenkins, the next batter, doubled in Coward and scored on Sarah Booth's single. Booth advanced to second on the throw to the plate and scored on two wild pitches by Katie Coldiron.

Pitt County combined back-to-back singles, a sacrifice, a run-scoring wild pitch and a sacrifice fly for two runs in the fifth in the six-inning game.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: La Verne community rallying for local team in Little League Softball World Series

La Verne scored its run in the fourth inning. Sofia Ayaberrano and Zoey Colburn began the inning with back-to-back singles and advanced to second and third on pinch-hitter Bailey Osborne's sacrifice. Ayaberrano scored on Fisher's sacrifice fly.

La Verne was out-hit, 8-5, with Laney Sweeney getting two of its hits, a first-inning single and leadoff double in the seventh.

Coward struck out four and walked one. Coldiron struck out six and walked one.

The game was scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time, but the first pitch didn't occur until 1:34 p.m. because of weather conditions in the Greenville, North Carolina area.

Pitt County, the North Carolina champion, will next play Saturday against the loser of game between the all-star teams from the Chesterfield Little League of Chesterfield, Virginia, the Southeast Region champion, and the Midway Little League of Hewitt, Texas, the Southwest Region champion, to be played later Friday.

Pitt County, based in Winterville, North Carolina, earned a spot in the World Series as the host region champion.

Six teams from the original field of 12 will remain in contention for the championship at the conclusion of Friday's play. The tournament is set to conclude Monday.

La Verne defeated Pitt County, 9-2, Tuesday, with Coldiron allowing two runs, both unearned, and three hits over five innings. She also doubled in a run during La Verne's three-run second inning, its lone extra-base hit.

La Verne avoided elimination Thursday with a 7-1 victory over the all- star team from the Issaquah Little League of Issaquah, Washington, the Northwest Region champion, scoring six runs in the sixth inning to break a 1-1 tie. Pitt County avoided elimination later Thursday with an 8-0 victory over the all-star team from the Guayama Softball Little League of Guayama, Puerto Rico, the Latin American champion.

Thursday's game was the first for Pitt County since its loss to La Verne.

La Verne, the West Region champion, was relegated to the elimination bracket in the modified double-elimination tournament after losing 6-1 Wednesday to Chesterfield.

La Verne was 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.