Wheelersburg softball captures LLWS title
PORTLAND, Ore. — Wheelersburg, world champions.
Ace left-handed pitcher Andi-Jo Howard retired 16 consecutive batters to help Ohio (Wheelersburg) defeat Pennsylvania (Tunkhannock) 3-0 Wednesday night in the championship game of the age 11-12 Little League Softball World Series.
Howard struck out seven and allowed three hits.
Wheelersburg scored the only run it needed when in the fourth inning Madison Kotcamp doubled, then scored on Haley Myers’ bloop single to right field. Myers came home on an error to make it 2-0.
Wheelersburg, representing the United States Central Region, scored again in the sixth, thanks to a pair of Tunkhannock miscues. Sydney Skiver reached on an error and moved to second on a single to center by Kotcamp. Both runners advanced on a sacrifice bunt. After Myers reached on a dropped pop-up to load the bases, Emma Smith hit into a fielder’s choice to plate Skiver and set the score.
Tunkhannock threatened with two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning when Ella McNeff and Elaina Kulsicavage singled, bringing the tying run to the plate. Howard, though, coaxed Kayla Hannon to ground out to first base to end the threat and set off Wheelersburg’s celebration.
Kotcamp and Myers both had two hits for Wheelersburg’s total of four.
In postseason play, Wheelersburg outscored its opponents 125-19 to finish 16-2 en route to the world championship.
Tunkhannock, representing the U.S. East Region, hurt its effort by committing three errors as Wheelersburg became the first girls or boys team from Ohio to win a Little League World Series.
Thursday night, fans planned to meet the team met at the Pike County/Scioto County line and lead a caravan to the Gene Bennett Baseball Park in Wheelersburg for a celebration.
Bennett, a longtime scout for the Cincinnati Reds and whose name is memorialized on the Little League fields, died a year ago to the date of the Wheelersburg championship.