The Lower Sussex Little League Major League All-Stars were off to the state tournament on Monday, June 10, after bringing home the Delaware District III softball title on Saturday, July 8, for players ages 11 and 12.
The 9-3 victory over Laurel came just one day after the squad’s 4-3 victory over that team on Friday, July 7, with Lower Sussex needing the back-to-back wins in order to clinch.
“We wanted to come out early and score first,” said LSLL head coach Sarah Hoban of Saturday’s championship game. “They put up four runs in the first inning, and I don’t think they ever let up after that, so we’re just really proud of the girls. It was a complete team effort from top to bottom.”
Working their way through the bracket, the Major League All-Stars had pulled off major victories throughout, with an 8-0 shutout over Millsboro on Friday, June 30, 17-0 shutout over Woodbridge on Sunday, June 2, and 12-2 win over Cape Henlopen on Wednesday, July 5.
Their only loss had come to Laurel, during Game 2 of the tournament, in an 11-6 contest on Saturday, July 1.
Headed into the rematch, however, Hoban and LSLL coaches Chad Hall and Amy Hall told their squad to stay focused on fundamentals, rather than revenge.
“Every team in District III is going to be tough, but I think we knew Laurel was going to be one of our tougher matchups,” said Hoban.
“But after that first game, we let the girls know that, really, we beat ourselves. We wanted to go into the next two games with the mindset of making sure to limit errors and trying to take things one out at a time.”
The “18-outs” strategy remained the mantra as Lower Sussex looked this week to boost the state championship banner and punch their ticket to regionals next, behind a seasoned young squad of All-Stars.
While team chemistry has been a prime factor, prime contributors at the plate during the district tournament run included RBI leader Lania Lewis, runs leader Kinsley Hall (who accounted for three of four total runs in the team’s second matchup against Laurel) and triples leader Logan Marvel.
On defense, LSLL has been led by catcher Lily Hoban behind the plate and pitcher Camryn Ehlers in the circle.
“We consider Camryn to be one of the best pitchers in the state and have a great defense backing her up,” said Sarah Hoban.
“For a lot of these girls, this is their third year in a row playing together through LSLL, so it’s just been really fun to watch and be a part of such a great group. They’re all so talented and work so well together. All tournament, it was a great team effort all the way around.”
Lower Sussex got their state tournament play started with a 2-1 win over District I (Camden-Wyoming) on Monday, July 10, and 6-1 loss to District II (Canal) on Tuesday, July 11.
They were set to face District I in a rematch on Wednesday, July 12, (after Coastal Point press time). For the full bracket, visit www.dedistrict3.org.