Less than year after their ESPN-broadcasted Big League World Series victory representing Delaware District III, the Millsboro Little League team saw their dreams of a repeat performance for this year’s Little League World Series dashed, after a 3-1 loss to Laurel last Friday night.
In what was the 13th game of what was originally supposed to be a 12-game series, defensive errors were ultimately the difference, with Laurel scoring two unearned runs in the same inning.
“We gave up two unearned runs — I think that was the difference,” said coach Monroe “Monnie” Hudson after the game. “It could have been a 1-1 ball game. We didn’t hit like we’re capable of hitting. Hailey [Andrews] did a great job pitching for Laurel. She kept the ball outside. She got the calls that she was looking for. And we just didn’t get the key hits.”
Despite the girls not being able to hit their way out of the 3-1 deficit, they did hit well early on. Courtney Taite rocked a shot that fell just short of the leftfield fence and resulted in an RBI-double, to put her team up 1-0. However, Millsboro left two runners on in that inning.
That would be the team’s only run of the game, as the defensive woes began despite solid pitching from Mykala Steele.
“We told them we had to have good pitching and good defense — half of it was there,” said head coach Guy Wilkins. “We didn’t play the best defensive game that we played all year, but that’s the name of the game. You gotta come out and play every day, every inning, and it just wasn’t meant to be.”
With the win, Laurel will now represent host Delaware District III in this year’s Big League World Series beginning on Sunday, Aug. 3, in Roxana.
“I think they have the potential to do very well,” Hudson said of Laurel’s chances. “They’ve got good pitching. They’ve got a good bunch of girls over there.”