Milford, Laurel could make Big League World Series championship run

Date Published: 
August 8, 2014

Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark : Big League USA East out of Milford cheers on Shaina Reed after she hit a homerun against District III in Game 2 of the World Series.Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark : Big League USA East out of Milford cheers on Shaina Reed after she hit a homerun against District III in Game 2 of the World Series.Players have come from all over the world to compete in the Big League Softball World Series at the Pyle Center in Roxana, but one of the teams best positioned to challenge for a championship through the first three days of tournament play is USA East — which only had to travel from Milford to get there.

Located just outside the district in which they would have been able to compete for a host-team bid, the Delaware District I squad had to win at regionals in Worcester, Mass., to get back to Delaware for the World Series — and they haven’t slowed down since.

As of Wednesday morning, the squad is 3-0, having outscored their opponents 20-10 collectively and leading the Big League Pool A Division in the process.

Not only did they pull off a 6-5 win against District III host team Laurel, lea by First-Team All-State pitcher Regan Green, but they also put together a commanding victory against a tough Asia-Pacific (Manilla, Philippines) team 10-3 on Tuesday.

“These girls and I — it’s been a struggle trying to beat Reagan and this team all together, and being able to beat them today was awesome. It was great,” said USA East pitcher and Polytech graduate Shaina Reed after Sunday’s 6-5 win against Laurel to start the tournament.

Reed and teammate Cassetty Howerin both homered off Green in that matchup.

USA East was scheduled to play Latin America in their fourth game of the series on Wednesday, Aug. 6, (after Coastal Point press time), but no matter the outcome of that game, they should still be well-positioned for a semi-finals bid.

Notably, Latin America (San Juan, Puerto Rico) sat a 1-1 at press time, with their only loss being to Asia-Pacific on Monday night, in a 10-9 heartbreaker that went to extra innings despite a previously game-tying grand slam from Marielys Rivera.

The Delaware District III team also had their championship hopes still alive after Tuesday’s 3-0 victory over USA Southeast put them at 1-1 in the Pool A Division.

Former Woodbridge pitcher Hailey Andrews was a huge contributor in that matchup, not only putting her squad up 2-0 in the fourth inning with a two-run homer but also notching 12 strikeouts from the pitcher’s circle. District III was set to face Asia-Pacific on Wednesday.

If either Milford or Laurel is able to get all the way to the championship, they could face Big League B Pool Division leader USA Central, comprising the District 9 All-Stars from Grand Rapids, Mich. Leading their pool at 3-0 and with five World Series titles under their belt since the venue moved to Roxana, the team has their sights set on another for 2014.

“We came here to win this,” said Central manager Jeff Edgerle after a sixth-inning comeback victory on Tuesday. “I would hope every team came here to win this. You’re gonna make the trip — that’s why you come, is to win this tournament. We came here just like everybody else to win this thing, and we put ourselves in position to do just that.”

After the semi-final brackets have been set, the first seed in Pool A will face the second seed in Pool B, in a game to be broadcast live from Layton Field on ESPN-U at 4 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 8. The other semi-final matchup will air on ESPN-U the same day, at 7 p.m., featuring the first seed in Pool B going against the second seed in Pool A.

The Big League championship game will air live on ESPN-2 at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 9.

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