Logan Little League lost its Little League Softball Southeast Regional opener, 3-1, to Unicoi County (TN) Monday evening at Little League Southeast Park in Warner Robins, GA (Photo courtesy of Randy Lackey).
Bill Lusk | WVOW Sports
WARNER ROBINS, GEORGIA Olivia Nasser’s infield single deflected off the glove of first basemen Katie Hall before striking the first base scoring two runs as part of a three-run fifth inning as the Unicoi County Little League inched past Logan Little League 3-1 in the Little League Softball Southeast Regional Monday evening at Little League Southeast Park.
In a game of inches, Nasser was nearly rung on a called third strike that would have ended the inning, leaving the bases stranded for the Tennessee Little League and keeping Logan in front 1-0 heading to the sixth.
However, the home plate umpire called the pitch a ball as the count evened at 2-2. Four pitches later, Nasser hit a grounder up the first base line, which deflected off the glove of Hall and then the first base bag to score Mallory Nuckols and Madison Van Tassell for a 2-1 lead.
Nasser’s at bat followed a 10-pitch at bat by Ava Hanson, which resulted in Hanson fouling off four two strike pitches from Mollie Barnette before drawing a walk to load the bases.
Barnette, who relived starting pitcher Zoe Chaney to start the fifth, allowed three runs, walked one and gave up one hit in 2/3 innings. Barnette was the losing pitcher for Logan. Chaney, who reentered the circle to face Nasser, allowed six hits and struck out six in 4 1/3 innings.
Unicoi scored its third run on a Logan fielding error to take a 3-1 lead to the final inning.
With her team three outs away from victory, Laci Gobble retired Logan in order, striking out two of three batters in the sixth to advance Tennessee to Tuesday’s winner’s bracket where they will face McLean (VA) Little League at 3 PM.
Gobble allowed a first inning run, gave up three hits, walked two and struck out 10 in a complete game performance. Ayla Horney had two hits and Willow Bennett, Emma Grace Anders, Nasser, Abigail Patterson, and Van Tassell each had one hit.
Lilly Fleming drew a leadoff walk to start the first for Logan, stole second and was sacrificed to third when Miley Fleming laid down a perfect bunt. Ayla Vance followed Miley’s bunt with a run scoring single to left to plate Lilly giving Logan a 1-0 lead.
Chaney worked out of a bases loaded jam in the second to keep Logan out in front as she was able to get Nuckols to ground out to Hall at first base for the second out. Hall then threw to Vance, who tagged out Bennett at the plate for the final out.
Logan missed an opportunity to add to its 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth. Rylee Miller started the inning with a single, Lilly Fleming walked, and Miley Fleming singled to load the bases with no outs.
Vance flew out to center deep enough to score Miller, however, Miller ventured too far off the third base bag and was unable to tag. Gobble stuck out Emma Lackey and Hall ending the fourth.
Vance finished with one hit and one RBI for Logan while Miley Fleming had one hit including a sacrifice bunt, Miller singled and Lilly Fleming drew two walks and scored a run.
Logan will look to stave off elimination Tuesday night when they play Trenholm (SC) Little League at 6 PM.
2023 Little League Softball Southeast Regional
Monday July 24
Game 1 Pitt County (NC) 8, Niceville Valparaiso (FL) 2
Game 2 McLean (VA) 16, Trenholm (SC) 1
Game 3 Unicoi County (TN) 3, Logan (WV) 1
Tuesday July 25
Game 4 Warner Robins (GA) Vs Pitt County (NC) 12 Noon
Game 5 Unicoi County (TN) Vs McLean (VA) 3:00 PM
Game 6 Logan (WV) Vs Trenholm (SC) 6:00 PM
Wednesday July 26
Game 7 Niceville Valparaiso (FL) Vs Loser Game 5 11:00 AM
Game 8 Loser Game 4 Vs Winner Game 6 2:00 PM
Thursday July 27
Game 9 Winner Game 7 Vs Winner Game 8 10:00 AM
Game 10 Winner Game 4 Vs Winner Game 5 1:00 PM
Game 11 Winner Game 9 Vs Loser Game 10 5:00 PM
Friday July 28
Game 12 Game 10 Winner Vs Winner Game 11 11:00 AM