Fittingly enough, the first Big League Softball World Series Championship crown to be awarded in Sussex County happened to be the host team of the event from Delaware District III.
Saturday’s Big League Softball World Series between the Sussex County All-Stars and Latin America (Puerto Rico), was broadcasted on ESPN where a national audience was treated with a very entertaining ball-game.
Delaware turned to Mykala Steele to take the pitcher’s circle on Saturday, and she was able to tough out a hard-fought victory keeping a talented Latin America team to only 6 runs on 8 hits.
Cailey Isaacs gave Delaware the early advantage, socking a three-run homerun to give them a 3-1 lead. However, the explosive bats of Latin America responded in the third inning, scoring 4 runs to take a 5-3 lead.
District III would respond, as they had done all week long, with 2 runs in the next half-inning to tie things up at 5 apiece.
In the fifth inning, Delaware would bat around scoring 6 runs in the inning to take a commanding 11-5 lead. Tiarra Duffy, Karlie Smith, and Kaitlyn Slater all tallied RBI’s in an inning capped off by a Steele two-run homerun, and District III never looked back.
“There are 16 young ladies on this team and all of them are very good softball players,” said District III Head Coach Guy Wilkins. “As far as hitting, we got a lot of timely hits and that comes from being in that situation throughout their careers and they know how to handle themselves.”
District III’s World Series win not only says a lot about the all-star talent assembled to represent the host team, but it speaks to the growing popularity of the sport in Sussex County.
“(Today’s performance) says what kind of talent we have in Sussex County, and just how big the sport has gotten here,” said Wilkins. “A lot of girls play travel ball and year-round between practices and tournaments, it just shows how strong softball is in this county.”
Georgetown-Millsboro was selected to represent District III after a best of 12 series against Woodbridge. Afterwards, Georgetown-Millsboro was allowed to add players to their squad from Woodbridge before the World Series Tournament began. And in that short time, the team as a whole began to gel, something that Coach Wilkins said happened rather quickly. From the beginning, District III came into the tournament to represent the First State and Sussex County. And in the end, they did it all as a team, including a relaxing day at the beach during their off-day.
“When we assembled this team it was the Georgetown-Millsboro all-stars playing Woodbridge in a best of 12,” said Wilkins. “After that we were allowed to pick players from Woodbridge and the 5 we chose blended in with what we already had and they contributed. Every time they were called on they stepped up. From what I saw, they had fun all week. We did everything as a team.”