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North Carolina defeats West Virginia to set up winner-takes-all showdown at Tournament of State Champions

Little League SoftballClarksville, TN – North Carolina picked up two wins, July 28th on Moore Field at Merricourt Park, including handing West Virginia a 14-3 setback for its first loss in the 9-10-year old Little League Tournament of State Champions to set up a winner take all second championship game.

But even before the title game could start there was a little controversy between the two squads, with a coach from each team getting into a nose-to-nose confrontation over warm-ups – with both coaches being removed from the game by the umpiring crew and not allowed to be on the field or in the dugouts for the game.

The championship game itself wasn’t a contest right from the start, with North Carolina sending up 14 batters in the bottom of the first inning in scoring eight runs.

Walks were the main culprit in North Carolina getting out of the gate quickly, with West Virginia starting pitcher Taylor Glancy walking three of the first four North Carolina batters to load the bases.

Ellie Wilhelm would bring in the first run of the game with a single, with a second run coming in on the play off a throwing error.

Another walk would reload the bases, followed by an RBI single from Kaylin Dowling and an RBI groundout by Emily Cipolla.

Kary Hales would have a two-run single later in the inning, along with North Carolina scoring runs on a wild pitch and another error by West Virginia.

Hales finished the game with three RBIs.

The second inning wasn’t much better for West Virginia, as North Carolina scored five more runs to extend its lead out to 13-0 after two innings of play – with Megyn Spicer highlighting the inning with a three-run double.

Spicer would finish the game going 2-for-2 at the plate, with two runs scored and three RBIs.

North Carolina would tack-on a final run in the bottom of the third inning to lead 14-0 before West Virginia broke up the shutout with three runs in the top of the fourth inning – coming on a two-run triple by Alivia Nunley – who also scored on a North Carolina error.

Bailey Gilbert would record two of West Virginia’s four hits in the loss.

North Carolina reached the championship game by defeating Georgia 8-1 earlier in the evening, keyed by a three-run third inning and a four-run sixth inning.

Trailing Georgia 1-0, North Carolina took the lead for good by taking advantage of an error and two walks following back-to-back singles by Allison Ennis and Hales to open the third inning.

In fact, the only RBI recorded by North Carolina in the frame came on a sacrifice fly by Dowling.

North Carolina would and a run in the fifth inning on an RBI single by Morgan Humble, to make it 4-1, but would break the game open in the sixth inning with four more runs – including Taylor Walton, Ellen Yang and Kenadi Sproul picking up an RBI each.

Georgia’s lone run came in the bottom of the second inning off an RBI double by Brooke Evans, scoring Sadye Johnson – who had also doubled.

North Carolina and West Virginia will meet for the third time in the tournament – with each recording a win against the other – with the title on the line at 7:00pm on July 29th.

Chris Austin
Chris Austinhttp://www.clarksvillesportsnetwork.com
Chris Austin is a graduate of Clarksville High School and Austin Peay State University. Chris is a former Head Softball Coach for APSU, and assistant basketball coach for CHS. Chris has worked at the Leaf-Chronicle, and WJZM News/Talk/Sports radio. Has also worked at the Sports Information Department at APSU, and has covered championship events for the Ohio Valley Conference and NCAA. Chris is an avid sports fan and can be found at most Austin Peay State University sports events.

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