PORTLAND, Ore. — Pioneer had rallied to win the championship in the state tournament and the Southeast Regional. But its run came to an end Tuesday night in a tough 2-1 semifinal loss to Bossier City, La., at Alpenrose Stadium in the Little League Softball World Series.
Pioneer trailed 2-1 heading into the top of the sixth inning, the last inning in Little League.
The inning started out promising as first baseman Jada Chadwick crushed a shot to the fence in right center field. After hesitating near second, Chadwick raced to third ahead of the throw for a triple.
But when she slid into the bag, the bag came loose. Chadwick stepped off the bag into foul territory to dust off her uniform. However, she didn’t call for time, and Bossier City’s third baseman Carly Atwood tagged her out.
“Jada hit a good triple, and I’m still not sure what happened,” Pioneer manager Chuck Landrum said. “That was tough. We had Jada on third, and that was our comeback run. We couldn’t get the breaks that we needed to go our way.”
After another out was made, Pioneer got two runners on. Kennedi Bedell singled and stole seecond. Lindsey Sanders singled to shallow right field, and Bedell was held at third base.
Bossier City then got the final out, ending Pioneer’s season.
“We had the momentum going, but just came up a bit short,” Landrum said. “I think the best team just lost.”
Pioneer will play in the third-place game at 5 p.m. Wednesday, facing the loser of the late semifinal between Tallmadge, Ohio, and Robbinsville, N.J.
“It’s an emotional game, but we’ve got to come back and get in the groove,” Landrum said. “We have to let them know that they still have a game to play.”
Bossier City got on the scoreboard early when on a bases-loaded single by Nicole Webb. Pioneer avoided further damage when pitcher Raelee Weaver gloved a high-hopper in the circle for the third out.
Pioneer tied the game in the fourth when Sammie Cotton and Bedell connected for back-to-back singles. Lindsey Sanders put a ground ball in play that brought Cotton across the plate for what would prove to be the team’s only run of the day.
Bossier scored the winning run in the bottom of the fifth after Mentzer sent a lead-off double to straight center field. She scored two batters later when Elizabeth Hillier sent a hit that seemed to fly in slow motion to the left-field gap for an RBI-double.
Cotton gobbled up a ground ball near second base to keep the deficit at a single run. —