Pioneer falls in extra innings in SE Regional

WARNER ROBINS, Ga. — Tennessee forced extra innings and came up big to defeat Columbus Pioneer 3-2 in 10 innings Friday in the Little League Softball Southeastern Regional tournament.

Taylor Adkins came up the hero for Tennessee in the winners bracket game when she hit a line-drive double to the right-field fence and scored Madison Berner.

According to Little League Southeastern Region assistant director Matt Weber, it was the longest softball game in the Southeastern Region tournament since a 2005 game between Alabama and South Carolina.

Raelee Weaver, Pioneer’s pitcher, gave up seven hits and pitched all 10 innings with 14 strikeouts. She threw 140 pitches.

In the loss, Weaver had a ball hit her directly in the chin in the fourth inning on a single by Taylor Adkins. The 12-year-old pitcher fought through and continued to pitch the next sixth inning.

“She’s a tough cookie,” manager Chuck Landrum said.

The marathon game, which started an hour late because of rain, lasted nearly three hours.

Tennessee used two pitchers: Madison Haught, who started, and Madisen Blackwell. They combined for six strikeouts.

Pioneer’s only scoring came in the top of the third inning. Weaver drew her second walk of the afternoon, and Kamdyn Fuller walked after her. Jada Chadwick’s connected on a double, driving home Weaver.

The next batter was Sammie Cotton, who walked. Kennedi Bedell came in and recorded a sacrifice, scoring Fuller.Tennessee’s first run came in the fourth, when Blackwell hit an RBI single.

Adkins scored the tying run in the bottom of the sixth with one out on a errant throwback from the catcher to the pitcher.

Blackwell was 2-for-4 with an RBI for Tennessee. Adkins was 2-for-5 with the game-winning RBI.

“It was a hard-fought ball game,” Landrum said.

Georgia will play South Carolina at 11 a.m. on Saturday in an elimination game, while Tennessee will play Virginia at noon on Sunday for a spot in the regional championship game.