Portland, Ore. – Warwick North took the decisive lead in the top of the 4th inning of the Little League Softball World Series semifinals against Iowa on Tuesday night, Aug. 18, and pitcher Emily Carter recorded a key strikeout to end the contest, 5-4, giving the local squad a berth in the finals match-up on Wednesday night.
After killing an Iowa rally by picking off Skyler Rigby at third in the bottom of the third inning, Warwick North scored a pair of runs in the home half of the fourth on a two-out double and followed up with scores on two Iowa errors to take a 5-2 lead.
Bryanna Rastella led off by reaching base on an error by Iowa center fielder Carley Wilson. After Sophia DeTroia drew a walk and advanced to second thanks to a single by Olivia Murray, Alyssa Richard drilled a shot into center that brought DeTroia and Murray home to take the lead, 3-2. Rastella had been caught in a force out at home.
Madison D’Amato scored on a wild pitch and Richard cinched the 5-2 advantage after Iowa 3B Hailey Steffen bobbled a Dyonna Rodas grounder.
Two misplayed grounders gave a spark of hope to the Central squad as they cut the lead to 5-4 in the bottom of the sixth before Manager Kevin DeTroia rallied his team and Carter whiffed Abby Husak to secure the win.
Carter pitched the complete game, allowing 4 runs on 7 hits and recording 3 strikeouts. Iowa’s Isabell Hobbs allowed 5 runs on 6 hits with 3 walks and 5 strikeouts.
For Warwick, Murray finished 2-for-2 with 2 runs, Rodas went 2-for-3 with 1 RBI, and D’Amato and Richard each went 1-for-4 in adding two more scores. Iowa’s Rigby and Mikayla Houge each went 2-for-3 with one run each in the losing effort.
Warwick faces North Carolina after the Southeast champion defeated Texas 8-0 in the other semifinal game played Tuesday night. The final is scheduled to be televised on ESPN2 on Wednesday at 9 p.m.
This story has been updated with information from GameChanger.com