A new era has dawned in Little League softball in Middle Georgia.
Western Little Leagues 11-12 year olds defeated powerhouse Warner Robins American Little League 4-3 to earn its first state softball tournament berth.
Everyone has said if we make it through Warner Robins, were good, Western manager Mike Phillips said.
Warner Robins hasnt been defeated in districts for more than 10 years, former District 5 president Jimmy Dunn said.
Western put on a nail-biter down to the final batter.
Down by one in the top of the sixth with runners on first and second and none out, Warner Robins looked poised to make a comeback. But the defense of Western shut down the next three batters.
Hats off to them, WRALL manager Chuck Dagley said.
Dagley said his players couldnt get a rhythm going in their hitting against Western, much like in the first game between the teams earlier in the tournament.
Western pitcher Holly Phillips made batters pop-up time and again. There were nine pop flies for Warner Robins.
WRALL started off with a 1-0 lead in the top of the second with a Grace Hardee double to score Caitlyn Davis.
Western answered in the bottom of the third with a run-scoring triple by Marilyn NeSmith, who was hit in the chest by a throw from left field. NeSmith tagged up on the next pitch when Kassidy Hullett flew out to center field, giving Western a 2-1 lead.
In the bottom of the fourth, two more runs were scored by Western on a hit by Rebecca Johnson.
Warner Robins scored twice in the sixth, but Western kept the potential tying run from scoring.
Phillips said he told his players before the game he didnt want to see the if-necessary game Tuesday.
One and done, he said.
The state tournament starts July 14 in Rabun County.