WARNER ROBINS -- Virginia avenged an opening defeat and took advantage of numerous mistakes in a 8-0 shutout victory over Tennessee in the championship game of the Little League Southeastern Regional Tournament on Monday.
The Virginians, represented by McLean Little League, recorded shutouts in their final four games of the tournament, outscoring their opponents by a combined 33-0.
Its just elation and excitement right now, Virginia manager Gerry Megas said. You put plans together, and they dont always work. Things worked this time, and both the kids and the families were great. It was a team effort all the way around.
Right-handed starter Gaby Norton picked up the complete-game victory by scattering just two hits and two walks in six innings of work.
Gaby is just an 11-year-old, and she pitched phenomenal under all that pressure, Megas said. Thats her second shutout, and shes not our ace. She got it done, and the kids behind her all made the plays when we needed them.
Tennessee entered the game at 4-0 and had beaten Virginia 6-3 in the opener for both teams, but the team struggled mightily on defense, committing seven errors.
Virginia took a four-run lead after the first inning and added three more in the second, cruising to a spot in the Little League Softball World Series.
Its McLeans first appearance in the World Series since that Little League won it all in 2005.
Its international, and you get to meet a lot of kids, Megas said. The atmosphere is very festive, and its a beautiful facility. Its just a great experience for these kids, and if theyre successful they get to be on TV.
The Virginians will now return home with a favorable impression of their time in Warner Robins before flying to Portland, Ore., later this week for the World Series.
The people here are absolutely great, Megas said. Everywhere we went people were just friendly, helpful and supportive. Its just a wonderful experience here with the facility and the region, but also the town. We felt very welcomed, and it added to the experience whether you win or lose.