ELBERTON — The underdogs put up a valiant effort, but in the end the Warner Robins American Little League all-stars’ bats were too much for Baldwin County.
The defending World Series softball champions rolled to the 11- and 12-year-old state softball title with a 12-7 victory Thursday night. WRALL advanced to the Southeastern Region tournament, which begins next Thursday at the new Little League Southeast Park in Warner Robins.
WRALL led throughout, but was tested. Baldwin County cut the lead to four, 11-7, in the bottom of the fifth on a triple by Sutton Long. Long was then awarded home on an interference call.
But Avery Lamb, who pitched a complete game to earn the victory, struck out the next two batters to retire the side and end the threat.
“It wasn’t my best game,” said Lamb, who also drove in three runs.
Lamb, who played on last year’s team, said this year’s state championship was a little less stressful. Last year, WRALL had to win two consecutive games to claim the title after dropping a game earlier in the tournament. This year’s team is undefeated so far in the district and state tournaments.
Hayley Tierce had three hits for Warner Robins, and Sierra Stella was 2-for-2 with two RBI.
For Baldwin County, Karlie Harding was 3-for-4 and drove in three runs. Long had two hits, including the triple, and two RBI.
“We have nothing to be ashamed of,” said manager for Baldwin County Walter Green.
“We needed to play near perfect against this quality team.”
Warner Robins will now begin preparing for the regional tournament. WRALL will play next Thursday at 1 p.m. against Blue Ridge Little League from South Carolina in its first pool play game. The team then plays July 30 at 10 a.m. against Phenix City Little League of Alabama, and again July 31 at 7 p.m. against a yet-to-be-determined team from North Carolina.
To contact writer Angela Woolen, call 923-5650.