WARNER ROBINS - Warner Robins American Little League rallied to score three unearned runs in the fifth inning, slipping past North Carolina, 6-3, in the final pool play game of the Little League Softball Southeastern Regional Tournament on Saturday.
Warner Robins earned the top seed out of Pool B and is scheduled to play West Virginia at 5 p.m. Sunday in a tournament semifinal. North Carolina finished as the second seed from Pool B and will play Florida at 7:30 p.m.
Trailing 3-2 entering the top of the fifth inning, Warner Robins rallied to take the lead. Cox drew a walk against Perry. Warner Robins right fielder Ashley Killebrew then doubled to right to put the tying and lead runs into scoring position.
Taylor Brown tried to bunt, but North Carolina catcher Tristan Johnson made a diving catch just in front of the plate for the first out. The effort drew a hug of thanks from Perry.
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But when the next Warner Robins hitter, Kayla Quakenbush, bunted in a similar place, Johnson couldn't make the play. She threw high to first base, allowing Cox and Killebrew to score. Quakenbush ended up at second and scored moments later when North Carolina second baseman LarkAnn Parks couldn't handle a throw to first on Amber Coy's bunt.
All told, North Carolina fielders were charged with six errors, including one on interference in the sixth inning. But Warner Robins did damage with its bats, as well.
Against Perry, who fanned 15 in her team's tournament opener against Alabama, Warner Robins pounded out 10 hits, including two for extra bases.First-baseman Avery Lamb had three hits, including a triple. Catcher Chelsea Whaley was 2-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI.
North Carolina opened the scoring with a run in the bottom of the first. Shortstop Caitlin Shepherd walked with one out. She moved to second on a Johnson's single. Shepherd then came home on a single by Kasay Nichols to give North Carolina an early 1-0 lead.
Warner Robins quickly tied the game in the second. Third baseman Taylor Brown walked and advanced to second when Tucker was hit by a pitch. After an infield hit by Sierra Stella loaded the bases, Whaley delivered a sharp single to left, scoring Brown and tying the game 1-1.
North Carolina took the lead again in its half of the third inning. With two outs and Johnson at first, Perry drove a line drive to the corner in left field. Johnson scored from first and Perry wound up at third with a triple. She scored on the next pitch when Kasay Nichols singled home her second run of the game.
Warner Robins cut its deficit to 3-2 when Lamb tripled home Whaley with two outs in the top of the fourth., then took the lead in the fifth.
With Warner Robins batting in the top of the sixth inning, lightning strikes in the area forced a 2-hour, 40-minute delay. Warner Robins shortstop Melissa Cox delivered an RBI single off North Carolina starter Kaitlyn Perry when the two teams returned to the field.
Warner Robins 010 131 - 6 10 1North Carolina 102 000 - 3 5 6WP: Ashley Killebrew. LP: Kaitlyn Perry. S: Amber Coy.3B: NC - Kaitlyn Perry; WR - Avery Lamb2B: WR - Killebrew