The Warner Robins American Little League 11-12 softball team claimed the state championship Thursday, wrapping up a spot in the regional set to take place July 30-Aug. 3 at Little League Southeast Park.
Warner Robins defeated Columbus Northern 10-1 in the finale of the state tournament at Pioneer Little League in Columbus. It was the third meeting between the teams in the state tournament: Northern won the first meeting 2-1 on Monday, with Warner Robins bouncing back two nights later with a 12-0 win to force the if-necessary game of the double-elimination tournament.
In Thursday’s finale, Warner Robins broke things open in the top of the fourth with a four-run inning. Rylee Lamb doubled to start the inning, then a hit batter, a base hit by Maddie Langevin and a Northern error drove home Warner Robins’ runs to make it a 5-1 game.
Warner Robins added five runs in the fifth, with Langevin’s bases-loaded triple powering the inning. Taylor Corley and Ellie Williams also had run-producing singles.
Emma Williams, Corley and Langevin each had two hits. Lamb was the winning pitcher.
The team will start the Little League Southeast Regional Tournament July 30 against Florida at 5 p.m.
Raegan Stella, daughter of manager Roger Stella and sister of Sierra Stella, who won back-to-back Little League Softball World Series titles in 2009 and 2010, is excited to play at the field just a stone’s throw from the fields she has played on all of her life.
Her sister, who has been in the same position twice, gave her younger sibling some advice.
“She told me to ‘stay calm, have fun and play like I always do,’’’ Raegan said.
The girls will get their shot soon to see if they can make a run at a chance for glory and a trip to Oregon, where the softball World Series is held.
For now, Raegan is focused on region play.
“I’m excited and happy I get to play with my teammates in front of our hometown at regionals,” she said.
The 9-10 year old baseball team from Warner Robins made it to the state championship game but lost 18-8 to Murphey Candler Little League on Sunday.