Little League

Georgia blasts Florida in Little League Southeastern Regional

WARNER ROBINS -- Georgia pounded out 15 hits and got no-hit pitching from Rylee Lamb to cruise to a 15-0 win over Florida in its first game of the Little League 11-12-year-old Southeastern Regional softball tournament Thursday.

Emma Williams led the way for Georgia with four hits and three RBI.

“I have been wanting to play in this tournament for as long as I can remember, and it’s really like a dream come true to finally make it here,” said Williams, whose twin sister Ellie had three hits. “This was a really fun game because we came out early and put the bat on the ball, which just relaxed everyone. We know we have a long way to go, but it is great to get a win in the first game.”

Georgia wasted no time getting on the board. It scored twice in the first on RBI hits by Emma Williams and Lamb and added four more runs on the second. After scoring one more in the third, Georgia put the game away in the fourth by scoring eight times on seven hits. Emma Williams and Lamb both had two hits in the fourth inning.

Jenna Thomas also had three hits for Georgia to go with two RBI. Meanwhile Lamb was strong on the mound, striking out five batters in her four innings and retiring 12 of the 15 batters she faced.

“I was really nervous at the beginning of the game because we really didn’t know much about the team we were playing, but I just wanted to go out and do my best,” said Lamb, who also had three hits. “Once we put some runs on the board, I was able to relax and get in a little bit of a groove, but I still don’t think it was one of my better games. I feel like I will get better as the tournament progresses, though.”

In Thursday’s other games, North Carolina beat South Carolina 10-0, and Tennessee beat West Virginia 3-2. In Friday’s games, Georgia faces Tennessee at 2 p.m., while Virginia plays North Carolina at 11 a.m., and West Virginia plays Florida at 5 p.m.

“I am sure we had some nervous kids, but really, as soon as Ellie Williams led off the game with a hit, everyone started to relax,” Georgia head coach Roger Stella said. “I know it is always important to get a win in the first game, and it was good to hit the ball like we did. Florida is a very good team, and if we play them again, it could be a much closer ballgame. We know there are some quality teams here, and we will just have to keep improving every game.”