Louisiana stays perfect, advances to Little League Softball championship game

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Nothing has stopped Louisiana, and it doesn’t plan to stop, either.

Louisiana kept its record perfect in the 16-and-under Little League Softball Southwestern Region Tournament Tuesday night, posting a 7-2 win over West Texas.

With the win, Louisiana advances to tonight’s championship game at 7 p.m. The winner will claim a spot in the Senior League World Series.

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“It feels good,” Louisiana coach Tate Lipscomb said. “I think they know it’s within grasp.”

Louisiana pitched its third consecutive complete game Tuesday, this time led by Alyssa Howard.

Howard recorded three strikeouts in the win and gave up just one earned run.

“She told me after the game that it was her first time pitching all seven innings. She threw strikes, that was the main thing,” Lipscomb said. “She was hitting her spots that she needed to hit and got outs. She did a great job and fought through it.”

Centerfielder Savanna Spear made a sliding catch in the bottom of the second inning and Hailey Ellis completed an unassisted double play in the fourth, adding to Louisiana’s defensive highlights.

Louisiana’s offense didn’t waste any time, either.

Marlee Magee hit a double in the first inning, driving in Savanna Spear and Howard to give Louisiana early control.

Magee ended with two hits along with Shelbi Cross to lead Louisiana.

“It was very crucial to come out and start scoring runs to put the pressure back on them,” Lipscomb said. “That’s what we needed to do.”

Though Louisiana ended with 10 hits, Lipscomb said he would have liked to see the team establish a more consistent rhythm.

“We got hits and scored runs here and there. It was a little sporadic,” he said. “We need to get our hits together.”

To claim a final regional win, Lipscomb said, Louisiana needs to remain concentrated. It will start standout pitcher Shelby Mason, hoping her leadership will keep the team composed, Lipscomb said.

“Tomorrow we are looking for another flawless game,” he said. “(Mason) is a person that pitches great under pressure. We will put the ball in her hands because it is a championship game. She’ll be ready.”

With the end goal now in sight, Lipscomb said Louisiana should be more motivated than ever.

“One more,” he said.