JENSON BEACH, Fla. — The Laurinburg Optimist 10U All-Stars opened bracket play of the Babe Ruth Softball World Series with a bang on Thursday, picking up a 10-run victory.
Laurinburg took on the Semo South Sluggers of Missouri in the first round of bracket play and steadily got runs across the plate for the 14-4 win.
The final round of pool play was canceled on Wednesday due to the excessive amount of rain Florida has gotten this past week. Laurinburg finished the pool play standings in ninth place with a 1-2 record while the Semo South Sluggers were ranked 12th with an 0-3 record.
Final pool play standings were based on team’s win-loss records along with their run differential, which is the number of runs they’ve scored compared to the number of runs they’ve given up.
Thursday’s game was the most runs Laurinburg has scored during their time at the World Series — only scoring 12 runs in their other three pool play games.
In the circle, Sarah Smith went the distance for the Laurinburg All-Stars, tossing all five innings and allowing four runs off four hits with two errors, four walks and four strikeouts.
Laurinburg catcher Annagrace Adkins, second baseman Kinsey Hamilton and third baseman Alexyss Emanuel each tallied three hits and combined for six runs and five RBI.
The local girls jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first on an RBI single from Hamilton that scored Adkins from third. Adkins started the inning off with a single before stealing second and third. Short stop Addison Johnson reached on a single, but not before Hamilton scored on an error by Semo South Slugger’s first baseman Isabelle Seyer.
Johnson stole second and third which put runs on the corners after Semo walked first baseman Carleigh Nolan. Smith loaded the bases on a walk with center fielder Ruthie Grooms up to bat. Grooms slapped a single in the gap, the throw from Semo third baseman Kolie Morgan to home plate was off allowing Johnson to plate Laurinburg’s third run.
A single by Emanuel ended the inning as Semo got the force at home.
Semo South got one run back in the top of the second inning, but Laurinburg kept their offense rolling scoring two runs of their own in the second and third innings to take a 7-3 lead. Semo plated two runs in the top of the third and one in the fourth, but the Laurinburg bats continued to be hot scoring seven runs in the final two innings — four in the fourth and three in the fifth.
Laurinburg enters the second round of bracket play on Friday at 1 p.m. against a yet to be determined opponent, weather permitting. The World Series is double elimination, so if Laurinburg loses they will drop to the loser’s bracket and play Saturday morning.
Those in the community interested in watching the girls compete in the World Series can do so online, all of the Babe Ruth World Series games will be streamed live to the Babe Ruth Softball Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/BabeRuthSoftball/.
Amber Hatten-Staley can be reached at 910-506-3170 or [email protected]