The Bartow County Little League 10U softball all-stars won the Georgia Little League state championship Wednesday morning with a 2-0 victory over Oconee County in the title game.
It was Bartow's fifth straight win in the double-elimination tournament after dropping its opener Sunday to Northern-Columbus, 10-0.
Working their way through the loser’s bracket on Monday and Tuesday, Bartow recorded one-run elimination game victories over Toccoa (2-1) and Vine Ingle (10-9) before exacting revenge on Northern-Columbus by an identical 10-0 score to reach the championship round against unbeaten Oconee County.
Bartow 10U topped Oconee County, 6-2, Tuesday to force Wednesday's winner-take-all championship game.
Haley Collum pitched a complete game Wednesday for Bartow. Collum, who also went 2-for-2 with a double and scored a run, allowed just two hits and struck out seven in her six innings of work.
Kamryn Smith and Elizabeth Hartsfield added doubles for the Bartow offense. Nakayla Evans and Alivia Joslin had the other hits for the locals. Evans stole a base and scored a run. Brie Patterson and Joslin each contributed one RBI.
With their state title in hand, Bartow now prepares for the Little League Tournament of State Champions that begins July 20 in Clarksville, Tennessee.
On Tuesday night, Bartow took a 5-0 lead over Oconee County after two innings and held on for their four-run victory.
Hartsfield had a two-run single in the first inning as Bartow took a 2-0 lead.
In the second frame, Harlee Thomason singled, stole a base and scored to give the locals a 3-0 lead before Smith delivered a two-RBI single.
Oconee County scored both of its runs and narrowed the margin to 5-2 in the fourth inning on an infield hit, a walk and a pair of groundouts.
Bartow’s final run came in the sixth inning. Carley Aspenwell had a base hit and eventually came around to provide an insurance run.
In Tuesday morning's triumph over Northern-Columbus, Lakiaya Banks led the Bartow offense by reaching base in each plate appearance. She was 3-for-4 and scored a pair of runs. She also reached on an infield error.
Thomason was 2-for-2 with a walk and scored three times. Smith pitched and was 2-for-3, and Patterson singled and tripled in a 2-for-4 performance.
Hartsfield went 1-for-3 with a walk and scored a run; Collum walked twice and scored two runs; and Joslin also walked and scored one run.
Both teams were scoreless through three innings before Bartow took a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning before adding eight more in the fifth for a 10-0 advantage.
In Bartow's second victory on Monday, Vine Ingle scored five runs in their half of the fifth and threatened with four more in the sixth, but the locals held on for a one-run victory.
Bartow scored two runs in the fourth inning on three walks and a single by Smith. Their eight-run fifth inning resulted from seven walks, a Vine Ingle error and a three-run home run by Patterson.
In addition to her homer, Patterson also added a sixth-inning single. Smith, who fanned nine in the circle, added a stolen base and scored a run.
Collum walked twice and scored two runs; Banks walked and scored a run; and Harley Hannah also reached on a base-on-balls.
In Monday’s elimination game that got the winning streak going, Bartow answered Toccoa's lone run in the fourth with a pair of runs in the final inning on their only two hits of the game.
A one-out single by Banks and a single by Smith started the rally. The hits were followed by a two-run error by the Toccoa shortstop that allowed Banks and Smith to score and gave Bartow a 2-1 win.
Cartersville LL 10U stays alive at state
The Cartersville Little League 10U all-star baseball team improved to 2-1 at the Georgia Little League state tournament Tuesday night with a 9-7 elimination game victory over Smyrna Blue.
The win moved Cartersville 10U into another elimination game late Wednesday night against Warner Robins American Little League.
Cartersville opened the double-elimination tournament, which is taking place at Dudley Little League, just west of Dublin, with a 5-0 win last Saturday over Toccoa but lost to Martinez Evans Monday night, 8-3.
With Tuesday’s win, Cartersville is one of four teams remaining. Martinez Evans played Northern-Columbus Wednesday night, as well, with the winner securing a spot in the championship round.
Both Martinez Evans and Northern are unbeaten in the state tournament. The Martinez Evans/Northern loser will play the Cartersville/Warner Robins winner in an elimination game Thursday for a spot in the championship round.
Tuesday night, Smyrna took an early lead with a four-run second inning before Cartersville responded with three runs in the third inning and six more in the fifth inning to take a 9-4 lead. Smyrna then rallied and sent nine batters to the plate in the bottom of the sixth, but a strikeout ended the game.
Smyrna posted its four runs in the second inning on three hits, a pair of walks and two Cartersville miscues. Their sixth-inning rally included two more hits, three walks and an infield error.
Cartersville utilized six pitchers in the game, including starter Asa Mitcham, Logan Buchanan, Isaiah Martin, Griffin Woodall and Brayden Channell. The two teams matched with eight hits each.
Cartersville got two hits each from Carter Rice, Mitcham and Channell. Mitcham scored twice. Rice and Channel each scored a run.
Lyle Woody and Woodall contributed a hit and one run each. Buchanan walked twice and scored a run. Matthew Morris walked and scored and Will Camp scored a run after reaching on an error in the fifth inning.
Cartersville 11U baseball suffers 1st loss of tourney
It was a tough night for the Cartersville Little League 11U all-stars Tuesday as they lost for the first time at the Georgia Little League State Tournament being played at Rudy York Field in Atco.
Cartersville matched Northern-Columbus in hits at 13, but 10 walks and eight errors contributed to a 20-9 loss for the locals.
Both teams scored six runs in the first two innings, but Northern pulled away in the middle innings by outscoring Cartersville 9-1 in the third and fourth frames for a 15-7 advantage.
Northern-Columbus got base hits from 12 different players in the game and sealed the contest with five additional runs in the top of the sixth inning to cap their 11-run victory.
Casen Cochran led the Cartersville offense with a four-hit game that included a double and two RBI. Brodie McWhorter followed with three hits including a double and three RBI.
Logan Shrewsbury added two hits for Cartersville. Thomas Peters and Cam Williams both had one hit and one RBI each. Andrew Lutjens doubled. Cameron Cochran added one hit. Julian Cline and Maddox Frazier each drove in a run.
Northern-Columbus (2-0) advances to the championship round and will only need one more win to claim the state title.
Cartersville (2-1) faced the survivor of a late Tuesday game between Warner Robins American and Smyrna Blue in an elimination game late Wednesday night.
The winner of which would advance to face Northern-Columbus in the championship round but will need to beat them twice to win the tournament.
— Charles Wilson of Bartow Sports Zone contributed to this report.