No-hitter highlights first day of Babe Ruth 16-U Softball World Series


PITTSFIELD -- The first day of the Babe Ruth 16-U Softball World Series couldn't have gotten off to a much better start on the diamond. First-day games included a no-hitter and a walk-off victory.

Madison Williams threw a no-hitter for Fern Creek, Ky., striking out 13 as the Ohio Valley Regional champion shut out Pacific Northwest champion Hoquiam, Wash., 14-0, in a five-inning, mercy-rule game.

The walk-off came in a game between Del Rio, Texas, and Southern Plains, Colo., the Midwest Plains champion. Christiana Saenz scored from third base on a base hit in the bottom of the seventh inning by Giselle Hernandez in Del Rio's 8-7 win.

In the third game of the early session, Middle Atlantic champion Waretown, N.J., beat Manchester, N.H., 15-2.

In Wednesday's second round of games, Sierra Jacko was two outs from pitching a perfect game. She ended up with a one-hit shutout as Kinnelon, N.J., beat Massachusetts champion Plymouth 5-0.

And in the final game, Lodi, Calif., defeated North Tampa, Fla., 8-3.

Fern Creek 14, Hoquiam 0

For the kids from outside of Louisville, the first day couldn't have gone any better than if it was scripted.

"It's very big. It was a team effort offensively and defensively," said assistant coach Dewayne Hutchens. "To come out and mercy rule in the first game was big in confidence building."

A 12-hour travel day, which included a flight from Louisville to Dallas and then to Hartford, getting a mercy-rule win -- and a no-hitter -- gave the Fern Creek team a real boost.

"You don't know what's in the tank after a trip like that," Hutchens said. "That's what scares you. To come out like that, first of all, it's very difficult to do, and second of all, it's something that was good for the team."

Things started inauspiciously for Fern Creek as Williams hit Hoquiam's Kylie Stewart to open the game. Stewart moved to second on a groundout and after Jillian Swor struck out, English Hyde walked.

Katie Hammonds came up and Williams settled things down in a hurry, striking her out on three pitches to end the threat.

Fern Creek sent 11 hitters to the plate in the home first inning, scoring seven runs on two hits, three walks, two errors, a hit batter and a pair of passed balls. That made it 7-0 for the team from Kentucky.

"Yesterday was a really long day. To come out and play like we did, it was not just one person. It was everyone together," said Fern Creek first baseman Cassie Peavler, who had a hit, reached twice on walks and scored two runs.

Fern Creek scored seven more runs in the fourth, putting the game out of reach.

"I didn't know it was a no-hitter until after the game," Williams said.

Williams helped her cause by going 2 for 4 and driving in three runs. Megan Cook was 3 for 3.

Del Rio 8, Southern Plains 7

Trailing 5-2 after four, Del Rio stormed back to take a 7-6 lead after six innings.

The team from Colorado tied the game in the seventh as Leah Osborn hit a one-out single and came around to score on Brenna Rouse's RBI double. Two hit batters sandwiched between a strikeout loaded the bases for Southern Plains. But Shayla Bogenhagen's fly out to center snuffed out the rally.

Saenz was the leadoff batter in the home seventh and singled on a 1-1 offering by Colorado starter Osborn. Saenz stole second on the first pitch to Hernandez and took third on a passed ball.

Then, on a 2-2 pitch, Hernandez hit a solid single to right and Saenz scampered home easily with the winning run.

Osborn, who took the loss, gave up eight runs on seven hits. Only three of the runs were earned. She walked three and struck out two.

Melissa Alarcon got the start for Del Rio. Cipriana Tobias got the win in relief.

Waretown 15, Manchester 2

The Middle Atlantic champions broke open a 3-2 game with five runs in the top of the third inning on three hits, two walks and an error.

Gabriella D'Amodio led the inning off with a single. She later scored on Francesca Aimone's base hit. By the time the inning ended, it was 8-2, and the Middle Atlantic champs from New Jersey were on their way.

Cheyanne Nastasi was in the circle for six innings. The two runs she gave up in the first inning were unearned.

Nastasi scattered five hits, did not walk a batter and struck out four. Her final inning, the sixth, was excellent as she retired the side in order. Alyssa Ward pitched the seventh inning.

Aimone went 2 for 3 with a single and a double and drove in three runs for Waretown. D'Amodio scored two runs and had three singles.

Chloe Robidoux took the loss for Manchester.

Second session: Kinnelon 5, Plymouth 0

It was 19 up and 19 down for Jacko before Cole singled on an 0-1 pitch. The Plymouth base runner was out at second trying to stretch the single into a double. Then Jacko struck Nicki Ross out on a 3-2 pitch to end the game.

"I was kind of disappointed in myself," Jacko said. "I knew I could have thrown [that pitch] harder."

The right-handed pitcher said that there was none of that no-hit superstition going on in their dugout. Baseball and softball lore has it that pitchers get to sit on the bench and his or her teammates don't talk to the hurler. That wasn't the case on Wednesday.

"The team, they didn't treat me any different," Jacko said. "We communicate and socialize during the game."

Kinnelon scored two runs in the first inning and that was all that Jacko needed. Run-scoring singles by Alexa Saccomanno and Jacko put the New Jersey team up 2-0.

Saccomanno and Kelly Dodgeson each had two hits for Kinnelon.

"It's a team effort," said Jacko. "It's not all about me. We all played great."

Lodi 8, North Tampa 3

Veronica Smith had three hits and three runs in Lodi's wire-to-wire win. It wasn't comfortable until late.

The Lodi squad jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead and was cruising. Then North Tampa made it a game with three runs in the top of the fifth.

Lodi came back in the home sixth with three runs and went on to claim its opening win.

North Tampa's Chloe Lee belted a two-run double in the sixth and Hannah Murray had an RBI single in the inning.

Lodi erupted for four more runs in the bottom of the sixth. A walk, a single and a one-out hit batter loaded the bases. After Mendoza walked with the bases loaded, Smith hit a two-run double and Jamie Lewis drove in the final run of the inning on a ground out.

In the seventh, Jordyn Gendron and Destiny Kebreau hit one-out singles, but couldn't push a run across. Murray struck out to end the game.

Mendoza gave up eight hits in the win. Two of the three runs scored by North Tampa were earned. Darcy Gott took the loss.


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