HARTSVILLE, S.C. — Rockingham Ponytails all-star coach Matthew Liles admitted his team came out flat Tuesday night.
He doesn’t expect the same thing Wednesday night because Rockingham will be playing for the Dixie Softball World Series championship.
Rockingham cruised past Hartsville (South Carolina) 9-1. It was the second win over Rockingham over Hartsville in the tournament.
“There was no sense of urgency,” Liles said. “We will talk about it tonight.”
When Hartsville pushed across a run in the top of the fourth on a fielder’s choice, it was the first run Rockingham has allowed in the World Series. It was also just the seventh run Rockingham pitchers have surrendered in district, state or World Series play.
Paige Ransom led the way for Rockingham’s offense with two doubles and three runs batted in. Jakerra Covington recorded a two-run triple. Jadyn Johnson, Madison Jordan and Covington all scored two runs.
Ransom started the game in the pitching circle and didn’t allow a hit in two innings. Johnson hurled two innings, surrendering two hits and Hartsville’s lone run. Payton Chappell pitched the final two innings and issued a walk. It was the first time in the World Series, Rockingham was forced to play all six innings.
The loss eliminated Hartsville from the World Series. Rockingham will face the South Carolina state champion at 6 p.m. South Carolina remained alive with a victory over Florida.
Rockingham is one win from claiming the World Series title. South Carolina would have to defeat Rockingham twice today. Earlier in the tournament, Rockingham pulled away for a 10-0 win over South Carolina Monday night.
Liles said he has a feeling both teams will come out with some excitement tonight.
“I expect things will be different,” Liles said. “I think the fans and the coaches will be pumped. I hope the players will be too.”
Reach managing editor Shawn Stinson at 910-817-2671 and follow him on Twitter @scgolfer.