PORTLAND, Ore.—The Rowan County All-Stars, featuring four players from Mooresville Middle School, advanced to the Little League Softball World Series championship with a thrilling semifinals victory Tuesday night.
Rowan scored twice in the top of the eighth after the game went to extra innings following the sixth, and it held on for a 3-2 win over Oregon.
Wednesday night’s LLSBWS title game showdown is scheduled for a 10 p.m. (EST) start, and it will be televised on ESPN. It pits Rowan, representing North Carolina and the Southeast, against Southwest representative Eastbank Louisiana, a 9-1 semifinals winner Tuesday over Europe-Africa.
Rowan shut out Louisiana 7-0 in the teams’ Aug. 7 pool-play opener. Mooresville Middle eighth-grader Campbell Schaen pitched a no-hitter and struck out 11 with no walks.
Relief pitcher Carmen Freeze gave up only one hit in the seventh and eighth innings combined to earn Tuesday’s win against Oregon. Schaen, who struck out seven and walked one, kept it 1-all through the six regulation innings.
Rowan tied the game at 1 in the third when Schaen singled and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Mooresville Middle’s Avrelle Harrell hit a fly ball to right field that scored her. Schaen finished 3 for 4 at the plate with two runs scored.
Mooresville Middle’s Lauren Vanderpool scored the go-ahead run in the eighth thanks to a Schaen single coupled with an errant throw from Oregon. Riley Haggas drove Schaen home.
Cadence Lane went hitless against Oregon, but the Mooresville Middle student has played a role in this run. She helped spark a key six-run inning in the pool victory over tonight’s opponent.
This is the fourth time in five years Rowan has reached the LLSBWS final. Current Mooresville High softball players Kali Morton and Caitlin Mann were instrumental in the 2015 championship. Rowan was the runner-up in each of the two years that followed.