Having survived districts, sectionals, states, regionals, and the pool play round of the Little League Softball World Series, the South Williamsport girls today enter the final step: the elimination bracket. After nearly five months of softball, and two months of the pressure of tournament play, it all comes down to this: an eight-team, single elimination, three-day sprint to the podium.
By the way, they did play a game last night. A 7:00 p.m. start on the west coast, meant 10:00 p.m. back east, with much of the local faithful asleep.
Lynna Clark had two hits, including a double, and an RBI; Alizabeth Shuler had two doubles and scored a run; and Lily Reidy singled, drove in a run and scored a run. Lacey Kriebel singled as well, to round out South's six hit attack.
Clark also threw two scoreless innings of relief and fanned four Iowa batters in the process. South lost 4-2 in a game that mattered only towards seeding.
Today, however, the stakes are higher. Survive and advance, lose and go home. It's that simple.
And it's on regular cable. ESPN 2, 1:00 eastern time.