A team of Rowan County softball players has captured this year’s Little League World Series title.
In a nationally televised game, the group of 11- and 12-year-old girls defeated a team from Rhode Island, 4-2, to win the annual tournament in Portland Wednesday evening.
The Rowan County team scored all four of its runs in the first inning, and held on to its lead behind three strikeouts from pitcher Kali Morton.
Digital Access for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
Back home, a crowd of supporters gathered at East Coast Wings and Grill in Salisbury to watch the game, according to the Salisbury Post.
“It is amazing, it’s incredible,” league official John Basinger told the Post after the game. “It is the coolest thing that has ever happened around here in youth sports, period.”
To get to the final, Rowan County beat softball teams from British Columbia, the Philippines, Washington state and Texas.
“When it all will sink in, I don’t know,” coach Steve Yang told the Post. “It’s still got a surreal feel to it, but it’s like we told the girls, they’re not just the best in Salisbury or the best in North Carolina or the best in the Southeast. And they’re not just the best in the USA. They’re the best team in the whole world.”
The team was expected to fly home to Charlotte Thursday evening, with a police escort starting at the Rowan County line. A parade will be held in their honor in downtown Salisbury at 10 a.m. Saturday.
Observer news partner WBTV contributed to this report.