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Reigning champ Rowan loses to Texas team in title game of Little League Softball World Series

Rowan Little League All-Star Taylor Walton fires a pitch during Wednesday's Little League Softball World Series game against Greater Helotes, Texas at Alpenrose Stadium in Portland.
Rowan Little League All-Star Taylor Walton fires a pitch during Wednesday's Little League Softball World Series game against Greater Helotes, Texas at Alpenrose Stadium in Portland.

Southeast Region champion Rowan lost 5-1 to Southwest Region champ Texas in the Little League Softball World Series championship game late Wednesday night.

The loss kept the girls from Salisbury from winning back-to-back Little League World Series championships. Nine of the 13 Rowan Little League All-Stars returned from last year’s championship team.

"I knew that Texas (24-0, 7-0) had a very talented team and I knew that we would have to play our best to compete and have a chance to win," said Rowan manager Steve Yang.

"We put a lot of pressure on them early and we had a few base runners, but we just couldn't capitalize on our opportunities. I knew that whoever scored first would have a big advantage, and unfortunately that was the case today."

Rowan, also the North Carolina champion, finished 18-1 and 6-1 in the 10-team tournament at Alpenrose Stadium. Texas, or Greater Helotes, finished 24-0 and 7-0 in the finals.

Rowan outhit Greater Helotes 8-7, but left 10 runners stranded. After a scoreless first two innings, Greater Helotes took control in the third, building a 5-0 lead, capitalizing on an error and two walks.

Following a scoreless fourth inning, Megyn Spicer led off the top of the fifth for Rowan and reached base when she was hit by pitcher Annika Litterio (four strikeouts).

Allison Ennis (2-for-4, two singles) followed with a sharply hit single to right field to put Spicer in scoring position at second. Kary Hales (2-for-2, two doubles, fielder's choice) then hammered a ball deep to left field for an RBI double, driving home Spicer to make it 5-1.

"I felt pretty excited for our team, because it seemed like we were making a good comeback effort," said Rowan pitcher Taylor Walton, who struck out six. "That's the kind of team we are and we always find a way to overcome leads and win similar games like this. It just wasn't meant to be a repeat in the title game for us this year."

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