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."