Home Hall grand Lower Sussex playing for the Senior League Softball World Series title

Lower Sussex playing for the Senior League Softball World Series title


ROXANA – The tears will dry up.

The regrets will fade away.

The night in the national spotlight and the caring it brought to their community will become a treasured memory for Sussex County’s star softball players.

But they will also remember how close they came to the Senior Little League World Series title and the disastrous run that derailed them on Sunday night at the Lower Sussex Little League’s Bruce Layton Field.

Southwest Regional champion Waco, Texas, busted for all of its runs in the sixth inning, thanks to seven hits, Ky-Li Alonzo’s final grand slam, to edge the host team 9-5.

“It was always a great experience no matter how it turned out. It was brilliant,” said Lower Sussex catcher Lily Hoban, still battling tears and her voice cracking. “Just the time I was able to spend with the team, be with them, play with them, just be with the girls.

“We knew we could do it,” added the rising senior at nearby Indian River High. “We had a bad run. It’s tough when it’s just one run, and it quickly got away from us.”

ESPN2 broadcast the game nationally and several hundred fans filled just about every space around the field and in the stands where they could see the action, including the Delaware and Texas rooters waving the flag of State.

Lower Sussex led 3-0 heading into the top of the sixth and starting pitcher Kinsley Hall had allowed just two hits and struck out seven.

“They got a hit, they got another one and they went crazy,” said Hall, who was picked up in the inning by Megan Daisey, whose luck was no better. “We couldn’t stop the momentum. They were hitting well.

“It’s disappointing, but it happens,” added Hall, who is also entering his final year at Indian River.

Delaware Division 3 first baseman Macy Blades closes in on the plate with an Asia Pacific runner on the sack.

Waco, who have won their seven tournament games, had also erased a 3-0 lead as they put off Lower Sussex and an 8-3 loss in pool play, marked by a six-run fifth inning.

“It was a seven inning game, and six of those innings I was really proud of the way they played,” manager Sarah Hoban said. “Just this inning. This whole World Series, we’ve had two bad innings, both against this team, and we’re just going to try to keep the good innings, the good memories.”

Hall had chosen to start the first leg for Lower Sussex. She was dropped to second, moved to third on a pitch and scored on Jaya Shaub’s single after cleanup hitter Laniya Lewis was intentionally walked for the first of three times. Lewis then scored on an errant pitch.

Delaware Division 3's Jaya Shaub pushes the ball towards the fence for a triple in Thursday's game against Asia Pacific.  The Lower Sussex team won the contest 3-0.

Hall then made it 3-0 in the fifth when she doubled, was dropped down to second again and scored on Hoban’s sacrifice volley.

“They played hard and they didn’t give up and I’m proud of them,” manager Hoban said. “. . . I think they’re going to take away how much of an amazing community they live in and how much support has come here for them every night.

Waco also got some defensive play that helped them win the title when, in the third set, center back Lindsay Talafuse made a tough catch running towards the fence that appeared to deny Shaniya Lewis a three-way homer. runs with two outs.

In the end, it was Waco who celebrated the victory and posed for photos with a championship banner, although Lower Sussex still appreciate the experience and the effort.

“It was great to meet all the other teams, to be able to stick with them,” Hall said. “Half of these girls [on her team] are part of my travel balloon team [Delaware Tribe] so I already know them and we are close.

“We’ve been waiting for this moment forever, but we just fell a bit short.”

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