The Emporia Dixie Youth Softball Darlings created havoc with aggressive running on the base paths during Monday’s District 3 championship game 16-4 rout of Prince George at Meherrin River Park. Creating the Prince George nightmare of Emporia’s fleet-footed runners sprinting from base to base started with barreling up pitches in the batters box.
Emporia-Greensville’s play on the field in the tournament might be surprising to some, considering only Austyn Sadler had ever donned an All-Star uniform in the past. All 12 players now have all-star experience and will gain more as they move on to the state tournament.
“We’re very young,” Emporia-Greensville manager Amanda Sadler said. “There were only two teams in the regular season. The girls came together quickly and showed a lot of heart and dedication. And as you can tell, they can really hit the ball.”
Hit the ball indeed.
The EGRA Darlings opened the contest with four consecutive base hits to start Monday’s game. Tylin Moore and Cassidy Doyle reached on singles. Austyn Sadler drove both in with a bases-clearing double. Akira Williams singled Austin Sadler home to push the advantage to 3-0. Ellie Renner drove Williams home and later scored on a Kinna Moseley ground ball to second to push the advantage to 5-0.
Prince George put two runners on base in the bottom of the frame with singles from Hayden Arms and Yedailys Laurence, but Yoselin Palamino’s two-out grounder to first was scooped by Austyn Sadler, who stepped on the bag for the force out to retire the side.
The EGRA Darlings bats cooled in the top of the second and the Prince George All-Stars exited the field with a three and out. Prince George managed to push a run across in the bottom of the second on an EGRA error to cut its deficit 5-1, but the deficit would balloon to double-digits in a flash.
Doyle triggered an EGRA Darlings offensive explosion in the top half of the third inning with a one-out single. It was the first of six consecutive base hits. Before the frame ended, Jaylah Gillus drove Renner home with a single to give her squad a comfortable 11-1 lead.
Prince George countered with a run in the bottom of the frame, but Emporia-Greensville pushed another 5 runs across the plate in the top half of the fourth inning to put the game on ice. Laurence and Palomino reached on a single and error, respectively, to start the bottom half of the fourth. Both would score, but that was all Prince George could muster as the EGRA Darlings captured the District 3 championship in convincing fashion.
Austyn Sadler was one of three EGRA players to finish the contest with a 3-3 effort at the plate. She had a pair of doubles and drove in 4. Doyle and Williams were also 3-3 at the plate. Both scored 3 runs. Moore, Makinley Barnes and Renner had two hits, each.
Editor’s note — The Emporia-Greensville Darlings defeated Prince George 11-6 in its first game of the tournament Sunday. EGRA will head to Farmville to play at Charlotte Courthouse in the Dixie Youth Softball State Tournament.