LITTLE RIVER, S.C. — There were nerves for the Lumberton 15-and-under All-Stars before the start of their first-round game of the Dixie Youth Softball World Series at North Myrtle Beach Park and Sports Complex on Monday morning, but it didn’t take long for them to shake it off after grabbing an early lead.
“We feel really good going into this,” Lumberton coach Johnny Britt said. “They were a little bit nervous, had butterflies, but they settled in. Once they settled in, they did OK.”
After settling in with a run in the opening frame, Lumberton pushed across seven more over the next five innings before taking a 16-3 win over Mississippi in six innings to start off the tournament. This is Lumberton’s third straight trip to the Dixie Softball World Series, and even though this is not new territory for the team, there were nerves for the experienced team.
“Most of these girls, except for like three, played with us last year, but out of those three they have played in a World Series also,” Britt said. “They know what we expect out of them. With that experience going into this, they’re probably not going to be as nervous. They’re still going to be nervous, but they have got that experience since they’ve been here before.”
As the offense scored runs in each inning, pitching is where Britt felt the biggest impact.
“Our pitching really helped us out,” Britt said. “That’s one thing we’ve got to manage a lot is our pitching. With us having to go with our No. 2 pitcher, she pitched two innings so that saves her (for later rounds).
“We had our pitchers go two, two and two (innings) so that’s going to help us out the further we go into this tournament.”
Pitchers Morgan Hatchell, Katie Kinlaw and Madison Collins pitched two innings each. Hatchell struck out the side in both innings she pitched and Collins allowed one hit in the fifth and sixth innings.
Lumberton plays Virginia today at 11 a.m., with the winner of that game playing at 8 p.m. today and the loser playing at 4 p.m.
Morgan Britt, Erin Maynor and Kasey West each had a hit and scored two runs for Lumberton.
JaiLeana Deese scored Morgan Britt on a RBI double in the first to give Lumberton the early lead in the first inning.
“That’s what we always try to tell them, if they can go out and score first, get three or four runs on the board and keep chipping away after that, that we will pretty much stay on top after that,” Johnny Britt said.
Errors and wild pitches piled up for Mississippi over the last five innings accounting for most of Lumberton’s runs.
Morgan Britt makes contact with a pitch against Mississippi in the Lumberton 15-and-under All-Stars first game in the Dixie Youth Softball World Series on Monday. Britt had a hit and scored two runs.
Jonathan Bym can be reached at 910-816-1977. Follow him on Twitter @Jonathan_Bym.