By John Stepp For The Times Tribune
LONDON — The South London Junior League All Stars fell to Leslie County 15-8 in the District 2 softball tournament on Monday.
South London and Leslie are the only two teams competing in the tournament, with the first team to win two games moving on to the state tournament on Saturday.
Leslie County dominated the game at the plate, racking up 12 hits and capitalizing on several South London errors in the rout.
“We just didn’t make the plays that you’ve got to make – the routine plays,” South London coach Roger Wattenbarger said. “If we make the routine plays, we could have won this game.”
After jumping out to a 3-1 lead through two innings, Leslie County opened up the scoring with a seven-run third inning. They tallied four hits and three walks in the inning, taking a 10-1 lead.
South London answered in the bottom of the inning with four runs of its own. Haley Shelby and Clarke Wyatt each reached base on a walk and single, respectively, and were brought home on a double by Savannah Cox. Madison Gaines followed with a triple and later scored on a passed ball.
South London added two more runs in the bottom of the fourth to cut the lead to 10-7 when Faith Feltner opened the inning with a single and Shelby reached base safely on the next at-bat on a fielder’s choice. Both runners scored on a triple by Wyatt to round out the scoring.
“We hit the ball great tonight. Any time you score eight runs in a game, it’s more than enough to win,” Wattenbarger said. “We gave them two big innings where we didn’t make plays and that’s what happens. If you don’t make plays, you get beat.”
Leslie County went on to add five more runs in the top of the fifth inning to all but put the game away. South London managed one more run in the game, but could not overcome the deficit.
“Tomorrow we have to tighten up our defense. We played well enough to win, but our defense let us down,” Wattenbarger said. “Our pitching was fine. Defense just killed us.”