By Chris Parsons / Staff Writer
LONDON — The Corbin 11-12-year old Fastpitch All Stars got started on the right foot Sunday with an 11-1 win over Tri-Cities in the Little League District Tournament.
The win means Corbin will move on to play Clay County Tuesday at 6 p.m. in the winner’s bracket semifinals.
Halia Stidham led the way for Corbin on the mound as well as on the offensive side of things. She allowed just one hit through four innings with six strikeouts and a hit batter. Stidham also got on base all three times she came to the plate, accounting for three of Corbin’s 11 runs.
After the win, Corbin coach Jimmy Stidham said he was pleased with the win as well as the way his team came ready to play.
“We’ve been working hard at getting better, so we definitely wanted to be aggressive today in this first game,” Stidham said. “We’re stout when it comes to pitching and we’re stout in our hitting all the way through the eighth spot, so we felt like we could come out and play well today.
“We’ve got a bunch of girls that play together and they really want to play,” he added. “When they’re on the field it’s a total team effort and that makes it really fun to coach a group when they’re like that.”
Corbin took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning and then broke the game open in the bottom of the second when they added six runs to push the lead to 7-0 after two innings.
After retiring the first two batters of the third inning, Halia Stidham gave Tri-Cities its first baserunner on a hit batter. The runner eventually led to a run for Tri-Cities, but Stidham quickly recovered. With the score trimmed to 7-1, Stidham retired the next batter on a comebacker that she fielded cleanly and fired to first base for the third out of the inning.
Corbin kept the momentum going in the bottom of the third, adding four runs to the lead to extend the gap to 11-1, forcing Tri-Cities to score or the game would be called due to the 10-run mercy rule.
Stidham retired the first two batters of the inning, but gave up her first hit of the game, breaking up the no-hitter with one out to go in the game. Tri-Cities final batter of the game grounded out to third to end the game, sending Tri-Cities to the loser’s bracket and Corbin to the next round to face Clay County.
“It’s good to get the first win and get it quick, which allowed us to get out of the heat,” Jimmy Stidham said. “With the schedule change and our game being moved to Sunday at this time, I was worried about the heat of the day getting to our kids.
“They did a good job of dealing with it and we get to play Clay County Tuesday,” he added. “We’ll try to come out and play as well as we did today.”