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Kalamazoo, District 2 Crowned Big League Softball World Series Champions

Editor’s note: Complete scores from all the games can be found here at http://www.littleleague.org/series/2006divisions/blsb/series.htm
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (Aug. 19, 2006) – Host team, Michigan District 2, captured its second Big League Softball World Series title in front of a hometown crowd of close to 4,000 at Vanderberg Park in Kalamazoo, besting the East Regional champs from Connecticut District 5, 7-5.

Leah Van Enk pitched the first five-plus innings, giving up one unearned run in the first inning, and then came back in relief in the seventh inning to get the final three outs.

Trailing 1-0, Michigan District 2 scored four runs in the fourth inning and tallied three more in the sixth before holding off an East rally. Lexi Jager and Stephanie Lorenz had two hits each for Michigan District 2, while Cara Hovhanessian and Lena Cantone had two hits a piece for the East. Starting East pitcher, Sara Plourde recorded 10 strikeouts in the game and reliever, Audrey Boutin fanned three.

Going into the final round-robin game, the Host team needed a win over the Canada Region Champion from Windsor, Ontario, along with some help, to earn a berth into the championship game. It got both as they beat the Canadian champions and then watched as the East beat Michigan District 9 to give all three teams 7-1 records. Tie-breakers determined the final game berths.

This was a record setting “Little League” week in the Kalamazoo, Mich., area as a team from Mattawan Little League won the Little League Softball World Series championship in Portland, Ore., earlier in the week. “I’m telling everybody this is the first time we’ve had two world champions in softball, in towns 15 miles apart, Kalamazoo and Mattawan,” Bud Vanderberg, Big League Softball World Series tournament director, said.

Kalamazoo celebrated its 27th year of hosting a World Series with a variety of events, including a picnic, “Fun Night” for the players, managers, coaches and host families, an awards banquet, the Parade of Champions and a spirit competition.