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Connecticut District 3 Captures First Big League Softball World Series

Editor’s note: Complete scores from all the games can be found here at http://www.littleleague.org/series/2007divisions/blsb/series.htm
KALAMAZOO, Mich. - Ten teams came to Kalamazoo, Mich., to vie for the 2007 Big League Softball World Series title, but it was the team from Seymour's District 3 that took the championship home with a 1-0 win over the Central Region champions from Michigan's District 2.

Five U.S. regional champions, along with the Canada, Latin America, Europe and Asia-Pacific Region champions all joined the Michigan team in World Series tournament play. Marking their first World Series appearances were: Southwest Region champion Pine Bluff, Ark.; Connecticut’s District 3; and the Europe Region championship team from Brzeg, Poland.

Round robin play in two separate pools determined which four teams advanced to the single-elimination championship round.

Powerful offenses and closely contested games were the norm. In all, 13 home runs, two extra-inning marathons, and two come-from-behind victories highlighted the action.

Entering the world championship game, stellar pitching and potent offenses earned both teams 5-0 World Series records. Defensively, each team had allowed a total of two runs. Connecticut’s District 3 entered the final game averaging nearly nine runs per game.

The East Region champions were led by Rachele Fico who pitched a no-hitter earlier in the week, striking out 17 in the process. Michigan’s District 2 boasted quality pitching of Leah Van Enk and Jackie Bowe.

The championship game started with a flourish. In the first inning, Michigan’s District 2 managed to get its first two runners on base via a base hit and an error. Ms. Fico got tough from there, striking out the next three hitters, and stranding runners at second and third.

In the bottom of the first, Brittany Wyskiel singled leading off. She was sacrificed to second and scored on a double to right-center by Jessica Rickels giving the East a 1-0 lead.

“My heart was pounding a mile a minute,” East manager Joe Musante said after the game. “They have some excellent hitters who swing hard. I was worried.”

Ms. Van Enk surrendered just two hits in the first-inning, while striking out three and not walking a batter. Ms. Fico allowed only one hit and struck out 16.

“In hindsight, I wished I had bunted early,” Dusty Ruthven, Michigan’s District 2 manager, said. “I thought for sure one of them would put the ball in play. That’s what we’ve been doing all week. Their pitcher was unbelievable. We were hoping for a big shot and it just didn’t happen.”