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 > Little League Online > Media > Little League News Archive > 2013 > January-April > South Bend, Ind. Defeats Milano, Italy, 5-1, to Secure the Senior League Softball World Series Championship

South Bend, Ind. Defeats Milano, Italy, 5-1, to Secure the Senior League Softball World Series Championship

South Bend, Ind. Defeats Milano, Italy, 5-1, to Secure the Senior League Softball World Series Championship

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Indiana District 11 Little League, representing the Central Region, defeated Lombardia Little League from Milano, Italy, of the Europe-Africa Region 5-1 at Bruce E. Layton Field in Sussex County, Del., to clutch the Senior League Softball Championship title Saturday morning.

Lombardia made history before the game even started, becoming the first European team to play in the tournament.

The matchup between Indiana and Italy featured both teams’ ace pitchers. Indiana’s Brook Versmesse and Italy’s Laura Bigatton both were eligible to pitch in the championship, and Ms. Versmesse worked quickly in the first inning, striking out Italy’s first batter and quickly turning another two outs to end the inning.

Indiana capitalized on short-game tactics in the first inning, starting with a lead-off single by Alyssa Gutierrez, some small ball advanced Ms. Gutierrez to third, eventually scoring the first run of the game.

Ms. Bigatton showed her athleticism early on in the game, striking out four Indiana batters and making multiple plays on the mound. But Indiana’s offense started to get on a roll.

Italy’s offense came alive during the fourth inning when Giulia Cicala’s single sent Giorgia Perricelli home for their first and only run of the game.

SLSWS Champ 500

Indiana District 11 Little League, Senior League Softball World Series Champions.

The 1-1 tie was soon broken in Indiana’s four-run, fourth inning. Ms. Versmesse ignited Indiana’s offense in the fourth with a deep shot to center field for a lead-off double. Katlynn Sopczynski, who came in as a special base runner for Ms. Versmesse, scored next in a squeeze play off the bat of Melissa Hicks. The inning continued with smart batting for Indiana, leading to a two-run double by Shannon McCarty and forcing a pitching change for Italy.

Italy’s Beatrice Zappa was accurate from the mound in the fourth inning. Indiana managed just one hit off of the pitcher, who allowed no earned runs and no walks during her two and a half innings on the rubber.

Nichole Kirkpatrick, Indiana’s relief pitcher, came into the game during the fifth inning and struck out three batters between the fifth and sixth innings in back-to-back 1-2-3 innings.

Despite Indiana’s electrifying offense, Italy’s defense never gave up. Ms. Perricelli had a great play at third base to register the final out of Italy’s only 1-2-3 inning of the game in the bottom of the sixth.

Milano was unable to generate enough offense to score during the top of the seventh inning, however, which ended the game and awarded the 2012 Senior League Softball World Series Championship win to South Bend, Ind.

Click here for complete statistics of the Senior League Softball World Series Championship Game.