Source: South Williamsport, Pa.
Date/Time: Sunday, August 28, 2011
As the 2011 Little League Baseball World Series wraps up in South Williamsport, Pa., here is a look back on all the Little League World Series tournaments that have crowned champions at every level across the country. We begin with the final and most current Series – Little League Baseball.
Japan and the West face off for the second time in as many years for the title of Little League Baseball World Series champion on a rain-soaked Sunday afternoon August 28, 2011. This Series has seen many firsts in 2011, among them an earthquake, a tropical storm and the first-ever team from the state of Montana.
Records were broken (attendance), home teams advanced (local Keystone Little League out of Clinton County, Pa., represented to Mid-Atlantic, advancing all the way to the U.S. Semifinal) and upsets were achieved (Canada ousted Chinese Taipei, who didn't get a win all tournament).
But in the end, it was two perennial powerhouses who avenged earlier tournament losses to Mexico and the Northwest to advance to the Series title game despite blemished records through the double-elimination round-robin tournament. And with 2-1 walkoff win, Huntington Beach, Calif., would take home the Little League Baseball World Series Championship in front of a crowd of 9,156.
It was quite the tournament. But it had to be if it wanted to live up to its seven cousins.
In a closely contested matchup, Sterling, Ill., took home the title in the 2011 Little League Softball World Series, 7-5, over Midway, Texas, August 11-17 in Portland, Ore.
The Central region's monster third inning was just enough to win it all, as Sterling added seven hits to a pair of Southwest errors to put seven runs on the board. Starter Alexis Staples nearly threw a complete game, ending her day with 5.1 innings pitched, letting up five earned runs and fanning two.
The Southeast regional champions took home the 2011 Junior League Baseball World Series title in a 2-1 thriller over Chinese Taipei August 14-20 in Taylor, Mich.
Palma Ceia Little League received all the offense it needed on Patrick Kiszla's two-run homer in the second inning and held off the Asia-Pacific champs despite letting up a run in the top of the fourth. Starter Jake Woodford held Chinese Taipei to just a single score over five innings before Kiszla took over on the hill to finish what he started. Kiszla didn't allow a single runner over his two innings of work to secure the title.
In mercy rule fashion, the girls from Croswell Lexington Little League in Croswell, Mich., won the 2011 Junior League Softball World Series, 10-0 over Palma Ceia/West Tampa Little League. The weeklong tournament held August 14-20 featured 10 teams, six domestic and four international, as squads from the Netherlands, Philippines, Canada and Curacao joined Michigan, Washington, Florida, Pennsylvania, Texas and Alaska in Kirkland, Wash.
The championship game was a rout as Michigan plated nine runs in the first two innings en route to a five-frame, mercy-rule victory.
But despite the lopsided finale, tournament director John Chadwick still felt this year's Series was one of the best and most competitive ever.
"Every team we brought here was very, very good," said Chadwick. "On any given day, any team could have beaten any other team."
The Senior League Baseball World Series celebrated its 10-year anniversary in 2011 as a squad from Hilo, Hawaii took home the title with an impressive 11-1 defeat of the team from Tyler, Texas August 14-20 in Bangor, Maine. The victory capped off a 15-game winning streak for Hilo, who was the first team in Senior League Baseball World Series history to win the championship game by the 10-run mercy rule.
In the only 2011 World Series won by a team from the host district, the Laurel Little League team from Laurel, Del., won it all at the Senior League Softball World Series, topping the Latin America champs from Maunabo, Puerto Rico, 2-0, on Aug. 13.
The host district defeated Latin America in an unconventional way, scoring the first run on a hit batsman with the bases loaded in the first and the second on a sixth-inning wild pitch. Alyssa Givens scored the winning run while teammates and sisters Logan and Regan Green combined to pitch a four hitter. Laurel went a perfect 5-0 in the tournament, winning just the second title for any team from the World Series's host state of Delaware.
"I was very happy with the tournament," said tournament director Martin Donovan. "It's the best one we've ever ran, and these teams were the best group of kids we've ever had. We had very few complaints."
On August 10, 2011, for the second year in a row, the girls from Grand Rapids, Mich., defeated the Asia-Pacific squad from the Philippines, 9-2, to capture the Big League Softball World Series Championship in Kalamazoo, Mich. The game -- a rematch from the 2010 finale -- was not just a replay pitting the same two regions, but one featuring the same two leagues.
The 10-team tournament featured six squads from the United States and four others from across the globe — Puerto Rico, Canada, the Philippines and Italy. Unlike any of the other World Series tournaments, the participants at the Big League Softball World Series stay exclusively in private homes, providing a unique opportunity for true international camaraderie.
"The main thing about this tournament," said tournament director Bud Vanderberg, "is that these people come here from all over the world and always leave as friends.
Kyle Martin almost single-handedly won the 2011 Big League Baseball World Series for his Southeast team, as District 7 (S.C.) defeated Latin America, 9-7, in the title bout August 3 in Easley, S.C.
Martin was a leader in multiples ways. The game's winning pitcher, Martin allowed just two earned runs on five hits, striking out six in as many innings of work. He helped himself out at the plate, as well, going 3-for-4 on the day with a home run and three RBI. For the tournament, Martin hit .381 with four home runs.