Georgetown/Cape earns World Series bid with district tournament sweep

ROXANA – Georgetown/Cape won consecutive games over Laurel/Millsboro/Nanticoke to earn the Senior Softball District III title Monday night at Lower Sussex Little League.

Starting pitcher Taylor Wroten, tossing every pitch of both games for Georgetown/Cape, limited LMN batters to just one run on three hits in her team’s 10-1 Game 1 victory.

“We’re fortunate to be in the position we’re in,” said Georgetown/Cape manager Craig Kormanik. “We knew they had a lot of talent, we were just fortunate in the first game to have our bats wake up and do well in that sense.”

Ryleigh Elliott beats the throw to first base Monday night (Sussex Post/Ben Heck).

Georgetown/Cape took the second game of the doubleheader, 6-4, to complete the sweep.

The best-of-3 series win hands Georgetown/Cape the automatic bid to next week’s Senior Softball World Series at Lower Sussex Little League in Roxana. They’ll enter the 10-team tournament as the defending world champions after finishing at the top last August.

“It’s an amazing opportunity,” Wroten said following the Game 2 win on Monday. “We came into this game and we didn’t take anything lightly, we didn’t take anything for granted. We have a lot to prove and we have a big target on our back, we’re just going to go in there and do the same thing we did last year.”

“Taylor Wroten is one of Delaware’s finest pitchers,” coach Kormanik said. “It’s going to be fun with her and the rest of her teammates. Taylor is exceptional, but we have a bunch of exceptional kids who are backing her up. It’s going to be exciting and we’re just fortunate to be able to go and participate in the World Series.”

Georgetown/Cape jumped ahead early 2-0 in the opening game, putting up a pair of runs in the top of the first inning.

LMN answered with an RBI single from Jada Evans in the bottom of the first inning to cut the lead to 2-1.

Taylor Wroten lays down a bunt (Sussex Post/Ben Heck).

Wroten extended the lead to 3-1 with a fifth inning RBI single, scoring second baseman Jordyn DiFava.

Four runs in the top of the sixth and three more in the seventh put the game away for Georgetown/Cape.

In Game 2, Georgetown/Cape quickly picked right up where they left off.

Ryleigh Elliott led the game off with a triple. Elliott would later be thrown out attempting to score on a Jordyn DiFava bunt, but a Wroten sacrifice fly scored DiFava to put Georgetown/Cape ahead early 1-0.

Once again, LMN had an answer in the bottom of the first inning as Aryanna Briddell drove in a pair of runs to take the 2-1 lead.

Elliott, who finished Game 2 going 4-for-4 at the plate, drove in Macy Layfield on an RBI double in the top of the second to knot the game up 2-2.

Shortstop Kayla Evans dives for a pop-up in front of second baseman Jordyn DiFava (Sussex Post/Ben Heck).

“In the first game I kind of struggled – it was a lefty vs. a left-handed pitcher – but in the second game I just felt on and I was hitting the ball hard so it just worked out,” Elliott said of her night at the plate.

Wroten experienced trouble to open the bottom of the third inning, allowing back-to-back baserunners on base before striking out three consecutive batters to end the LMN scoring threat.

Elliott’s success at the plate continued as she drove in Kayla Evans on another double in the top of the fourth. Elliott would come around to score on an error one at-bat later to extend the lead to 4-2.

Shelby Verosko gave LMN new life with a game-tying two-run double in the bottom of the fifth inning.

Run-scoring doubles from Kylie Kruger and Sierra Livingston in the top of the sixth inning put Georgetown/Cape ahead for good, solidifying the title-clinching victory.

Between the two games, Wroten allowed just five runs and struck out 18 batters.

“We just tried to mix it up a little bit,” Wroten said. “The first game I went mainly side-to-side with my curve and screw, then the second game I threw them off a lot with my rise ball and I went with a drop curve, so I just tried to keep them off-balance since they had seen me so many times.”

Georgetown/Cape players and coaches proudly display the District III title banner (Sussex Post/Ben Heck).

The opening ceremony and first pitch of this year’s Senior Softball World Series is set for Monday, July 30.

As defending champions, Georgetown/Cape knows they have a target on their backs heading into the tourney.

“Last year was an awesome experience,” said Sierra Livingston. “We met a lot of friends, played great softball and saw a lot of competition, so we’re really excited about trying it out again.”

“It’s exciting and nervous all wrapped up into one,” coach Kormanik said. “If our girls come out and play the way they can, the least it’ll be is fun.”

Sports Editor Ben Heck can be reached at bheck@newszap.com.

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