Livingston ends 12-inning World Series marathon with walk-off double

ROXANA – There’s no better way to end a slump than by drilling a walk-off RBI double to end an extra-inning marathon.

That’s exactly what Sierra Livingston did when she knocked in teammate Jordyn DiFava in the bottom of the 12th inning to put District III past U.S. Southwest, 2-1, to cap Tuesday night’s Senior Softball World Series Day 2 action.

“It’s awesome because I have been in a bit of a slump and it’s great to get out of it for my team,” Livingston said. “We put our whole heart into this game and we love every minute of it.”

Sierra Livingston (22) is hugged by teammate Taylor Wroten after knocking in the game-winning run (Sussex Post/Ben Heck)

Livingston was 0-for-5 at the plate prior to her game-winning double but made the play out of the batter’s box when her teammates needed it most.

“Our girls, once again, stepped up and rose to the occasion,” said District III manager Craig Kormanik. “There’s 12 girls on this team and I can rely on any one of them – whether they’re starting, coming off the bench. I can call on them any given time and have them perform and that’s just a great feeling as a coach.”

“Our team unity is amazing and just the fact we can count on every single person in any given moment is just awesome,” said DiFava.

DiFava, starting at second base, injured her ankle late in the extra-inning marathon but remained in the game and ended up scoring the game-winner.

“My teammates definitely encouraged me and had my back the whole time and I knew I could count on them in any given moment, so it was awesome,” DiFava said, when asked how she was able to play through the pain.

District III (2-0) followed up Monday’s 12-run, 18-hit performance with 11 hits in the team’s one-run victory.

Catcher Kelsey Kormanik, awaiting the throw from her teammate, tagged out a potential go-ahead run at the plate (Sussex Post/Ben Heck)

Kylie Kruger and Siera Jones recorded three hits each, with Ryleigh Elliott (two), DiFava (one), Livingston (one) and Kelsey Kormanik (one) recording the other five hits.

“Southwest, obviously, had a heck of a lot of talent,” said coach Kormanik. “So, with us being evenly-matched, the defense and both pitchers did a nice job keeping the batters off-balanced. We were just fortunate enough to outlast them.”

Starting pitcher Taylor Wroten pitched 12 innings of one-run ball, allowing just seven hits and striking out six while facing 45 batters.

“Taylor has been pitching her butt off,” Livingston said of Wroten’s performance.

“Taylor’s a workhorse,” coach Kormanik said. “I know I’ve said it all along, but tonight just proves how much. She actually seems like she gets better as the night goes on.”

“I love Taylor to death, she’s amazing and is a beast out there. She kept us all focused – and herself – and it was a great team win,” DiFava said.

District III girls prior to the 12-inning showdown Tuesday night (Sussex Post/Ben Heck).

Both squads scored a first-inning run, with Haylie Mitchell scoring on an error in the top of the first inning for Southwest. District III returned the favor with an RBI single from Kylie Kruger, scoring Ryleigh Elliott in the bottom of the first.

District III takes on Latin America (0-2) Wednesday, Aug. 1 at 12:30 p.m. in the team’s third pool play game of the tourney.

“We’re just taking it one game,” said coach Kormanik. “This was a long, tiring game but winning really keeps us motivated. We have another tough game tomorrow, so we’ll just go out there and do our best.”

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

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