Wroten, offense power Georgetown/District III to 12-0 World Series shutout

ROXANA – Not even Mother Nature could slow down the defending champion District III squad in Monday night’s Senior League Softball World Series tournament opener.

Taylor Wroten’s 13 strikeouts from the pitcher’s circle and the offense’s 18 hits led District III to a 12-0 shutout victory over the East squad from Worcester, Mass. to open pool play with a 1-0 record.

“This definitely sets the tone for the tournament,” Wroten said. “This is exactly what we wanted to come out here and do the first game, just show everybody that we’re still the team to beat and that we’re not here to play around.”

Georgetown/District III’s infield takes a knee in the pitcher’s circle during an injury timeout (Sussex Post/Ben Heck).

Despite heavy rains for most of the day, Lower Sussex Little League’s grounds crew worked hard to make sure the field was playable before the game’s first pitch at approximately 8:02 p.m. — two hours later than scheduled.

About 30 minutes prior to the first pitch, Jordyn DiFava made her way out to second base to test out the playing conditions and thank a crew member for their hard work.

“The grounds crew was awesome, they were putting in a lot of hard work for hours, trying to get this field ready,” DiFava said. “I just wanted to go out there and thank them for the time they put in getting this field ready for us.”

“They’ve been hyped from 10 a.m. this morning until game time tonight,” manager Craig Kormanik said of his players, who had been dressed in their uniforms 10 hours prior to the game’s first pitch.

“They’ve been waiting for this game since they got to the hotel room.”

Once the field was ready to go, District III — whose players are from district champion Georgetown/Cape — wasted no time getting things started offensively.

Ryleigh Elliott (three), Kelsey Kormanik (three), Wroten (two), DiFava (two) and Kylie Kruger (two) each had multi-hit games for the host team. Eleven of the team’s 12 members finished the night with at least one hit.

In last year’s tournament, Kormanik was limited to strictly catching duties and had a limited number of at-bats due to a recent knee injury she had suffered prior to the start of the tourney.

Wroten struck out 13 of the 26 batters she faced (Sussex Post/Ben Heck).

This year is different for her, as she stepped into the batter’s box and went 3-for-4 with a run and an RBI with the bat in her hand.

“It felt great tonight and it really feels like I’m back,” Kormanik said of her three-hit night.

“It’s incredible to have her back in our lineup and to have her do what she did tonight,” said Craig Kormanik of Kelsey.

“I am so proud of everyone, we hit from top to bottom,” said Wroten. “I didn’t know what to expect coming in offensively, we’ve all been playing travel all summer and we never know what the pitching’s going to be out here.”

“Our team all-around is sound,” Elliott, the team’s lead-off hitter, added. “Everyone on the team can make a play and everyone can hit. I’d say we’re all pretty much equal.”

District III put up three quick runs in the top half of the first inning off a pair of RBI singles from Wroten and Kormanik and a passed ball.

Kelsey Kormanik (left) and Ryleigh Elliott chest bump after Elliott scored the game’s first run to give District III the early 1-0 lead (Sussex Post/Ben Heck).

Wroten struck out the side in the bottom of the first inning and shut down the East bats early, striking out six batters in the first three innings.

District III extended the lead to 6-0 in the fifth inning on back-to-back Wroten and Sierra Livingston RBI singles and an East error.

One run in the sixth inning and a five-run top of the seventh, sparked by a lead-off single from Kruger, put the game out of reach for the East.

Pending weather conditions, District III’s next game of pool play is set for 8 p.m. Tuesday night against U.S. Southwest.

“It’s a great group of girls, but there’s a lot of talent out here and we don’t want to overlook that. We’re just going to take each game one by one,” Kormanik said.

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

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