The Bartow County 11-12 Little League softball team lost to Vine-Ingle/Western Little League Thursday night, 10-0, in the championship game of the 2016 Georgia Little League state tournament.
The state title sends Vine-Ingle/Western to the Little League Softball Southeast Regional July 28-August 1 in Warner Robins, GA. The winner of that seven team tournament advances to the Little League Softball World Series in Portland, OR, August 10-17.
Vine-Ingle/Western swept through the Georgia state tournament, defeating Bartow County twice on their way to a 4-0 record. Bartow defeated Pioneer Little League, 15-2, Oconee County American Little League, 24-0, and Habersham Little League, 3-2, to finish the state tournament with a 3-2 mark.
In the state finals Thursday night, Vine-Ingle/Western scored five runs in the top of the second inning to take command early. They added three runs in the fourth inning and two more in the fifth for their 10-run total.
Meanwhile, Bartow was limited offensively.
Cassie Jones and Sayde Johnson had the only Bartow base hits. Bartow managed three more baserunners with walks , one was hit by a pitch, and one batter reached on an error. Unfortunately, the locals were unable to get the key hits and left seven runners on base.
Eryn Lee, Rachael Lee, and Madison Bentley had stolen bases for the Bartow offense.
Bartow had a couple of chances. They loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the first inning and had two base runners in the third inning with only one out.
Bentley (3 IP, 5ER, 3H, 3BB, 2K) and Chloe Souders (2 IP, 4ER, 6H, 0BB) split the pitching duties for Bartow County.
Vine-Ingle/Western will join Irmo, SC; Clarksville National/Montgomery Central, TN; Atlee/Ashland, VA; Barboursville, WV; the Florida state champion; and the North Carolina state champion at the Little League Softball Southeast Regional in Warner Robins.