BRISTOL — Connecticut champion Milford took a firm hold with a six-run first inning and defeated Vermont, 10-0, in an East Region Little League 10-run rule game at the A. Bartlett Giamatti Little League Leadership Training Center’s J. Breen Field on Saturday night.
“I talked to the girls about what it took to get this far,” Connecticut manager Scott Worzel said. “We got to watch some of the earlier games on TV and we felt that we belonged.”
New Jersey kicked off play with an 8-2 victory over Rhode Island. New York next defeated Maryland, 12-2, in a 10 run-rule five innings. Massachusetts held off Maine, 8-4.
Connecticut will play either New York or Delaware (playing Sunday) on Monday at 7 p.m. at Breen.
The winners used 10 hits to shorten the game by two innings in a game that took only one hour to complete.
Mya Dawid had three hits, including a triple, and drove in four runs.
“It feels good to know people count on you,” Dawid said of batting with runners on base. “Most pitchers, because I’m a lefty, try to pitch me outside so I just go with it.”
Talia Salanto reached base three times, scored three runs, and pitched three innings of one-hit ball to earn the win. She struck out five.
“I was nervous,” said Salanto, who found out she would start the game during pre-game warmups. “I got excited when my fastball and drop pitch were working. I got momentum after the strikeouts (in the first inning).”
After a strikeout/passed ball allowed Teagan Garfield, Connecticut came up with four consecutive singles in its first at bat.
Included in the rally were two-run singles from Dawid and Avery Falco. Madyson Bull (RBI), Salanto, Grace Hess (RBI) and Emily Krauss added singles.
Vermont pitcher Kenna Lovelette struck out four batters in the home first.
Dawid tripled home Salanto (walk) in the second and scored on Angie Robinson’s run-producing fielder’s choice grounder to make it 8-0.
Salanto singled to open the fourth, went to second on a wild pitch, and crossed the plate on Dawid’s fourth RBI hit of the game. Dawid advanced two bases on pitches that went to the backstop, before Hess ended the game with an run-scoring single.
Salanto struck out the first two batters she faced in a perfect first inning. The righty added two more K’s in the second and had a hand in all six outs. Salanto struck out the side around a single by Addyson Longe in the third.
Judy Tarczali came in to pitch in the top of the fourth for Connecticut and promptly set three batters down on strikes.
Vermont’s leftfielder Chloe Comstock took a single away from Kelsea Flanagan in the second. Shortstop Ruby Dasaro robbed Bull of an RBI single in the third with a catch in the tip of her glove.
The double-elimination phase ends in the final, where it is winner takes all. The title game is scheduled for Thursday at 12 p.m. The East Region champion will compete for the World Series crown in Portland, Ore.
EAST REGION NOTEBOOK
Missisquoi Little League from Franklin County went 4-0 in District play and swept through state competition in three games. They outscored their opposition 74-13. Vermont will play Rhode Island Sunday at 4.
Milford Little League brought an 11-1 record into the East Region. They lost their first District game 3-0, before winning five consecutive games by a combined 48-4. They won Sectionals in three games (18-7 run differential) and matched that feat in the state tournament (29-2).
Pennsylvania won the 2018 East Region title and placed second at the World Series.
Waterford, in 2007, is the last Connecticut champion. Orange won the title in 2005 and were runnersup at the World Series.
Home team is decided by coin flip.