The Southeast champs win a defensive showdown against Puerto Rico

Photo Credit: PORTLAND TRIBUNE: DAVID BALL - Kamdyn Fuller returns to the Columbus dugout after scoring the only run of the game in the third inning Saturday. She knocked a triple into center field to set up the chance.

Little League Softball World Series
Pool A

Team Score
Columbus, GA
Puerto Rico

The top contenders have separated themselves with four teams reaching the 2-0 mark in pool play Saturday at the Little League Softball World Series at Alpenrose Dairy.

The Southeast champs from Columbus, GA, won the game of the tournament so far, holding off Puerto Rico 1-0 in an afternoon thriller.

Deadlocked in a scoreless game in the third inning, Columbus coaches implored their team to get fired up in the dugout. Little did they know it would be the player in the batter’s box, who would provide the spark.

Kamdyn Fuller swung cleanly through a pitch, sending a ball flying past the center fielder for a stand-up triple. Two batters later, Sammie Cotton looped a two-out single that fell to the grass a few strides in front of a Puerto Rico outfielder. Fuller sprinted home for what would prove to be the game’s only run.

“I was nervous. I wasn’t sure if I could hit it into the gap, but I did and it was exciting to get that first run in,” Cotton said.

Puerto Rico threatened to answer in its next at-bats, loading the bases on two walks and an error. The top of the order stepped into the batter’s box next, and Joanlly Rodriguez connected with a sharp drive to center field only to see Southeast’s Jillian Holloway race in to snag the catch and erase the threat.

Puerto Rico put together a final challenge in the sixth inning when Paola Perez reached safely on a dropped third strike to lead it off. She moved to second on a sacrifice bunt, but would get no farther.

Southeast pitcher Raelee Weaver struck out the next batter. Fuller provided the final out when she knocked down a line drive on the infield dirt, scooped up the ball and dived face-first to the third-base bag to beat the lead runner by a full stride.

“I saw the ball coming at me and knew I had to make a play,” Fuller said. “I knew I had a force at third, so I made a dive for it. I knew it was close, but I was hoping I got the out.”

Columbus advances to face Central champ Tallmadge, OH, at 5 p.m. Sunday in a battle atop the Pool A standings.

Southwest champ Bossier City, LA, moved to 2-0 with a 5-4 win over Chico, CA, representing the West Region. Bossier City put up four runs in its first at-bats and never trailed, eventually bringing in the winning run in the fourth inning.

The Southwest squad takes on East champ Robbinsville, NJ, in a battle atop the Pool B standings at 7:30 p.m. Sunday.

The Asia-Pacific champs from Iloila, Philippines, finally arrived at the complex this evening and fell 11-1 to Victoria, BC, in their first action of the tournament.

Oregon starts Sunday’s action with a 10 a.m. game against Puerto Rico, while the primetime games at 5 and 7:30 p.m. feature showdowns between the four remaining unbeaten teams.

Photo Credit: PORTLAND TRIBUNE: DAVID BALL - Jada Chadwick was all smiles in the on-deck circle during Southeasts 1-0 win over Puerto Rico.

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