Softball: Negros Occidental falls in close game at Little League World Series

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 14 2022 04:52 AM | Updated as of Aug 14 2022 05:09 AM

Negros Occidental lost 2-0 to Maryland at the Little League Softball World Series in Greenville, North Carolina, on Saturday (US time).

The Philippines squad – representing the Asia-Pacific region at Stallings Stadium – had no answer for pitcher Macy Rickards, who notched a no-hitter. 

Jacey Pajotal, Negros’ starting pitcher, had a stellar game herself, pitching five innings, striking out five, and walking two. 

Rickards, meanwhile, struck out 13 and tallied 87 pitches in a no-relief outing for the Maryland squad representing the Mid-Atlantic region.

An RBI single by Cheyanne Wiley sent fellow catcher and first baseman Audrey Senft scoring at the bottom of the second. 

At the bottom of the fifth, Rickards drove in the second run with two outs.

Pajotal looked ready for a 1-2-3 fifth inning until second baseman and infielder Maddie Premo hit a single, before stealing second base and scoring on the Rickards single. 

The Philippines entered Saturday’s match on the back of a 1-0 victory over Alberta, the Canadian regional champions, and a 4-1 conquest of Italy, winners of the Europe-Africa Region.

Negros Occidental, bannered by Bacolod, is the 2019 Asia-Pacific Region champion.

According to a Little League official, because of logistical constraints caused by the pandemic, not enough teams could compete in the Asia-Pacific tournament.

The Little League International Tournament Committee, thus, approved Negros Occidental’s participation at the World Series, citing “the overall strength of participation in the Little League Softball program throughout the Philippines.”