YEAGERTOWN - It took a string of wins, strong work in the circle and at the plate and perhaps a little help from the rain, and Decatur was the winner of the Mifflin County Little League Major Super Series with an 11-1 win over Yeagertown Wednesday night.
With an 11-1 lead after 4 1/2 innings, Decatur never batted for the home half of the fifth because the game was called for heavy rain. But with the required four innings completed, the win went to Decatur.
Decatur had defeated Yeagertown 19-8 on Monday to force Wednesday's game, and the momentum from that win was evident early in the championship as Decatur took a quick 3-0 lead after one inning. Taking advantage of three walks and getting three RBIs between Destiny Graham's infield groundout and Caitlyn Kick's single to center, Decatur never looked back after that first inning.
Through the first three innings, Graham worked hard from the circle for Decatur, and she held the Yeagertown batters hitless. With her speed she notched three strikeouts, but in the third a walk to Baily Williamson came back to bite her as Williamson put her speed to good use, stealing all three bases for Yeagertown's only run of the game.
Leesha Shilling came in for Graham for the last two innings and got three strikeouts for her effort, but did give up a singles to Hannah Crossley and Rachel King for Yeagertown's two hits of the evening.
"They played their hearts out," Yeagertown coach Ken Shilling said. "They did really good all year, and I couldn't be prouder of these girls right here. First year as a head coach, I love it. I'm hoping to come back next year."
While Yeagertown struggled to get runs, Decatur was busy expanding the lead with a four-run inning in the second - highlighted by an RBI-double to center field by Allie Goss - and a three-hit inning for four runs in the fourth.
"I feel very happy for the girls," Decatur coach Sonny Ciccolini said. "All year we worked, and a couple of things they got tired of hearing me say. We talked about attitude and effort. If they brought the best attitude they could bring and gave every amount of effort that they had, I said 'The game will play out the way it's supposed to, win, lose or draw.'"
Some highlights for Decatur were Goss's 2-for-2 night that included a triple and a double, plus dominant pitching from Graham and Shilling.
"Beginning of the year we worked really hard on pitching. In fact, before the season started we kind of worked a little bit with our form and mechanics, and or the most part our pitchers improved through the season," Ciccolini said.
Highlights for Yeagertown were two and three strikeouts apiece for Crossley and Kaitlyn Pennebaker and an unassisted double play at first.