By Arnie Leshin
Five teams have advanced to the softball Little League World Series that will be played for the second straight time in Greenville, N.C.
One is the host team from North Carolina and it advanced to the 10-to-12-year-old WS when the Pitt County team shut down the NC Rowan representative, 8-0. Prior to last year, this championship was played at Portland, Ore.
In the Southwest Regional in Waco, Tex., Texas East took the title by turning back Louisiana, 6-4, to avenge the previous 5-1 loss to Louisiana, and then ousted Texas East, 4-2, to set up the final. Texas West went 4-1 in the regional.
New Mexico also played at Waco and lost 2-of-3 against Texas East and West, and its lone win came over winless Colorado.
In the New England Regional played in Bristol, Conn., it was host Connecticut blanking Vermont, 10-0, in the final and won all its four starts while Vermont finished at 2-2. Connecticut outscored its opponents 32-4.
In the Mid-Atlantic also played at Bristol, unbeaten Maryland went 4-0 and topped it off by routing Delaware, 9-3, even after Delaware romped over Washington, 24-0.
Also advancing was Virginia in the Southeast Regional with a tight 4-3 win over North Carolina to win its three outings that included an impressive 8-0 shutout over Florida at Warner Robbins, Ga.
The three remaining spots will be played Friday or Saturday.
In the Northwest Regional at San Bernardino, Calif., it’s Washington facing Montana, Washington winning the previous match-up, 13-3, and is 3-0, while for Montana that was its lone loss. Washington has tallied 50 runs so far and Montana nipped Oregon, 7-6, to gain the final.
In the West Regional also at San Bernardino, it’s Southern California at 3-0and Arizona at 4-1 with its lone defeat against Southern Cal, 10-0, in a second-straight shutout. Despite that setback, Arizona did outscore its opponents, 44-13.
In the Central Regional at Whitestown, Ind., it will be Missouri versus Indiana. Mo got past Ohio, 10-0, and Indiana disposed of Iowa, 6-0. The two come into the final at 4-0 each.