WACO â Bryan Harveyâs journey through the elimination bracket of the Southwest Regional surely will get rougher, but for one night Harvey found a soft landing place.
The Major Girls from Harvey bounced back from dropping their opener at the Little League softball tournament, cruising to a 16-1 victory against over-matched Arkansas state champion Malvern on Monday night at the Bush Little League Center.
Harveyâs 11- and 12-year-olds fought through the losersâ bracket to win their previous Section I and Texas East tournaments, and they showed bounce-back capabilities against Arkansas. Harvey blew it open with nine runs in the third inning, and the game was stopped after four frames because of the run rule.
The Bryan squad will play New Mexico state champion Silver City at 3 p.m. Tuesday, with the winner earning a spot in the regional semifinal game to be played at 8 p.m. Tuesday. New Mexico advanced with an 11-6 win over Colorado in Mondayâs first game, which was delayed more than an hour because of lightning.
Harvey and Malvern didnât start until 9:09 p.m., but the late hour did not bother the Bryan girls. Harvey scored two runs in each of the first two innings, taking advantage of wildness by the Arkansas pitcher and a very shaky defense.
During the lengthy top half of the third, Harvey collected six hits and capitalized on four Malvern errors. Harvey sent 13 batters to the plate in the inning, which mercifully ended when a Bryan runner was ruled out for leaving first base early on a stolen base attempt.
Harvey got at least one hit from every spot in the batting order, finishing with a total 14 as Malvernâs poor defense negated a starting pitcher who threw fairly hard.
Nicole Goggin, Jade Chavarria, Mariya Reyes, Addie Wright and Bri Warren delivered two hits apiece for Harvey. Leadoff batter Goggin scored in all four trips to the plate, while Chavarria drove in three runs. Hannah Schnettler added a two-run single.
Faith Fernandez started the game in the pitchersâ circle and threw one perfect inning, striking out the side on nine pitches. Goggin moved from shortstop to pitcher and worked the last three innings, allowing two hits and no earned runs.
For three innings, Harvey did a good job of patching the defensive holes that proved costly in Sundayâs 5-2 loss to Waco Robinson. The Bryan team got good plays from third baseman Reyes, second baseman Chavarria and center fielder Warren.
The Harvey defense wobbled during a sloppy finish. Bryanâs girls committed four errors during the bottom of the fourth inning, but absorbed only minimal damage as Reyes recorded the final out with a fine play, charging a slow roller to make a bare-handed grab and throw to first.
Arkansas went 0-2 in the regional, dropping its opener against Louisiana 17-1.