Fancher’s walk-off hit keeps Vicksburg alive at regional

Published 4:06 pm Friday, July 27, 2018

WACO, Texas — Sarah Cameron Fancher delivered the hit of a lifetime to keep the Vicksburg 12U All-Stars’ Little League World Series hopes alive.

Fancher’s single with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning Friday drove in Abby Morgan with the winning run and gave Vicksburg a walk-off 7-6 victory over Bayard, New Mexico in an elimination game at the Little League Softball Southwest Regional.

“The fight these girls have shown throughout this tournament has been amazing to see. Whether we have been up by a bunch of runs, or down a bunch of runs, they have not quit. Not once,” Vicksburg coach Mike Foley said.

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The Mississippi champion will next play Saturday at 2 p.m. against River Ridge, Louisiana, in another elimination game. The winner of that contest will face either Texas East (Columbus, Texas) or Texas West (Greater Helotes Little League of San Antonio) Saturday at 5 p.m. for a spot in Sunday’s single-elimination championship game.

All of the remaining games in the regional will be televised live on the Longhorn Network and streamed on ESPN Plus.

“Every team in this tournament is made up of all-stars; there’s not an easy game anywhere,” Foley said. “For us to make Sunday’s championship game, we are going to have to knock off two tough teams. We know that and we are ready for that.”

Vicksburg split its first two games in the regional and survived Friday thanks to an epic comeback that preceded Fancher’s heroics.

Vicksburg trailed 4-0 entering the bottom of the fourth inning, and 5-1 in the fifth. It plated two runs on an error, and Jennifer Smith hit an inside-the-park home run to cut it to 5-4. Then, with two outs in the sixth, Mary Hossley delivered an RBI single to tie the game and send it to extra innings.

New Mexico took the lead in the seventh with an RBI groundout by Julianna Ortiz, but Mississippi had one more rally up its sleeve.

Kamryn Morson got things started with a two-out single. Abby Morgan followed with a fly ball that was misplayed, allowing Morson to score the tying run and Morgan to move up to second. Fancher then singled to center to score Morgan with the winning run.

Morson finished the game 3-for-3, while Morgan walked twice and scored a run. Hossley went 1-for-2 with a single, two walks, an RBI and a run scored.

Morgan, Vicksburg’s pitcher, allowed six runs on six hits, but only three of the runs were earned and she did not walk a batter. She also had seven strikeouts.

In 17 innings over three games in the tournament, Morgan has allowed only four earned runs and has not walked a batter. She has 23 strikeouts. She will be not be available to pitch in either of Saturday’s games, however, because of tournament rules limiting how often a player can pitch. She would be allowed to pitch in the championship game on Sunday if Vicksburg can get that far.

The team’s other pitchers include Hossley, Fancher, Kyleigh Cooper and Lexi Kistler.

“Abby has done a tremendous job for us the first three games. Because of the pitching rules, we are going to have to rely on some of our other girls to carry us on. We believe they can do it,” Foley said.

Saturday, 2 p.m.
Vicksburg vs. River Ridge, Louisiana
• The game will be broadcast on the Longhorn Network and streamed online through ESPN Plus