The District 12 Big League softball team had an opening game experience at the Big League World Series in Kalamazoo, Mich., on Thursday it would just as soon forget.
The Southeast region champion, comprised of players from northern Pinellas and southern Pasco counties, was one out from a shutout victory over its Central region opponent from Grand Rapids, Mich., but surrendered three runs in the bottom of the seventh in a 3-1 loss.
With two outs, Grand Rapids doubled, singled, then smashed a two-run home run in succession to undo a spectacular pitching effort by starter Lakyn Shull of River Ridge, who allowed only one hit through four innings, and reliever Cori Williams of Mitchell, who went the final three innings.
Southeast scored its only run in the first inning on an RBI single by East Lake's Hayley Davis.
Southeast will play a doubleheader today to continue pool play at the Big League World Series, which runs through Wednesday. The team plays the Asia Pacific champions from Manila, Philippines, at 3:30 p.m. followed by an evening matchup against tournament host Kalamazoo at 6 p.m.