LAS VEGAS (FOX5) Summerlin South softball arrived in North Carolina, Sunday to play on youth softball’s biggest stage. Thursday, August 12, the team from Summerlin sporting powder blue uniforms with Nevada over the chest scored five runs in the first inning and never looked back defeating New Jersey 5-2.
“I always wanted to play against teams and girls across the world and the U.S. because I always watch it on TV, and now that I’m here it doesn’t feel real,” 13-year-old Jovani Corniel said.
Corniel helped lead her team to the win with a two RBI double in the first inning.
“When we stepped on the field all the nerves went away,” Corniel said.
The five runs in the first set the stage for a game full of strong pitching and stellar defensive plays.
“I really never thought I’d actually be here and actually play in it,” 11-year-old Alexis Kearnes said.
The team of 10 to 12-year-olds cruised through the West Regionals in San Bernardino, CA to punch their ticket to the Little League World Series.
The pandemic slashed last year’s season after a trip to the regionals in 2019. Everyone had high expectations that so far have been exceeded.
“Our expectations are beyond San Bernardino and now winning it,” Manager Jim Lenahan said.
Since the All-Stars from Summerlin South Little League softball were assembled in June, all Lenahan and his team have done is win.
“It’s a business trip. We really want to make memories for the girls, but we’re here to win,” Lenahan said.
The players said there’s been something special about this team that’s bonded them over the last month of traveling and essentially living together.
“You have different ages and that doesn’t matter we really play well together and we can make that connection on and off the field,” Corniel said.
Friday morning is the second game of pool play for the team representing Nevada. A win Friday would essentially clinch a spot in the quarterfinals of the Little League World Series, according to Lenahan.