ROXANA — Things were going a lot smoother for Lower Sussex before the storm hit on Friday afternoon.
But even a delay of a few hours couldn’t stop the Sussex County squad from advancing in the Senior League softball World Series.
Lower Sussex scored a couple runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to finally put away U.S. West, 5-2, in the tournament quarterfinals at its home complex.
The host team plays again on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. in the semifinals of the Little League championship for 14-16 year olds. The finals are scheduled for Sunday evening.
Before the lengthy rain delay, Lower Sussex (4-1) was leading 3-0 in the fourth inning and pitcher Kinsley Hall hadn’t allowed a hit.
But when the contest resumed, U.S. West (2-3) — from Palmdale, Calif. — scored twice in the top of the sixth to cut the Lower Sussex lead to 3-2. U.S. West strung together four straight singles to put together the rally.
Those two runs are only the third and fourth runs — as well as the first two eraned runs — that Hall has allowed in the tourney.
Lower Sussex, however, answered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth. Macy Blades’ double to left scored both Jaya Shaub and Shaniya Lewis with the big insurance runs.
U.S. West got a leadoff walk in the top of the seventh. But right fielder Katie McHale caught a flyball and then threw to shortstop Laniya Lewis to catch the running trying to advance for a game-ending double play.
Blades, who doubled twice, went 2-for-3 with three RBI while Shaniya Lewis was 3-for-3 and scored three times for Lower Sussex. Six players contributed to a total of nine hits for Lower Sussex.
Hall and Shaniya Lewis both had doubles.
Hall ended up throwing a five-hitter with seven strikeouts and five walks. The Indian River High junior has now struck out 33 while allowing only 14 hits and four runs in her 29 innings.