Kaya Hannon struck out 10 as Tunkhannock defeated Rhode Island champion Cranston National Budlong 3-2 Thursday to move to the championship game of the Little League Major Softball East Regional at Bristol, Conn.
Pennsylvania champion Tunkhannock, which also won the District 15 and Section 3 titles, will play at noon Friday against the winner of a game played at 9 a.m. Cranston National Budlong will play either the Delaware or Connecticut champion in that game. The East Regional champion advances to the World Series Aug. 8-15 in Portland, Ore.
Tunkhannock, 3-0 and the only unbeaten team, scored all of its runs in the second inning. It loaded the bases with no one out, but Cranston National Budlong recorded two outs and appeared out of the jam. But Hannah James hit an infield single to first, scoring Cali Wisnosky to give Tunkhannock a 1-0 lead.
Elia McNeff followed with a single to center, scoring Syndey Huff and Erin Van Ness.
Cranston National Budlong answered back with two runs in the fifth inning. Paige Cote knocked in the first with a single. The other scored on a wild pitch. Hannon, though, retired the next two batters and the side in the sixth inning to preserve the victory.
Hannon opened the game by striking out five of the first six batters she faced. Arghennis Disla broke the streak with a bunt single to start the third inning for Cranston National Budlong. Hannon, though, set down the next five Rhode Island batters before running into some problem in the fifth.
Tunkhannock advanced to the East Regional by defeating District 16 and Section 5 champion Pittston Area 8-2 in the state championship game.
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