WARNER ROBINS, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - Friday morning, Georgia, a team made up of all-stars from Western Little League in Macon, took on Florida at Little League Southeast Park in Warner Robins.
The girls from the Peach State represented well, but they came up short in their first pool play game.
The name of the game today: Hitting. Florida could do it; Georgia could not. Florida ended up with 12 hits to Georgia's two and went on to win the game, 7-2.
"Florida's got a great hitting team," says Georgia manager Mike Phillips. "We've got Alabama, too, in our pool. They're a great hitting team, and North Carolina (too). Our pool is probably one of the heaviest ones as far as the hitting. This age group, unless you've got some great, dominant pitchers, they're going to hit the ball. You just gotta hit with them, and we didn't hit with them."
Before today's first pitch, Georgia's girls got their first official introduction to the crowd, since what was supposed to be their first game last night was called off due to lightning.
Today was a new day, and it was time to finally play ball. Unfortunately for Georgia, Florida could do no wrong.
Maggie Wheless got the first run on the board for the girls from the Sunshine State in the first inning with her double that brought home Amanda Plasencia.
After a sac fly and wild pitch, Florida went up 3-0, but Georgia stopped the scoring with an impressive double play.
After a quick top half of the second inning, Georgia's Skye McKinney nailed a double to left field, moving Ashley Walker over to third. Walker scored off a wild pitch and McKinney scored off a single by Megan Frank, making it 3-2 Florida.
It would stay close for three innings until the top of the 5th, with the bases loaded.
Florida's Brianne Guldin blew the game open with a two-run double to make it 6-2. From there, Florida would tack on one more run, and Georgia would run out of time.
"I just told them they gotta focus," says Phillips. "I mean, they gotta go out there and hit the ball. The little half swings ain't getting it. They gotta swing hard at the ball and want to hit it. They gotta want this."
Next up for Georgia (0-1) is Alabama (1-0) on Saturday morning at 10 a.m. Alabama knocked off Florida (1-1), 14-10, on Thursday, so Georgia faces a tall task if the girls hope to advance out of pool play.