• Local softball team heads to Little League Softball World Series

    By: Joe Bruno

    Updated:

    ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. - Rowan Little League is heading to its fourth Little League Softball World Series in five years. Rowan defeated Barboursville Little League of West Virginia 9-1 to solidify a spot in the big tournament.

    [2015: Rowan girls celebrated as Softball World Series champs]

    "Every single day for 365 days we have been working," Lauren Vanderpool, second baseman, said.

    "We will fight," pitcher Campbell Schaen said. "We won't back down at all."

    Rowan Little League will fly to Portland, Oregon for the Little League World Series on Monday. Games start next Wednesday. Teams from across the nation and world will participate.

    It was a redemption year for Rowan Little League after falling in the regional championship in 2018.

    "I was in shock, I couldn't believe it," Schaen said. "We've waited a year for this moment and it finally came."

    Shortstop Kynlle Dextraze credits good coaching for Rowan Little League's continued success.

    "Our coaches are really good with the girls and it makes a big difference," she said.

    Manager Steve Yang has coached the team for three of its four appearances in the World Series. Yang said softball has exploded in popularity in Rowan following the team's first appearance in the championship in 2015.

    "When we first got this team together, we knew we had a lot of work to do," Yang said. "These girls and parents wanted to put the time and work into it to be better. The results have shown that if the commitment is there then positive outlooks can happen."

    The players said they are ready for the World Series and hope to bring home another title.

    "We just got to keep our head straight and keep working hard and I think we will be good," Dextraze said.

    "We'll do anything just to get our team going and cheering and help us win," Vanderpool said.


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