pool-play game against Midway Little League of Waco, Texas, in the
27th annual Little League World Series at Skyview Park in
Jeffersontown, Ky., Glendale surrendered three runs and eventually
fell, 4-2, to the U.S. Southwest champion.
So what is the significance of all of this?
With its victory, Midway became the first team in two summers to
post a come-from-behind triumph against the defending Little League
World Series champion, in addition to becoming the first squad to
defeat Slouber in 11 postseason outings.
Glendale entered the game with 27 wins in 31 contests during its
two-year run, having suffered 1-0 losses to Snow Canyon, Utah, and
Gladstone, Mich., last summer and again to Gladstone in 17 innings
in Monday's tournament opener.
Its fourth setback came Aug. 5 against East Redding in a pool-play
game in the Western Regional Tournament in Butte, Mont., in a contest
in which Glendale spotted the Division 2 champion a three-run lead
before rallying to tie it, only to fall, 6-3, in eight innings.
But never once had Glendale led and surrendered that advantage
like it did Wednesday.
With Jessica McIntosh, Sarah Sherman and Danielle Soule combining
to post a 0.62 earned-run average in 91 innings last year and Soule,
Meghann Muirhead, Kristal Phillips, Slouber and Rebecca Wingett
forming a strong rotation this summer -- boasting a combined 0.72 ERA
in 117 1/3 innings -- it seemed that a Glendale lead was about as
close to a lock as Tiger Woods winning at least one major
championship in a calendar year.
But, as a result of Midway taking the fifth, Glendale (14-3, 1-2
in tournament) can now finish no better than fifth in the world after
its run toward the world title last year.
"The overall theme of this tournament is us not being able to hit
the ball like we did in the past," said Glendale co-Coach Dave
Stauffer, whose squad has managed just three runs in 32 innings this
year after scoring 15 in 35 innings last summer.
"A lot of it has to do with the fact that we've faced three really
good teams and three really good pitchers [in Gladstone right-hander