Sparked by an explosive offense, New Hyde Park defeated the Asia Pacific champions, 11-4, Thursday in the first game of the Little League Softball World Series in Portland, Ore.
New Hyde Park scored two runs in the bottom of the first inning. Kayla Fitzpatrick led off with a triple and scored on Jenny Hickey's bunt. Hickey, who reached on an error, stole second and scored on an error. New Hyde Park added five runs in the second.
The all-star team, comprised of the top 11- and 12-year-old players from the New Hyde Park Little League, won the East Region championship July 27 and became the first Long Island squad to qualify for the World Series since an Islip team did in 1993. No New York team has ever won the tournament.
Asia Pacific pulled within 7-4 in the fourth inning, but NHP answered with four runs in the fifth.
Hickey allowed four runs, eight hits and struck out five in the six-inning game. Gabby Morales went 2-for-4, and Ann Grimshaw, Maggie Donnelly, Emma Nidermaier and Hickey each scored two runs. The offense was aided by eight Asia Pacific errors.
The tournament will continue through Aug. 15 and New Hyde Park faces Canada at 1 p.m. EST Friday.
New Hyde Park, in 2010, won the East Regional championship, which set off a whirlwind congratulatory tour that included enshrinement in the Little League Baseball Museum in Williamsport and their being honored at a Mets game. That was the end of their road that season, as only the older teams are eligible to compete in the World Series. Two years later, though, this group has a chance to make history.