Needing three wins to win the double-elimination tournament being held in Clearwater, Fla., Bartow defeated Tennessee, 8-1, before being ousted by the hosts.
In its 13-8 win over Bartow, Florida scored seven runs in the second inning and three more in the fourth to take a 10-2 lead.
Katie Deems' two-run homer in the second inning scored Diana Wimpy, who had doubled to reach base earlier, and took a bit of the sting off Florida's scoring outburst.
After Florida scored three in the fourth, Bartow responded with a run in its bottom half of the inning as Wimpy, who reached base on an error, was driven in by Deems.
Bartow cut the lead in half (10-5) in the fifth inning when Wimpy led off with a double, coming around the bases on an RBI single by Olivia Rutledge.
Florida pushed the lead back to eight (13-5) in the sixth, and Bartow added its final three runs in the seventh when Haley Hood and Samaria Curtis singled near the top of the inning. Hood scored on Wimpy's RBI hit, and Curtis crossed the plate on Deems' RBI hit. Brooke Tomlin then brought home Wimpy.
Hannah Hight pitched four innings for Bartow, giving up 10 runs, six hits and three walks while striking out three. Tomlin recorded an out against the only batter she faced, and Janna Scheff pitched three innings, striking out three and surrendering five hits and three runs.
Hood had one hit for Bartow; Curtis, one; Rutledge, two; Wimpy, three (double); Deems, three (two-run homer, double); Tomlin, one; and Scheff, two (double).
Greg Hight, Bartow County Parks and Recreation Department director, said the county's Big League all-stars played well and everyone contributed.
Something about this year was different, he noted.
"Everybody this year was a little better. It looked like they loaded up to beat Bartow," a nice compliment, Hight said, for Bartow, the defending champion at this year's tournament.
"It was a little different for us this year," he continued. "We had a couple of girls that weren't able to make it."
Ansley Williams was out of town, and Lindsey Campbell, who had surgery, also missed out on this year's tournament.
"She's been our biggest cheerleader from home," Hight said of the injured Campbell.
Had Bartow won Sunday, it would have had to beat Florida again today for a chance to advance to Kalamazoo where 50-plus round robin games will be played between Thursday and Tuesday, Aug. 10. The championship game of the Big League World Series will air live on ESPN2 at 9 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 11.
Georgia 8, Tennessee 1
In its win earlier Sunday, Bartow watched as Scheff punctuated the victory over Tennessee with a two-out, grand slam in the seventh inning.
"She put an exclamation point on it," Hight said of Scheff's four-run shot.
Scheff also excelled on the mound, pitching seven innings for Bartow in its seven-run victory, and striking out nine batters while giving up five hits and two walks.
Bartow had 13 hits, which included contributions from: Curtis, three (double); Rutledge, three (two-run homer); Wimpy, one (double); Deems, one; Brooke Tomlin, two (double); Rachel Smith, one; Scheff, two (grand slam).
Bartow scored two runs in the first inning on Rutledge's two-run blast, which also scored Curtis.
The Big League all-stars added a run in the top of the fourth inning as Wimpy scored on Deems' RBI hit.
In the seventh inning, Curtis scored again -- on a Rutledge RBI -- and Wimpy, who was hit by a pitch, and Tomlin, who singled to left field, loaded the bases for Scheff who delivered.
Tennessee scored its only run in the fifth inning.
-- Report compiled from information furnished by the Bartow County Parks and Recreation Department.