Eastbank Little League softball headed to World Series after walk-off win

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WACO, Texas – Kira Manganello delivered a walk-off single in the bottom of the sixth inning to lift the River Ridge-based Eastbank Little League softball team to a 2-1 victory over Texas-West Sunday to capture the Southwest District championship and Eastbank’s first-ever trip to the Little League World Series.

The Little League Softball World Series is August 8-15 in Portland, Oregon. The tournament features two pools of five teams playing a round-robin schedule, which sets up a single-elimination bracket on the final three days. ESPN2 and ESPN+ will televise all games of the tournament.

Texas-West, based in San Antonio, took an early 1-0 lead in the second before Eastbank tied the game in the third on a hit by Olivia Ianetta. It remained 1-1 until Manganello’s final-inning dramatics.

Eastbank Little League Softball World Series
Members of the Eastbank Little League team are all smiles after punching their ticket to the Little League Softball World Series next month. (Courtesy Eastbank Little League)

In addition to delivering both runs, Manganello and Ianetta each had two of Eastbank’s six hits.

Kayla Giardina picked up the victory for Eastbank, allowing four hits, walking one and striking out three.

In addition to producing the trip to the World Series, Eastbank’s win avenged a tournament-opening 10-4 loss to Texas-West on Thursday. The Louisiana champs won three consecutive games Friday and Saturday to reach Sunday’s final.

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