Sectional champs

WORCESTER – Westfield Little League Softball 10-Year-Old All-Stars winning pitcher Shea Hurley could not find any words to describe her team’s dramatic come-from-behind win in the sectional championship, but she was not alone. Everyone else was left speechless.
Hurley tossed an 11-strikeout, two-hitter and Westfield rallied from a one-run deficit to defeat Jesse Burkett (Worcester) in a breathtaking Section 1 finals victory 6-3 Wednesday night.

Westfield pitcher Shea Hurley winds up. (Photo by Chris Putz)

“We were down near the bottom of the order so we were just like get somebody on base, try to score a run any way we can,” Westfield 10U manager Mike Bonfitto said. “We did the best we could and it just went our way.”
Grace Trempe started the sixth-inning rally with a lead-off single. The rest was history as Westfield took advantage of some walks and shaky defense, managing to put the ball in play to net four runs in the inning to walk away champs.
After Trempe’s second of two hits – Savanah Chapman pinch ran for her – Westfield moved the base runner to third on a hit from Kaleigh Little. Hayley Krupienski (2 hits, RBI) knocked in Savanah with a single to tie the game. Kaela Peich and Isabella Potenza drew key walks with two outs. Julia Bonfitto (2 hits, 2 runs scored, 2 RBIs) then ripped a double to score two runs and take the lead 5-3. Julia scored on a single by Caitlyn Arooth (3 hits, RBI, run scored) to take a 6-3 lead.
Westfield’s only other runs came in the first when Bonfitto and Arooth singled, Shea Hurley walked and Alejandra Strange singled. Julia stole home and scored and Arooth scored as well. Strange had an RBI.
Hurley pitched a nearly perfect final inning, striking out two batters and walking one in the bottom of the sixth to preserve the win.
“It’s great to defend the title,” said Bonfitto, whose team found a way to repeat despite playing with just two returning players from a year ago. “It’s going to be really exciting for them … and we don’t have to travel.”
Westfield advances to the state championship. The best-of-3 series will be held at Sadie Knox Field, beginning Saturday. A double header is scheduled for 5 and 7 p.m. If necessary, a third game will be played on Sunday.


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