Westfield gets even


JENKINS TOWNSHIP – Starting pitcher Marleigh Monroe struck out 10 batters to go along with a two-hitter, and Kelsey Bouchard had an RBI double as Westfield rebounded from a tournament opening loss with a 4-3 win over Fairfield (Conn.) in the Little League Softball 10-Year-Old East Regionals Sunday.
“Yesterday was a tough one but we pulled it out today,” Westfield manager Tony Bouchard said. “We were rusty (in the opener), made a couple errors in the infield, and our bats took two innings too long to get warmed up.”
After an early Sunday morning practice, Westfield appeared re-energized.
“We told the girls now or never,” manager Bouchard said. “The girls came out hungry today. That was the difference.”
Fairfield scored the game’s first run in the top of the first, but Westfield responded with three runs in the bottom half of the inning. The Whip City’s all-stars tacked on an insurance run in the second.
Fairfield made a late push, scoring two runs in the sixth inning, but it was not enough.
This time it was Connecticut pitcher Alyssa Russo who suffered the tough-luck loss. Russo finished with nine strikeouts in tossing a one-hitter.
Fairfield’s outfield robbed Allie LaPanne of an extra base hit with the bases loaded when the right fielder made a diving grab on a ball out along the right field line.
“We’re not playing Little League softball any more,” manager Bouchard said. “This is the big leagues.”
While Westfield improved to 1-1 in New England pool play, Fairfield fell to 0-1.
NOTES: Westfield’s manager said Monroe briefly struggled with the new environment with a grass infield and raised mound. “We had Marleigh shorten her stride and told our catcher to bring her glove up.” Since, then, Monroe has been magnificent as usual.

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