West Cumberland pitchers Brooke Coleman and Shayla Loud combined for a 3-0 shutout over Milford, Del., in the championship game of the Eastern Regional softball tournament in Worcester, Mass., on Thursday to advance to the Senior League World Series in Sussex County, Del.
The pitching performance allowed the rest of the 14- to 16-year-old players to relax a little after coming off a thrilling 6-4 win in the semifinals over New Gloucester, Maine, on Thursday.
The 3-0 championship victory was the team’s fourth shutout victory of the tournament. The win also avenged a 4-1 loss to Milford in pool play.
West Cumberland coach Gary Woodruff said this is the first team from the area to appear in the Senior League World Series since 2008.
“It felt great (to beat Milford the second time),” said Kodi Pollock, a 17-year-old Hopewell resident who plays for Cumberland Regional High School. “We needed to have confidence and we just came out and did it.”
“We all had a blast and (the World Series) is going to be a great experience for us ad we cant wait. We’re ready for it.”
In the semifinals, New Gloucester tied the game 4-4 in the top of the sixth inning. West Cumberland responded in the bottom of the inning. Catcher Emily Pettit singled to center field with one out and advanced to third.
Pettit scored on the next play when second baseman Casey Kisielewski put down a successful squeeze to give West Cumberland the lead. Kisielewski then stole second and went on to score an insurance run on Katie McCormick’s single. Loud clinched the win on the mound with three straight outs.
Lauren Dwyer contributed with two RBIs.
“I was just excited that we got in and scored,” Kisielewski, a 16-year old Pennsville resident said about her squeeze.
“It was close,” she added about her steal at second. “It was a relief.”
Just as the offense shined in the semifinals, the pitching dominated in the championship. Coleman earned the win, allowing two hits in three innings. Loud had two strikeouts and allowed two walks and two hits in four innings.
Woodruff said Milford threatened in the fourth by loading the bases, but Loud forced a flyout to right field to end the inning.
“Other than that, the pitchers were dominating,” he said. “They threw well. Both of them.”
Milford led off the seventh inning with a single, but a sliding catch by right fielder Carly DiDonna for the first out helped Loud regain her focus and record the final two outs. On offense, Pollock recorded a triple, run scored and RBI double for a 2-0 lead. Lindsay Dwyer was 2-for-3.
“It felt really good because everyone was all pumped afterward. (My double) got everyone up,” Pollock said.
West Cumberland had some experience on its side. Woodruff said the team suffered a heartbreaking 3-2 loss in the Eastern Regional final last year. By overcoming that, the team will share their first World Series experience together.
“I’m glad we won and got the chance to go to the World Series,” Kisielewski said. “It’s great.”
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