Westfield catcher Lexi Scoville and McLean hurler Jamie Bell engaged in an 11-pitch at bat during the fourth inning of the Northern Region softball final on June 3 at Madison High School. After Scoville fouled off six two-strike pitches, Bell won the battle with a strikeout.
Later in the contest, with the score tied in the bottom of the seventh, Scoville got another chance.
"I knew that if we got the leadoff runner on, the momentum of the game would have been a lot better than if I had gotten out," Scoville said. "I just kept thinking to myself, ‘My last at bat was pretty good, I’m on this girl [and] I can hit her.’"
After fouling off a pair of two-strike pitches, Scoville led off the seventh with a single to left. Two batters later, Scoville’s courtesy runner, Courtney Mecimore, scored on a single by Caitlin Rudy to give the Bulldogs a 4-3 victory and their second region championship in four years.
Westfield managed four runs and eight hits off McLean pitcher Jamie Bell, who two days earlier threw a perfect game against South County in the region semifinals.
"We lost to Jamie, 5-4, in the region quarters last year," Westfield head coach Dean Ferrington said. "We scrimmage them every year, so we knew that we could hit her. It wasn’t a [concern about], ‘She just threw a perfect game.’ We can swing the bats. I think we did a good job."
Rudy, a sophomore, delivered the game-winning hit into the left-center field gap.
"I was just looking to hit the ball hard somewhere," she said. "Right when that pitch came, I knew it was mine. It felt solid off the bat and it was great."
After taking a 1-0 lead, Westfield fell behind in the top of the third inning, when McLean scored a pair of runs, including a solo homer by Allison Wilhelm, for a 2-1 advantage. The Bulldogs regained the lead in the bottom half, when senior shortstop Jessica McNamara homered to left-center. She finished with two hits and three RBIs.
"I really wanted to get the momentum back toward us because we were starting to get a little nervous," McNamara said. "I was very happy I hit that because everyone seemed to calm down and we were more focused after that. … I didn’t think it was going [to get over the fence], actually. But then once I rounded first base I looked up and … so much emotion hit me and I was just so excited."
McNamara was one of six Westfield seniors who also won a region title as freshmen in 2008, along with Jennifer Goodman, Alex Tenney, Frankie Martinez, Alex Bohrer and Jackie Martinez.
"It’s huge," McNamara said of winning the region title. "We started off freshman year with a Northern Region championship and we really wanted to show a statement and win this year."
Sophomore pitcher Keona Gaines earned the victory for Westfield, pitching four innings of relief.
Westfield’s season ended on June 7 with a 4-3 loss to Grassfield in the quarterfinals of the state tournament.