West Shore explodes to win again
West Shore, the East Region champs from Connecticut District 4, defeated Prague Little League, the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) champion, 13-2, in pool play at the Junior League World Series at Kirkland, Washington on Monday.
The locals, made up of players age 12-14 from Milford, Orange and West Haven, sent 11 batters to the plate and scored nine runs to halt the game after five innings.
West Shore will play Maunabo Little League from Puerto Rico, which defeated EMEA by an 11-2 score, on Tuesday.
For the second straight game, West Shore’s fifth at-bat was telling, as it scored eight times in the fifth inning in an 8-3 victory over Eagle Pass, Texas, the Southwest champs, on Sunday.
Ashley Mendillo, a rising sophomore at Foran High, pitched two-hit ball for five innings, walked one, and struck out four against Prague.
Kial Watts out of West Haven High hit a two-run single to break a 2-2 tie in the bottom of the fourth inning, and tacked on another two-run single in the fifth.
Tay Marchitto from Amity opened the fourth with a single off Prague starter Pavlina Mencikova, and Mendillo then one-hopped a game-tieing double to the fence in left field.
Foran High freshman Natalia Hart, in to run for Mendillo, went to third on a wild pitch before Lexi Dawid greeted relief pitcher Aneta Walterova by taking a 3-2 pitch for a walk.
Hart drew a throw to third base on ball four, got back safely, and Dawid, a rising sophomore at Lauralton Hall, went to second on the play.
Watts, after Dani Kemp ground out sharply to third, singled to right-center to give West Shore the lead.
The locals took a 1-0 lead with a two-out rally in the home third.
Watts singled, Janaya Young from Amity walked, and Amy Chacho singled to load the bases for Katie Koshes, whose base hit gave the East the lead.
Prague took a 2-1 lead in the top of the fourth.
A one-out walk and a misplayed fly ball led to Marketa Babkova’s RBI single. The second run scored on Michaela Palakova’s groundout.
West Shore’s fifth-inning rally put the game away.
Amity's Jill DeMaio and Marchitto walked around Jonathan Law’s Amanda Leone’s hard single off Katerina Lobo at first base.
Babkova came on in relief and Mendillo had an RBI single to make it 5-2.
Dawid singled in another, Kemp was hit in the foot by a pitch, and Watts singled through the hole into right to plate a pair.
Young completed an 11-pitch at-bat with a slow grounder to shortstop, and Kemp beat the relay home for a 10-2 lead.
Chacho singled home Watts to bring DeMaio up for the second time in a frame.
She was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Leone, who singled home two more to close the scorebook in a mercy-rule five innings.
After the win over Prague, the East champs were headed to Safeco Field to watch the Seattle Mariners play the Tampa Bay Rays.
After tomorrow’s game with Puerto Rico, there will be a players-only gala event for all the teams at the local teen center.
West Shore completes pool play when it meets Anchorage, Alaska, the West champs, on Wednesday.
The team’s off day is Thursday, when it will visit the University of Washington among other events.