Little League: 10U Softball All-Stars outlast Freeport

Elise Hardcastle hits a single for the Rochelle Little League 10U Softball All-Stars against Freeport on Saturday. (Photo by Robin Rethwill)

Rochelle wins 28-17 to force winner-take-all rematch for District 19 title

FREEPORT — The Rochelle Little League 10U Softball All-Stars forced a winner-take-all matchup against Freeport for the Illinois Little League District 19 Championship. Rochelle outlasted Freeport 28-17 in a wild back-and-forth affair on Saturday to force another game on Monday. The winner will advance to the Illinois Little League State Championship tournament.

Ella Behrens threw two and two-thirds innings, striking out six batters and allowing three hits. Mya Martinez closed the game out, striking out two batters in one and one-third innings. Chloe Escatel went 5-for-5 with four runs scored and one RBI, while Martinez and Braley McGee each recorded two RBIs. Martinez finished 4-for-4 and scored four runs in the victory.

Rochelle took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning after Escatel singled and scored on Martinez’s RBI single. Freeport bounced back with three runs on three walks in the bottom of the first inning. Trailing 3-1, Rochelle scored three runs in the top of the second inning to take a 4-3 lead. Neveah Rodriguez slapped an RBI double to plate Jamie Riddell before Rodriguez stole home to tie the game. Isadora Hueramo walked and stole home to put Rochelle ahead.

Freeport went ahead with five runs on four walks and two singles in the bottom of the second inning. Down 8-4, Rochelle exploded for nine runs in the top of the third inning. McGee singled and Martinez doubled before both players stole home. Elise Hardcastle dished out an RBI single to plate Rodriguez and make it an 8-7 game. Hueramo and Hardcastle both stole home to put Rochelle ahead before Escatel’s RBI single to second brought Misha Krawcewicz home.

Escatel and Ariana Hueramo both stole home, giving Rochelle a 12-8 lead before Riddell scored Martinez with an RBI single to third. Freeport recovered with six runs on five walks and one single in the bottom of the third inning to slip ahead 14-13. Rochelle exploded for 15 runs on nine walks, six singles, one double and one hit-by-pitch in the top of the fourth inning to take a 28-14 lead before Freeport tallied three runs in the bottom of the fourth inning.

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