Little League: 10U Softball All-Stars win District 19 Championship

The Rochelle Little League 10U Softball All-Stars took down Freeport on Monday to win the Illinois Little League District 19 Championship tournament and qualify for the state tournament in Beardstown. The team includes Chloe Escatel, Ariana Hueramo, Braley McGee, Mya Martinez, Misha Krawcewicz, Jamie Riddell, Clara Millard, Mayson Smardo, Amada Ortiz, Nevaeh Rodriguez, Elise Hardcastle, Isadora Hueramo, Ella Behrens and Delani McGee. The girls are coached by Dan Escatel, Steve Odle and Nicole Simental. (Photo by Robin Rethwill)

Rochelle rolls over Freeport 28-17 to qualify for state tournament

FREEPORT — The Rochelle Little League 10U Softball All-Stars completed their District 19 Championship run with a 28-17 victory against Freeport on Monday. Rochelle will advance to participate in the Illinois Little League State Championship tournament in Beardstown beginning July 23.

Braley McGee singled four times and recorded three RBIs to lead the Rochelle offense, while Nevaeh Rodriguez and Chloe Escatel each had two hits and two RBIs. Three players including McGee, Ariana Hueramo and Mya Martinez scored five runs. Ella Behrens struck out seven batters in four innings pitched, while Martinez added three strikeouts in two innings.

Rochelle opened the game with three runs in the top of the first inning. McGee pulled an RBI single to plate Hueramo before scoring on a passed ball. Martinez drew a hit-by-pitch and scored on a passed ball to put Rochelle ahead 3-0. Freeport responded with two runs on four walks and one hit-by-pitch in the bottom of the first inning.

Rochelle scored four runs in the top of the second inning to take a 7-2 lead. Behrens singled and scored on an RBI single from McGee before Escatel, Hueramo and McGee each stole home. Freeport earned four runs back to make it a 7-6 game in the bottom of the second inning. Elise Hardcastle walked and stole home in the top of the third inning, giving Rochelle an 8-6 lead before Hueramo's RBI single brought Behrens home.

After Hueramo and McGee each stole home, Jamie Riddell bounced an RBI single to third that scored Martinez and made it 12-6 Rochelle. Rodriguez added to the lead, hitting an RBI single to score Riddell and conclude Rochelle's six-run third inning. Freeport answered once again, though, tallying six runs in the bottom of the third inning to make it a 13-12 game.

Rochelle's bats continued to roll in the top of the fourth inning, bringing five more runs home behind five steals of home from Misha Krawcewicz, Escatel, Hueramo, McGee and Martinez. Freeport tacked on two runs in the bottom of the fourth inning, but Rochelle scratched one run in the top of the fifth inning on another steal of home from Martinez.

Trailing 19-14, Freeport scored one run in the bottom of the fifth inning, but Rochelle exploded for nine runs in the top of the sixth inning to seal the win. Clara Millard walked and stole home before Escatel knocked Behrens home on an RBI groundout. Hueramo reached on a catcher's interference and scored on McGee's RBI single to make it a 22-15 game.

After McGee stole home and Martinez scored on an error, Rochelle led 24-15. Rodriguez pushed an RBI single to score Riddell before scoring on a passed ball soon after. Millard stole home to give Rochelle a 27-15 lead, with Escatel drilling an RBI single up the middle to plate Behrens for Rochelle's final run of the game. Freeport finished with two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning.