Little League: 12U Softball All-Stars tee off state tournament run

The Rochelle Little League 12U Softball All-Stars competed at the Illinois Little League State Championship tournament in River Forest, finishing with a 1-2 record. The team includes Phelisity Lopez, Jaylyn Pointer, Alyssa Simental, Maya Esparza, Aeriss Williams, Ella Behrens, Chloe Escatel, Alexa Soto, Isadora Hueramo, Magdalene Good, Reese Kissack, Preslee Sanders, Clara Millard and Mackenzie Taylor. The girls are coached by Kevin Behrens, Dan Escatel, Ally Reish and Abby Reish. (Courtesy photo)

Rochelle splits games against Evergreen Park, Moline

RIVER FOREST — The Rochelle Little League 12U Softball All-Stars began their run at the Illinois Little League State Championship tournament on Saturday, conceding a 13-3 loss against Evergreen Park before bouncing back with an 11-1 win over Moline in the afternoon. Rochelle will face Bi-County on Sunday as the team looks to stay alive in the state tournament.

Evergreen Park

Trailing 3-0 after Evergreen Park scored three runs in the bottom of the first inning, Rochelle fought back with three runs in the top of the second inning, which began with four straight walks including a bases-loaded walk to Chloe Escatel for an RBI. Phelisity Lopez stepped up three batters later, belting a two-RBI double to left that scored Aeriss Williams and Reese Kissack.

Evergreen Park began pulling away in the bottom of the second inning, tallying two runs before adding three runs in the bottom of the third inning. Leading 8-3, Evergreen Park sealed its win with five runs on four singles, one double and one walk in the bottom of the fourth inning.

Moline

Rochelle started strong against Moline, scoring five runs in the top of the first inning. After three straight walks loaded the bases, Maya Esparza sent an RBI single into left field before Aeriss Williams grounded into a fielder’s choice to score Chloe Escatel. Isadora Hueramo followed with an RBI groundout and Ella Behrens pulled an RBI single to left that brought Williams home. Magdalene Good reached on an RBI infield single to second base to cap off the five-run frame.

Alyssa Simental walked and scored on an RBI infield single from Hueramo to make the score 6-0 Rochelle in the top of the second inning. Moline scratched one run in the bottom of the third inning, but the Rochelle All-Stars exploded for five runs in the top of the fifth inning to seal the win. Escatel sparked the surge with a two-RBI triple to left that scored Preslee Sanders and Phelisity Lopez. Williams then pushed an RBI single into left field to make the score 9-1.

Hueramo brought the final two runs home for the Rochelle All-Stars, lining a two-RBI single to center that allowed Simental and Esparza to score. Behrens started in the pitcher’s circle, throwing three innings with eight strikeouts and zero earned runs allowed. Simental and Escatel each added two strikeouts over one shutout inning of relief to help clinch the win. Hueramo went 2-for-3 with four RBIs to lead the Rochelle offense, while Williams went 2-for-4 with two RBIs.

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