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May 18, 2017 10:45 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Westhampton Beach Softball Advances In Class A Postseason

Jess Ferrick connects with a pitch in Westhamptons 8-1 victory over Miller Place. DANIELA DETORE
May 23, 2017 2:42 PM

The Westhampton Beach softball team, as of Tuesday morning, was one victory away from the Suffolk County Class A Championship.

The Lady Hurricanes defeated Comsewogue, 5-2, at home on Saturday to advance to the semifinals of the winner’s bracket, where they were slated to play at top-seeded Mount Sinai on Tuesday. The game occurred too late to appear in this week’s issue of The Press but can be found online at 27east.com. A victory in Tuesday’s game will send Westhampton Beach to the finals this Friday, May 26.

Although the Lady Canes jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning of Saturday’s game, they had a hard time sustaining any type of rally early on against Comsewogue starting pitcher Alex Murray.

“It was hard to adjust at first,” Westhampton Beach head coach John Vahle said. He added that he thinks his team flourishes at the plate with harder-throwing pitchers.

The Lady Canes eventually broke through in the fourth inning. With Chloe Koonman and Lauren Ramos on base, Brooke Walker sent a double down the left field line to make it a 3-0 game. Westhampton Beach extended its lead to 4-0 before Comsewogue got on the board in the top of the fifth inning. Kristina McConnell tripled off the top of the fence in left that cut the Lady Warriors’ deficit to two.

In the sixth, looking for insurance runs to ensure their victory, the Lady Canes got what they needed from Walker, once again. With McKinley Skala on third, Walker—who went 3 for 4 with four RBIs in the opening-round victory over Miller Place on May 17—doubled off the fence in right to create the final score.

“I really wanted to help my team out and that’s exactly what I did,” Walker said of her performance at the plate. She finished 2 for 3 with three RBIs and a walk.

Vahle said that having Ramos, Walker and Lexi Miller in the lineup makes it tough on opposing pitchers.

“People pitch around Lauren because she led Class A in home runs, but then they have to face Lexi and Brooke,” he said. “It’s nice to have those three in the lineup together because you can’t pitch around one without facing the other."

The Lady Hurricanes took care of business in their opening-round playoff game with an 8-1 victory at Miller Place on May 17. The Lady Canes were propelled in the opening round victory by, what else, home runs. Walker and Miller each hit round-trippers.

Westhampton Beach jumped on the board in the top of the first when Lauren Ramos reached on an error. Miller got a hold of a pitch and sent it to deep right field for a double that scored Ramos all the way from first to make it 1-0. Miller Place came right back in the bottom of the inning to tie it up at 1-1 and the score remained that way until the fifth inning.

Ramos worked a walk to get things started for the Lady Canes. A sacrifice bunt by Kennedy Skala moved Ramos all the way to third, setting up a prime scoring opportunity for Westhampton Beach to take the lead. After Alexis Valerus walked, Walker stepped up to the plate and hit a shot to right center field for a three-run homer that gave the Lady Canes a 4-1 lead. Miller followed with a base hit to left and was brought home by an Angie Acampora base hit, and the Lady Canes left the fifth with a 5-1 lead.

Looking for insurance runs in the top of the seventh, Ramos led off with a double and was brought home by Walker, who finished the game 3 for 4 with four RBIs. Miller then crushed a two-run homer to left to create the final score. Miller went 4 for 4 at the plate.

“Our goal was not only to make playoffs but to go deep in playoffs,” Vahle said after the first-round victory.

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