SELDON, NY - The Westmoreland County Community College softball team was looking to advance to its first NJCAA World Series since 2008, but the Wolfpack ran into a strong Suffolk County Community College team, who swept Saturday's games at the District H Tournament to advance.
The Sharks, who have now won four consecutive District titles, won by scores of 9-0 and 11-0, both of which ended after five innings. Westmoreland had the initial base runner in the first game when Hannah Hempfield beat out an infield single to start the game, but she was stranded on base. Suffolk took the lead in the bottom of the inning with three runs and added on with four more in the second and a pair of runs in the fourth. Westmoreland managed a single by Chelsey Frock in the fifth inning, but were unable to get her around and the Sharks took the opening game.
Game two had a similar beginning for both sides. Hempfield walked to lead off the game, stole second and made it third on a ground out, but the Wolfpack couldn't find the key hit to bring her home. Suffolk then jumped in front with three runs in the bottom of the first. Westmoreland mounted a threat in the second inning when Hope Hixson walked and Sam Poklembo doubled, but a strikeout ended the inning. And in the bottom of the frame, the Sharks pushed four runs across to build a 7-0 cushion.
The Wolfpack continued to get runners on, but they couldn't get a key hit to score, while Suffolk managed to get the timely hits. In the third inning, Bartlow singled with one out, but was left on base and the Sharks added on four runs in the last of the inning to take their lead to 11-0. In the fourth, Hixson and Poklembo both singled, but a pop out held the Wolfpack off the scoreboard. In the bottom of the fourth, a great leaping catch by Megan Monzo at shortstop helped Westmoreland retire Suffolk in order. But needing to score in the fifth to keep the game going, the Wolfpack were unable to manage any runs and Suffolk secured the win and claim the spot in the national tournament.
The losses in the District Tournament did not diminish an outstanding season for the Wolfpack, who won their first WPCC title since 2007, which was also the third conference crown in the program's history.