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Eastchester falls in sectional softball final

THIELLS -- Eastchester had worked its way back to even the score with Pearl River yesterday in the Section 1 Class A championship game. The Eagles broke through against Pearl River pitcher Katie O’Flynn, but it was Pirates who got the final break. Gemma Mahoney singled in Amanda Hartigan with one out in the bottom of the eighth inning, giving Pearl River a walk-off 2-1 win at North Rockland High School. Pearl River (23-1) won its fourth consecutive sectional title and moves on to a state regional against Section 9’s Port Jervis, Monday, 3:30, at Minisink Valley High School in Orange County. Eastchester concludes with a 22-2 record. “We knew it was going to be a tight game, with two of the top pitchers in Section 1 going against each other, but we’ve had some epic games all week to get here,” Eastchester coach Chris Walpole said. Hartigan led off the eighth with a single to center and was sacrificed to second by Kristyn Neroda. Gemma Mahoney slapped a single to left field, scoring Hartigan. Eastchester tied the score at 1-1 in the top of the seventh inning when Taylor Del Gatto singled in Lalli and moved Kristen Martin to second. Casey Dell’Aera lined into a double play to end the threat. Pearl River coach Mike Carlacci had high praise for both teams. “If we played Eastchester 10 times, we would both five times,” Carlacci said. “We knew Eastchester is a great team and Janine Lalli is a great player. It came down to who what team was going to make that play.” Walpole spoke to his devastated team at length following the game, expressing how proud he was of them. “We fought our way to the final and put ourselves in a position to play with Pearl River,” he said. “I am proud, especially of my two senior leaders, and next year we will have a lot of kids coming back with all of this experience.” Lalli, who will attend Marist and play softball next year, finished with a three-hitter and eight strikeouts.

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