Sharlotte Stazinski throws gem, leads Walpole to 1-0 win and Div. 2 state title – Boston Herald

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Walpole’s Sharlotte Stazinski throws a pitch in the first inning during a Div. 2 State Softball Championship Game. Walpole defeated Westfield 1-0. (Staff photo/Stuart Cahill/Boston Herald)

AMHERST – The numbers were simply staggering for Walpole’s Sharlotte Stazinski this postseason and it all added up to a historic run for the Timberwolves.

The junior completed a perfect postseason with her fifth straight shutout as Walpole won the program’s first state title 1-0 over Westfield in the Division 2 final.

“To be honest, I feel like I’m still dreaming,” Walpole coach Rachel Sprague said. “We knew we had to hang in there and keep fighting. But without our defense we wouldn’t have won this game. It was phenomenal.”

It was a pitching duel of the highest order, as Westfield’s (20-4) Shea Hurley was Stazinski’s match in every respect.

The Bombers’ ace scattered five hits to the two Stazinski allowed. But it was one bad toss that turned out to be the defining moment.

After Westfield loaded the bases with two outs against Stazinski in the top of the fourth inning and failed to score, the Timberwolves (22-1) took advantage of the only good opportunity they had against Hurley in their half of the inning.

Grace Todd and Caroline Daley hit back-to-back singles with one out, putting runners on the corners. Stazinski followed with a bouncer back to the mound where Todd was swept at home for the second out.

But with Susie McAdams ahead, Hurley saw one get to the backstop and Daley slotted home for a 1-0 lead.

“We had to keep pushing and eventually we were able to get one across,” Sprague said.

That 1-0 deficit might as well have felt like 10-0 for the Bombers trying to overcome because Stazinski didn’t give them much to work with.

After eliminating the first 11 in the match prior to her rough patch in the fourth, Stazinski completed her effort by ranking the final 10 Bomber hitters. And when Ali LaPanne’s fly ball to right ended up in McAdams’ glove, the Timberwolves were finally able to celebrate.

“Sharlotte is just so composed there,” Sprague said. “And she’s just so tough. Something like what she did is just incredible. That doesn’t happen often at this level.”

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