Class B softball: Hailey Wodecki’s walk-off double lifts Hampshire past Wahconah for title (PHOTOS)

  • Hampshire Regional players swarm Ryanne Dubay (1) at home plate after she scored the winning run against Wahconah in the bottom of the eighth inning during the Western Mass. Class B softball final Tuesday at Westfield State University. PHOTO BY DAN LITTLE

  • Hampshire Regional’s Hailey Wodecki drives in the winning run against Wahconah with a walk-off double in the bottom of the eighth inning during the Western Mass. Class B softball final Tuesday at Westfield State University. PHOTO BY DAN LITTLE

  • Hampshire Regional’s Ryanne Dubay (1), right, celebrates with Ashley Cortis after scoring the winning run against Wahconah in the bottom of the eighth inning during the Western Mass. Class B softball final Tuesday at Westfield State University. PHOTO BY DAN LITTLE

  • Hampshire Regional players rush to celebrate with Hailey Wodecki at second base after she drove in the winning run against Wahconah with a walk-off RBI double in the bottom of the eighth inning during the Western Mass. Class B softball final Tuesday at Westfield State University. PHOTO BY DAN LITTLE

  • Hampshire Regional poses for a team photo after winning the Western Mass. Class B softball final against Wahconah on Tuesday at Westfield State University. PHOTO BY DAN LITTLE

  • Hampshire Regional’s Joss Mettey hits a single against against Wahconah in the bottom of the eighth inning during the Western Mass. Class B softball final Tuesday at Westfield State University. PHOTO BY DAN LITTLE

  • Hampshire Regional pitcher Joss Mettey throws against Wahconah in the top of the third inning during the Western Mass. Class B softball final Tuesday at Westfield State University. PHOTO BY DAN LITTLE

  • Hampshire Regiona catcher Teresa Saltis, right, tags out Wahconah baserunner Avery Vale-Cruz for the second out of a double play in the bottom of the fifth inning during the Western Mass. Class B softball final Tuesday at Westfield State University. PHOTO BY DAN LITTLE

  • Hampshire Regional third baseman Haley Wodecki throws to first for the out against Wahconah in the top of the eighth inning during the Western Mass. Class B softball final Tuesday at Westfield State University. PHOTO BY DAN LITTLE

  • Hampshire Regional’s Haley Wodecki receives the Gary Stacy Western Mass. Tournament MVP award after the Western Mass. Class B softball final against Wahconah on Tuesday at Westfield State University. PHOTO BY DAN LITTLE

  • Hampshire Regional’s Haley Wodecki receives the Gary Stacy Western Mass. Tournament MVP award after the Western Mass. Class B softball final against Wahconah on Tuesday at Westfield State University. PHOTO BY DAN LITTLE

  • Hampshire Regional poses for a team photo after winning the Western Mass. Class B softball final against Wahconah on Tuesday at Westfield State University. PHOTO BY DAN LITTLE

Staff Writer
Published: 5/31/2022 9:48:17 PM

WESTFIELD – Before she even touched second base, the tears were already flowing for Hailey Wodecki. 

The Hampshire Regional sophomore had just crushed one of the biggest hits of her life in the bottom of the eighth inning, a walk-off double that sent the game-winning run home for the No. 1 Raiders against No. 2 Wahconah in the Western Mass. Class B championship at Westfield State University.

Hampshire won 4-3 in extra innings to secure its third consecutive Western Mass. title (a streak interrupted briefly by the 2020 pandemic year).

After the team crowded around Ryanne Dubay at home plate to celebrate her game-winning run, the squad rushed over to hug Wodecki and celebrate with her around second base. Just minutes later, Wodecki was awarded the Gary Stacy Western Mass. Tournament MVP award, prompting more waterworks. It meant even more to Wodecki because her older sister, Hannah, won the award last year when the Raiders beat Greenfield in the final. 

“It means a lot, because my sister also got it last year,” Hailey Wodecki said. “I love playing with my sister. This is our second year in a row playing together in high school ball, and it’s amazing.” 

The Raiders put together a game for the ages, coming back from a 3-1 deficit to win in the eighth inning. Hampshire even forcing extras came thanks to senior Katelyn Baker, who strode to the plate with two outs in the seventh. She walked, and then managed to get all the way around the bases on Hannah Wodecki’s at-bat, stealing second and then making it all the way home on an overthrow to third to try and cut her off.

“She's a pain in the neck on the bases, she can be. She’s quick and she makes people sometimes tighten up a little bit,” Hampshire head coach Brian McGan said of Baker. “She got in between, and the kid kind of just blooped it a little bit, and she took advantage of that. Great play by her.” 

Wahconah threw everything it could at Hampshire, and held a 3-1 lead after five innings. Avery Vale-Cruz threw 12 strikeouts in the circle. Where the Warriors excelled, particularly in the beginning of the contest, was moving around the bases. In the opening inning, Wahconah loaded the bases with just one out. Hampshire pitcher Joss Mettey and her team were able to get out of the jam without allowing any runs, and took the lead in the bottom of the first thanks to a triple by catcher Teresa Saltis. 

Unfortunately for the Raiders, it didn’t take Wahconah long to replicate that feat. After the Warriors tied the game in the third inning, they loaded the bases again in the top of the fifth, this time with no outs on the board. Both times, Wahconah was able to get batters on base because of errors on a sacrifice bunt play.  

Mettey walked a batter and allowed a single, but the Raiders were able to minimize the damage. They picked up a critical double play to end the inning, throwing out the runner at first and tagging a Wahconah player at home to keep the game at 3-1. 

“The first inning, it was a big stopper. It was kind of a momentum swing back to us, with us getting that first run, and then we kind of fell apart again in the middle part of the innings,” McGan said. “We didn’t play clean, which I always tell them that my biggest issue is that error column. If you keep that at zero or one, you got a better chance. We opened that door back up again, and they scored some runs.”

In the bottom of the sixth, Saltis went to work again, walking in her at-bat. Mettey moved her over to second, and then Saltis made it home on Bri Sulikowski’s single, a line drive to center field, to make it 3-2. Wahconah got out of the inning still up by one, but couldn’t get any insurance runs in the top of the seventh, leaving the door open for Baker to tie the game up in the home half of the frame.

Once the team has time to celebrate this victory, they’ll turn their attention next to the MIAA state tournament.

“This is definitely going to help us at the state tournament, I feel. It’s definitely going to motivate us, push us,” Hailey Wodecki said. “We really want that state title this year.” 


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