HARRISON, N.Y. — Eastchester opened the 2012 District 20 Little League Softball Majors Championship against Kensico, the same opponent that ended its championship bid last year.
But this year, Eastchester, led by pitcher Cassie McGrath, had the upper hand. McGrath threw a no-hitter and struck out seven as Eastchester topped the defending champion, 15-0, in a first-round game Tuesday at Brentwood Park.
The game was stopped after four innings because of the mercy rule.
"It feels really good," McGrath said of the no-hitter. "It also makes me feel really excited."
Eastchester will play Harrison in the winner's bracket final at 4 p.m. Saturday at Sherman Park. The winner advances to the final Wednesday, June 27, at Ardsley, and will await the team that emerges from the loser's bracket.
"Last year was very upsetting, so it made us want to come out even harder and win this game even more and fight to win the district this year," said McGrath, a seventh-grader at Tuckahoe Middle School. Last year, Kensico came out of the loser's bracket and swept Eastchester to win the title.
In Tuesday's game, Eastchester scored five runs in the second to increase its lead to 6-0. McGrath's two-run single highlighted the inning. She finished with two hits and four RBIs. Daniella Chiodi had two hits, including a two-run single, and scored three runs. Amanda Graham singled, doubled and scored three runs while Sophia Tiso scored four runs.
For Kensico, Bella Riguzzi and Maggie Croke drew walks. Riguzzi advanced to third base in the first inning with two outs.