‘I was just so thankful for my team’: Westfield sophomore named fastest pitcher, exceeds 300 strikeouts
WESTFIELD, MA. (WGGB/WSHM) - A Westfield High School softball pitcher made news this week by reaching the 300-strikeout mark, and she did it in less than two seasons.
It has yet been another promising season for the Westfield bombers softball team.
The reigning Division II state champions have been on a tear as of late, winning 9 in a row including a 5-1 victory on Wednesday over Wahconah.
But it is what star pitcher Shea Hurley did during the game that is remarkable, hitting the 300-career strikeout plateau as part of a 19-strikeout performance.
The most amazing part…she is only a sophomore.
“It was awesome,” said Hurley. “I love it. I was just so thankful for my team. They do so much for me. I just want to see how much more I can do. It’s pretty good.”
Hurley has been on the team since last year, playing at least half the games and sharing pitching duties her freshman season.
This year, she has been the full-time starting pitcher for the bombers, throwing seven double-digit strikeout games, including three with 15 or more.
The sophomore told Western Mass News it has been an amazing ride thus far.
“I look forward to everything else we can accomplish this season, and I think we have a good future,” said Hurley.
We also spoke with Hurley’s catcher Kenzie Raymond, a senior who has caught most of Hurley’s starts.
She said it was pretty cool to be a part of history.
“I know I had some part in it, but I think a lot of it is definitely with her,” said Raymond. “I think it’s such a huge accomplishment to have, even just as a sophomore. She has made so much progress, adding a bunch of new pitches. I love having her on the team, I love catching for her, and she is one of my favorite pitchers I’ve ever caught for. Just really unbelievable to have on the team.”
Now that history’s been made, it’s back to business for Hurley, Raymond and the rest of their teammates, as they look to continue their quest to possibly repeat as Division II state champions.
“As long as we play our game and work hard and play hard, then I think we can go pretty far,” said Raymond.
Both players give the credit of their shared success to their chemistry both on and off the field.
“We started working in the offseason, even before freshman year,” said Hurley. “She texted me when I was an 8thgrader, so we started working together, and then we worked together all winter to prepare for the high school season.”
Although Hurley has a little more than two seasons left, this is the last year Raymond will catch for her.
The senior said she will miss Hurley’s personality and being on the field with her…but she also has a prediction of how many strikeouts she could get by the end of her career.
“I think that she could break 500, which is just amazing,” said Raymond. “She could probably do better than that.”
How many k’s will Hurley have under her belt in the end?
We will have to wait and see.
Hurley had 317 career strikeouts going into Friday’s game against Hampshire in a battle of the top two teams in western Mass.
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