EAST GREENBUSH, N.Y. — Bella Satalino has good-sized muscles for a 12-year-old, but what she does with them is even more impressive. Standing 4-foot-11, the East Greenbush native crushes long balls at least 30 times as long as she is tall.
“I just love it,” said Satalino.
Bella’s blast-off rate secured her a spot in the T-Mobile Little League Home Run Derby Championship. She’s among the top eight junior softball sluggers in the nation. Each of them are competing at their home fields in the world of COVID, and on Wednesday night, the spotlight was on Satalino.
“You might think I’m not nervous,” Satalino said before the finals began, as she calmly awaited her moment, “but inside, I kind of am.”
With her fans and teammates lining the fences, she stepped up to the plate to vie for the title. The rules were simple. She had three two-minute rounds to hit as many bombs over 120 feet. The hitter who notches the most combined home runs ultimately wins.
Under the lights at Winne Park, the seventh grader sent 36 homers flying. Though her results aren’t official until confirmed by Little League International, she was pleased with the performance.
“It was amazing. I loved it… The thing I was most happy about, that bullseye sign over there,” Satalino said pointing to a sign hung on the left-field fence, “they said if I hit it, I get a hundred dollars. And I hit it, so guess what I get? A hundred dollars!”
With her pockets a little deeper, the waiting game now begins. The competitors have until the end of the month to complete the championship round. Winners will be determined after that.