Softball Warriors fall just short of AA state title

Liverpool claims semifinal, drops final to East Meadow

So how close did the Liverpool softball team come to bringing home the first state championship in program history?

One more hit, at an opportune time, may have provided that winning moment for the Warriors in Saturday's state Class AA title game at Moreau Recreation Center in South Glens Falls, but it never got that hit, and instead took a 3-1 defeat to East Meadow.

It only figured that the championship game involved the Warriors attempting to make a comeback and prevail late, for it had gone to extra innings to prevail in both the Section III final against Cicero-North Syracuse and again in the regional final against Bethlehem.

Liverpool trailed East Meadow, 3-0, going to the top of the sixth inning. This was the same Jets squad from Section VII (Nassau County, Long Island) that, in 2013, lost in this same state final to C-NS, and it was in no mood to fall short again.

Still, the Warriors got to East Meadow pitcher Kerry Shapiro for a run in the sixth, driven home by Alicia Hansen, whose single brought Dana Nicoletti around from second base to score.

Then, in the seventh, Jenna Wike led off with a single, and the bottom of the Warriors' order worked the bases loaded with two out. Another hit would at least tie the game, and perhaps more, but Nicoletti flew out, and Bay Shore claimed the state championship.

Nicoletti had pitched earlier in the day, prevailing in a tense 1-0 state semifinal over Section I champion Valley Central, but it was Peyton Bellrose getting the starting stint for the state final.

East Meadow wasted little time getting to Nicoletti loading the bases with two walks and a single in the bottom of the first before Madison West doubled to score two runs.

That 2-0 deficit grew by a run in the bottom of the third, when Shapiro, perhaps remembering how C-NS's Sydney O'Hara hit two home runs off her in the 2013 state final, went deep with a Nicoletti offering over the left-field fence.

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