Softball Warriors fall just short of AA state title

Liverpool claims semifinal, drops final to East Meadow

Though Bellrose settled down from there and blanked the Jets over her remaining three innings of work, Shapiro held off Liverpool's bats long enough.

Hours earlier, Liverpool, making its first trip to the state final four since 2009, was not intimidated by the setting, nor was it bothered too much by the 9 a.m. starting time on fields at South Glens Falls made wet by heavy rains on Friday.

Nicoletti showed her mettle in the top of the second, putting two Valley Central runners on base, but stranding them as she piled up five strikeouts in her first three innings of work.

An inning later, Liverpool broke through with its only run of the game. Nicoletti made it to second base and then, on Hansen's hard single to center, hesitated before charging home, just beating the throw home and the tag.

Protecting that slim lead, Nicoletti put runners on second and third in the fourth, but again Valley Central could not capitalize. From there, it went smoothly until the seventh, Nicoletti running her strikeout total to nine and only allowing two hits overall.

The Vikings got a lead-off walk, only to have catcher Katie Gallagher pick her off first base. Then Valley Central earned a pair of singles, again putting the go-ahead runs on base, but Nicoletti stayed cool and, by coaxing two groundouts, sent Liverpool to the state final - where East Meadow would stop them.

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