Jun 01, 2011 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
For a trio of area softball teams, the drama surrounding the Section III playoffs was either drawn out, or ended too quickly.
Canastota, the no. 2 seed in Class B, almost didn’t make it to the semifinals. In a long-delayed quarterfinal last Tuesday, no. 10 seed Marcellus dragged them through 11 innings before the Raiders finally prevailed 3-2.
A pair of first-inning runs by the Mustangs held up for a while as Canastota trailed 2-0 going into the bottom of the sixth. But it tied things up when an error and wild pitch led to run-scoring singles from Patterelli and Alexis Havens.
From there, it turned into a stalemate through four more innings, Patterelli (who finished with 11 strikeouts) and the Mustangs’ Molly MacLachlan keeping it 1-1, even as the 10th inning brought the international tie-breaking rule of a runner placed at second to start the inning.
Then Canastota catcher Valerie Baer won it. First, she tagged Marcellus runner Jessie Manahan trying to score in the top of the 11th off a great throw from Ally Bernier. Then, with the winning run on third in the bottom of the 11th, Baer laid down a suicide squeeze bunt, catching the Mustangs off guard as Sam McCarthy dashed home with the decisive run.
Hamilton, the no. 2 seed in Class D, moved into the second week of the playoffs after a 5-0 victory over no. 7 seed Belleville-Henderson in last Saturday’s quarterfinals.
Becca Rogers held B-H to two hits, and finally got some help when the Emerald Knights scored all of its runs in the fourth and fifth innings. Jessica Welsh managed two hits, while Kelby Watkins tripled and Sara Whyatt earned a double.
This leads to Wednesday’s Class D semifinal against no. 6 seed Poland, who had upended no. 3 seed New York Mills to get to this point.
In Oneida’s case, it would not be another title for the defending Class A champions. In the quarterfinal on May 28, the Indians ran into a lethal combination that led to a 2-0 defeat to no. 7 seed East Syracuse-Minoa.
One part of that Spartan combination was freshman pitcher Danielle Ventrone, who had thrown a no-hitter against Camden in the first round. Ventrone and Maria Rocco dueled until the fourth, when, with a runner on, ESM’s Laura Adams crushed a home run over the fence.
Rocco allowed nothing more and got strong defense behind her. But the Indians could not solve Ventrone, managing just six hits. Even when it got the tying runs on base with no one out in the seventh, Ventrone used two strikeouts and a popout to close it out.
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