While they did not have the recent pedigree of a state championship or a flashy regular season to their credit, the West Genesee and Westhill softball teams found themselves the local survivors of the Section III quarterfinal round.
In particular, Westhill’s Class B run was satisfying because it rose from the no. 9 seed and won twice on the road, capped by Thursday’s trip to Boonville where it stunned no. 1 seed Adirondack 7-3 in the quarterfinal round.
Having already topped no. 8 seed South Jefferson on the road, the Warriors jumped all over Adirondack ace Arielle Kranbuhl for five runs in the top of the third inning, adding two runs in the third.
Leah Diefendorf doubled, singled and got three RBIs, with Janae Ricks getting two hits and driving in a pair of runs as Tatiana Wicker and Emma Shampine had one RBI apiece.
Staked to that 7-0 lead, Ariel Cassidy held her own, giving up a run in the fourth and two runs in the fifth, but preventing further damage and blanking Adirondack over the last two innings. All told, she held the Wildcats to six hits.
While all this was going on, no. 3 seed Marcellus and no. 5 seed Solvay both were ousted in the quarterfinals, the Mustangs falling 7-5 at home to Camden and the Bearcats unable to hold a five-run lead in a 13-8 defeat to no. 4 seed Christian Brothers Academy.
Solvay’s ouster was made more painful by the fact that it got leads of 4-0 and 8-3 in the first two innings, Aleah Yaizzo hitting a home run and earning four RBIs as Delana Thomas and Hope Rivera also drove in runs.
Yet CBA answered both of these surges and only trailed 8-7 through two innings, the key blow Bridget O’Hern’s home run. Then, after Izzy Lambert relieved Thomas, the Brothers went in front 9-8 by scoring twice in the fourth, adding a run in the fifth and three runs in the sixth for insurance.
Marcellus was at home and seized a 2-0 lead on Camden, only to see the Blue Devils strike for five runs in the top of the third off Aubrey Fraher to go in front for good.
The Mustangs tried to chip away, but a pair of Camden runs in the fifth proved the difference, despite two scoreless innings of relief from Isabel Rodalico. Hannah Durand had three hits, with Evelyn Webster adding two hits as Durand, Fraher, Emma MacLachlan, Ellie Mahoney and Emily Weeks had one RBI apiece.
So the sectional semifinal Saturday at Kost Field in Rome pitted Westhill against CBA, and here the Warriors’ magic ran out as it fell behind early and could not quite make it back in a 5-3 defeat.
Unlike their wild April 17 game that Westhill lost 16-14 after leading 12-6 at one point, the Warriors never got any lead as the Brothers scored a run in the second and broke it open with four runs in the third.
Cassidy did not allow any more runs, and Westhill got a run in the fourth to make up some ground. Then, in the top of the seventh, the Warriors earned a pair of runs before the Brothers were able to record the final outs.
It was far less dramatic for West Genesee to advance out of the sectional Class AA quarterfinals, as the no. 3 seed Wildcats won at home over no. 6 seed Syracuse 11-3.
The only stress came when Syracuse, down 3-0, scored twice in the top of the third inning. But the Wildcats answered with a run in its half of the third and then put up seven runs in the next two innings to pull away.
Emily Winton paced the offense with four hits, three runs scored and two RBIs. Katie Drogo went three-for-four, doubling twice and earning three RBIs. Abbey VanHorn had a career-best four RBIs as Maddy Lux got two hits and Olivia Pontello scored twice.
But it would get a lot more difficult for WG in the sectional semifinals two days later as it met top seed Liverpool in the semifinals at the Gillette Road complex, and for the fourth time this season the Wildcats lost to the Warriors, this one an 8-1 decision.
Briefly, the Wildcats stirred some hope when Mya Case, who had two hits, drove home Deanna Shackleton in the top of the third for the game’s first run. But then Liverpool took charge with four runs in the bottom of the third off Shackleton and Kayla Hoovler.
Adding two runs in the fourth and fifth innings, the Warriors gave plenty of protection to pitcher Jenna Wike, who held the Wildcats to four hits overall. Aside from Case, Winton and Lux had the other hits.
Feb 18, 2019
Feb 18, 2019
Feb 17, 2019
Feb 17, 2019