Ken West's Chimera hits 300
It wasn't until about halfway through Kenmore West's 15-1 victory at North Tonawanda that the Blue Devil players knew that something special was happening.
It would be a milestone win for West coach Matt Chimera, who won his 300th game in 18 years leading the Blue Devils.
Chimera's son brought a sign to the game commemorating the special number, and that's when his players asked what was going on.
"The girls kind of figured it out halfway through -- they asked what [the sign] meant," said Chimera. "You could tell they kind of picked up the excitement. It's a great group of kids. When I got on the bus they sang a song -- they're just a really nice group."
Charlotte Miller threw a three-hitter with nine strikeouts while Shelby Donhauser had four hits and four RBIs for West (3-0, 2-0 Niagara Frontier League), which was ranked sixth in this week's first large school poll of the season.
It's the latest of many standout years for the Blue Devils, who have won 11 NFL titles, four Section VI crowns, advanced to three state final fours and won a state title (2002) under Chimera, who took over the program in 1995.
"It's just been a great run -- we've had great kids over the years," said Chimera, who credited his staff of Joe Catalano, Dennis Sarow and Kim Leggett (who was a player on the 1995 team) for the wins. "It's been the whole coaching staff. It's been a great ride."
Red-hot comeback for Flames
Williamsville East's comeback to beat Williamsville North was so wild that pinch-hitter Savannah Smith had not one, but two big hits in the bottom of the seventh inning.
East sent 10 batters to the plate in a seven-run seventh to stun North, 10-9.
Smith started the seventh inning with a pinch-hit triple, then finished it with a two-out, RBI single that scored Dana Larkin from second base for the game-winner.
"It was some great clutch hitting and a great nonleague win," said East coach Chris Durr. "To score seven, it took great clutch hitting from our entire lineup.
"This team knows how to come back. This team came back in the [sectional] semifinals against Hamburg last year, and we only lost two players off of that team. We've been struggling at the bat and it was great for us coming off a loss to West Seneca East. This can propel us -- we've got a big league game [today] against Iroquois."
Freshman Sara Armstrong had a two-run triple in the seventh during a 2-for-4, four-RBI afternoon for the Flames (4-1). Will East was the No. 5 large school in Tuesday's season-opening coaches poll while North was No. 7.
The Zarcone sisters are at it again in Thompson Trophy play. South Park's Gianna Zarcone, an eighth-grader, pitched a one-hitter with 14 strikeouts and hit two home runs in a 16-0 win over Bennett. Meanwhile, Hutch-Tech junior Gabby Zarcone tossed a no-hitter with seven strikeouts in a 27-0 rout of Riverside.
Payback for St. Francis
This year's scheduling format for Monsignor Martin baseball gives teams a chance for instant payback -- and St. Francis got some of that on Thursday.
Matt Michalski's two-run triple in the bottom of the seventh gave the Red Raiders a 5-4 victory over St. Mary's. On Tuesday, as part of this year's series-like scheduling, St. Mary's beat St. Francis, 4-3, in eight innings.
"I think St. Mary's is a real good team -- they're really strong and our league is going to be really tight," said St. Francis coach Paul Bartell. "With the new format it gives us a rivarly-type thing. It's nice to get back and take one from those guys in pretty dramatic fashion."
Sophomore Matt Minnick enabled St. Francis to come from behind with a sparkling relief effort; he earned the win with three hitless innings in which he struck out six and didn't walk a batter.
Lancaster girls lacrosse rolls
The Lancaster girls lacrosse team still has a losing record after beating Orchard Park. But that's due to a tough schedule which it hopes will help it regain the Section VI title.
The three losses in the Redskins' 2-3 record came due to scheduling tough Section V (Rochester area) teams to start the season. On Thursday, the Redskins won their Class A opener at home, 18-7, after getting six goals from junior Sam Czaplicki and 14 saves from junior Karli Pawlak.
It was a big win for Pawlak, who stepped into the starter's role after senior Brooklyn Schilling suffered an anterior cruciate ligament tear in a 15-10 loss to undefeated Webster Schroeder. The Redskins opened its season with an 11-8 loss to Webster Thomas (3-1) and also lost to Mercy (5-3) by an 18-13 score.
Williamsville North's Katie Wolf scored five goals, including the game-winner with 56 seconds left as the Spartans (6-0) remained unbeaten by fending off West Seneca West, 9-8, in Class B action.