St. Joe’s relay shines
St. Joe’s 4x800 relay ran a WNY season best 8:09.77 as the Marauders won their second straight boys All-Catholic meet championship at the Stransky Complex in West Seneca. J.D. McGuire, who also won the 1,600, anchored the relay. Marcus Brown, Joe Suhay and Derek Ciraolo were the others in the winning quartet.
St. Francis was second in the team scoring followed by Canisius, St. Mary’s and Cardinal O’Hara.
Victories in both the 4x100 and 4x400 relays led Immaculata to the girls title with 142 points over second-place Nardin’s 95.
Sophomore Bethany Cercone of Nardin won the 100 and 200 for the Gators while sophomore Desmond Nicholas of Canisius swept the boys 100 and 200.
Eden, Nichols clinch
Jill Murray singled up the middle to drive home the winning run in the bottom of the seventh as Eden clinched the ECIC IV softball title with a 3-2 victory over Alden. Jenny Morrow, who was 3-3 in the game, reached on a bunt single to start the winning rally. She moved to second when Liz Karstedt reached safely on a sacrifice bunt attempt. One out later Murray came through and coach Marissa Fallacaro’s Raiders could celebrate their first division title since 2011. Murray, who struck out nine and allowed three hits, won a pitching duel from Alden’s Laura Kratzke, who struck out seven.
Nichols (11-1 overall), the 2013 playoff champion, completed a 10-0 regular season in Monsignor Martin softball, rallying for a 3-2 victory over Nardin. Trailing 2-1, the Vikings scored twice in the fifth. Senior Nicolette Tomani led off with a bunt single, stole second and scored on junior Olivia Zafuto’s double. After Zafuto moved to third, she scored on a sacrifice fly by senior Lizzie Viola. Winning pitcher Elizabeth Bourne gave up two runs and three hits in the first inning, then no-hit the Gators for six innings as only one runner reached base, on an error.
“It’s the best league record we’ve ever had,” said coach Holly Kemp. “Softball at Nichols has turned around the last three years and it’s been fun to witness.”
Chiefs win duel
Second-place Iroquois scored an unearned run in the third and edged Starpoint, 1-0, in ECIC II behind the three-hit pitching of Lucas Zoltak. Kyle Reid opened the third with a double and moved to third on Matthew Glowny’s sacrifice before coming home on an infield error with two out. Zoltak, who pitched out of a bases-loaded situation in the first, outdueled the Spartans’ Alex O’Donnell, who allowed only three hits.
Holland won at Tonawanda, 6-0, putting a crimp in the Warriors’ chances of repeating as ECIC IV champions. Sophomore right-hander Laine Husman pitched a two-hitter, and catcher Jake Ratajczyk had three hits for the Dutchmen, who start four sophomores and a freshman in coach Tim Schulz’s lineup. Tonawanda had two runners on in the bottom of the seventh when the game was called because of a rainstorm.
“It was a big win for us,” Schulz said. “Husman goes after the hitters, throws a lot of strikes and makes them put the ball in play, and he’s going to get better.”
Eden (10-5, 9-2) moved a step closer to its first ECIC IV baseball title since 2008, winning a back-and-forth, 10-7 decision from Alden. After once trailing 5-1, the Raiders took the lead for good, 8-7, with three runs in the fourth inning. Two runs came across on a double by Declan Pierce, who was 2 for 4 while Drew Palmerton was 2 for 3 with a pair of RBIs.s