High School Extra: Nichols, St. Mary’s play today for softball crown - The Buffalo News

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High School Extra: Nichols, St. Mary’s play today for softball crown

Softball final set

It will be Nichols and St. Mary’s playing today for the Monsignor Martin Association softball championship.

Nichols advanced with a 3-0 win over Immaculata in the semifinals while St. Mary’s defeated Sacred Heart, 8-6.

Both teams combined timely hitting and solid defense to advance to the title game, which will be at 12:30 p.m. at Sunshine Park.

Nichols and Immaculata were locked in a scoreless game through 5½ innings. In the bottom of the sixth, Lizzy Viola walked and Maddi Welch singled. A bunt from Carolyn Hoffman scored Viola and Welch scored on the same play on a throwing error. That put Hoffman on third and a single from Jillian Bolgz made it a 3-0 game.

Elizabeth Bourne was in the circle with seven strikeouts and two walks. She got out of a bases-loaded jam in the fourth and a runner on base in the seventh thanks to some heady defensive play.

“Our entire team was really focused on today’s game,” Nichols coach Holly Kemp said. “We don’t typically make a lot of errors but that was the most solid they’ve been all season.”

Nichols (13-1) will face St. Mary’s (8-4) after the Lancers defeated Sacred Heart thanks to timely defense and a big fourth inning. Trailing, 4-1, St. Mary’s scored five runs in the fourth to take the lead. Brianna Poules had a lead-off home run. Then, with the bases loaded, back-to-back doubles from Annie Hamilton and Kaitlyn Schott scored four more.

The Lancers also got out of jams, including giving up just one run with the bases loaded in the sixth and one run in the seventh after giving up three straight singles.

“They hit the ball and got on base but our defense came through with clutch plays,” Dave Helak said. “I told the girls if we can hit the ball and play defense well, we’ll win games and that’s happened today.”

Timon prevails

Bishop Timon-St. Jude won the battle of the top-two boys lacrosse teams with an 11-6 win over St. Joe’s in a Monsignor Martin Association matchup. Timon (12-5) was ranked first, St. Joe’s (10-4) second, in the latest laxpower.com rankings.

Timon won the first meeting between the teams in overtime at St. Joe’s, 12-11.

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