Maggie Vesneske drove in two runs during Hamburg’s 3-1 win over Grand Island. (Harry Scull Jr./Buffalo News)
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Hamburg softball advances

Hamburg softball coach Rich Mattison had good reason to be happy Thursday.

Not only did his Bulldogs advance to the Section VI Class A-1 semifinals, they did so by ending the season of the team that ended theirs last year.

No. 5 seed Hamburg defeated host and fourth-seed Grand Island, 3-1, in a game played at Veterans Park behind the solid pitching from two sophomores and timely hitting.

Maggie Vesneske’s two-run double to left center in the third broke a scoreless tie. Bri Janesewski added a home run in the fourth to make it 3-0.

That’s all Leah Caborga and Beth Eberhardt needed. Caborga changed speed and location in limiting the Vikings to a run and two hits through 5.1 innings. Eberhardt relieved and recorded the final five outs for the save.

“It felt good winning this one,” Mattison said. “We’re a young team. We only have two senior starters. … The girls played solid defense. We got some clutch hitting which won us the game.”

Hamburg faces top-seeded Williamsville East in the semifinals Tuesday. The Flames cruised past North Tonawanda, 8-0, as Sam Crane went 2 for 4 with a homer and three RBIs in the victory.

Roy-Hart flips script

Roy-Hart lost both softball meetings during the regular season to Niagara-Orleans League rival Akron, including a 9-7 verdict last week.

The Rams won the most important game between the teams, advancing to the Section VI Class B-2 semifinals with a 2-1 victory.

“They had been really good games both times and it was a break that determined the win both times," said winning coach Larry Lash, recalling the previous meetings against the Tigers – including a 5-4 loss in eight innings. “It was a break that determined today’s game.”

Roy-Hart pushed the winning run across in the fifth inning when Kayla Brown walked with the bases loaded to force in pinch runner Mallory Steiner. Delaney Draper led off the inning with a hit with the Rams following up with two bunt singles on a day in which a gusty wind blew straight in toward home plate. Samantha Choate went the distance, limiting Akron to four hits. She walked one and struck out two.

The Rams visit top-seeded Eden next as the defending B-2 champions cruised into the semifinals with an 7-0 win over Gowanda. Alexis Couples finished 2 for 2 and drove in three runs.

Coming up huge

In Class B-1 softball, defending Class B champion Depew advanced with a 2-0 win over East Aurora as Karsen Cotton struck out 15 during a three-hit shutout. Jordan Petyk (2 for 3) drove in both runs.

In the same class, City Honors (8-3) advanced with a 16-2 win over Springville as Nadia Jackson went 2 for 2 with three RBIs and three runs.

In Class C-1, Alyssa Kilonsky’s walk-off, two-run homer lifted Tapestry to a 4-3 win over Salamanca. … Cleveland Hill blanked Falconer, 6-0, as Kat Skorka drove in four runs while Taylor Betz struck out 15 during the complete-game win.

Vincenette LaGamba hit two homers and drove in six runs to lead Niagara Falls past Clarence, 9-7, in a Class AA pre-quarterfinal.

Kasprzyk sets goals mark

East Aurora has a new all-time leader in goals for girls lacrosse. Her name is Ally Kasprzyk.

Kasprzyk’s milestone highlighted a fine day by the Blue Devils, who finished the regular-season with a flawless record within the Class D division with a 15-1 win over Salamanca.

Kasprzyk needed four goals to break the old mark of 135 goals set by Katie Richter (2010). Kasprzyk scored the milestone 136th goal during the first half and then was removed from the game by coach Christina Schutrum.

Kasprzyk, a senior committed to Division II Findlay in Ohio, has 82 goals this season and averages 10 per game – both program marks. In addition to the milestone and completing league play unbeaten, EA (12-2) also tied a school mark with its eighth straight win.

Akron girls, Medina's Cooper have nice day

During day two of the Niagara-Orleans League Championships, the Akron girls won six events, while on the boys side reigning Section VI champion Jalin Cooper of Medina tuned up for a title defense in personal-best fashion.

Leah Czechowski won the 100- and 200-meter dashes and aided the winning efforts of the Tigers’ 4x100 relay. Akron teammate MacKenzie O’Brien triumphed in the 400 and was part of the winning 4x800 relay. Jenna Robnett, a member of the 4x100, captured the pole vault.

Roy-Hart’s Kaliegh Kuzma won the 100 and 400 hurdles.

For the boys, reigning Division II 100- and 200-champion Cooper cruised to the title in those events – winning each in personal-best times of 10.84 and 22.09 seconds, respectively.

Elsewhere, Nardin’s girls team secured the Monsignor Martin regular-season title with an 89-19 win over Mount Mercy. The Gators’ 4x800 relay team of Grace Brach, Julia Martin, Danielle Orie and Gabrielle Orie set the school record, posting a time of 9 minutes, 41 seconds which ranks first in Western New York.

Pitching rules for Timon and Nichols

In Monsignor Martin High School Athletic Association baseball, Bishop Timon-St. Jude blanked second-ranked St. Francis, 6-0, behind Tyler Brill’s fine pitching. He tossed a one-hitter with five strikeouts. Kiernan Higgins had two hits and three RBIs to fuel the Tigers' offense.

Ryan Peterson tossed a no-hitter to lead Nichols past Cardinal O’Hara, 10-0. Peterson struck out 12 to lead the Vikings.

Akron lacrosse triumphs

Akron defeated Clarence, 11-7, in a nonleague boys lacrosse contest. Owen Hill had three goals and four assists to lead the Class D-sized Tigers (15-1) over the Class A Division Red Devils.

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