Win a first for Nichols
Some leadership from her captains helped former Nichols girls lacrosse player get her first head coaching win.
Senior captain Brigid O'Gorman scored four times, including the go-ahead goal with a minute to play, off a fast-break pass from junior captain Brigette Cellino, as the Vikings beat Mount St. Mary, 9-7, and give coach Danielle Vallas her first win.
"It was a pretty tight game," said Vallas, a 1995 Nichols grad, "and it was just the captains stepping it up at the end."
The goal by O'Gorman made it 8-7 before Cellino added her second goal of the game in the final seconds for Nichols (1-1), which led, 5-3, at halftime. Seniors Lauren Hazelet and Sara Slovick each scored twice for Mount St. Mary (1-2), which has won the last two Monsignor Martin championships.
In Section VI, the Tarantino twins had all but one of the goals for East Aurora (6-1) in an 8-6 win over Williamsville East. Jessie Tarantino had four goals; Sarah had three.
Eventful opening day in the city
It was an eventful opening day across the Cornell Cup, including Tito Candelario (three hits) stroking the game-winning single in the bottom of the seventh as Riverside edged defending League I champion Hutch-Tech, 5-4. John Chicone had 10 strikeouts while pitching a complete game.
Emerson, which won the Cornell Cup League II title last year, is off to a great start in League I as Eric Agostino pitched a no-hitter with 15 strikeouts in the Eagles' 5-1 win over South Park. . . . Grover Cleveland's Niko Alessi had three hits and six RBIs, none more important than his game-winning single with two outs and two strikes in the bottom of the seventh as the Presidents beat da Vinci, 9-8. . . . Victor Arroyo of Lafayette struck out 20 Bennett batters and also had three RBIs in an 11-1 victory.
In the Monsignor Martin Association, Matt Bittner drove in the only run in the bottom of the sixth to support Gary Schmelzer's three-hitter as St. Mary's (2-0) handed Timon/St. Jude (2-1) a 1-0 loss.
Ryan Donkowski pitched a two-hitter for his second win of the season as Maryvale (4-0 ECIC III) beat Cheektowaga, 6-1.
Softball showdown today
Depew and Maryvale both won to remain undefeated heading into their ECIC III softball showdown this afternoon.
Brittany Koshofer struck out 12 in a three-hitter and Breanna Fenski homered during a 3-for-4 performance as Maryvale (5-0, 4-0) beat Tonawanda, 7-0. Depew (5-1, 4-0) edged Cheektowaga, 3-2, as Jessica Sisti struck out 10 in a four-hitter and Ashley Nunz had two hits and and an RBI.
Maryvale will seek its seventh straight win over the Wildcats when the teams meet at Depew at 4:30 p.m. today with both teams eyeing the top spot that had been owned by Williamsville South (now in ECIC II).
Clarence freshman Jennifer Sansano (3-1) allowed a hit to the first batter of the game, but didn't allow one for the rest of a 2-0 victory over Sweet Home.
Immaculata made its re-entry into the Monsignor Martin Assocation a winning one as it beat Niagara Catholic, 6-1. Megan Smith struck out 10 during a five-hitter while both Sarah Hrovath and Jill Zak (double) went 2 for 2 for the Bears (4-1 overall), who played as an independent the last three years.
ACE game tonight
The 13th Niagara PAL/ACE basketball all-star games will be tonight at Niagara Falls High School. The girls game starts at 6 p.m. with the boys to follow.