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Frontier, Fredonia head to final four Will South won't defend title

BROCKPORT -- Frontier and Fredonia loved what happened in their first trip to the Clark V. Whited Complex at Brockport State, but the facility continued to be a field of nightmares for Williamsville South.

Frontier and Fredonia will continue their historic postseasons -- both won in their first appearance in the Far West Regionals to earn their first trip to the state final four.

Amanda Norman pitched a no-hitter and Frontier got contributions from all over the field as it won the Class AA game over Webster Schroeder, 3-0. In Class B, Fredonia's bats banged out a 12-1 win over Penn Yan.

Defending Class A state champion Williamsville South, which was ranked first among Western New York large schools all season, lost a 2-0 decision to Victor, its third loss on this field in the last five seasons.

Frontier and Fredonia both advanced to the state championships Saturday at the BAGSAI Complex in Binghamton. Frontier (19-6) will play Long Beach of Section VIII (Long Island's Nassau County) while Fredonia (18-5) will play Marlboro of Section IX in their respective 9 a.m. semifinals.

>Class AA

Frontier has talked teamwork throughout the postseason, and presented another reason why Wednesday. Gabby Lorusso came off the bench to start in left field, and the senior made two great catches to help preserve Norman's no-hitter.

Lorusso, inserted in the lineup by coach Debby Schrufer due to senior Emily Ciccarella's illness, reeled in two troublesome-looking high flies on the warning track, one of which appeared headed over the fence.

Norman retired the final 16 batters in order and faced just one over the minimum. The last batter to reach base for Schroeder (17-7) was on a walk in the second, but that runner was gunned down trying to steal on catcher Bridgett Henry's great throw to covering shortstop Shelly Seeger.

Frontier took a 1-0 lead in the first when Seeger led off with a single, stole second and scored when the catcher's throw went into center field (the center fielder was covering second as Schroeder had its infield in). The Falcons added two runs in the third when Norman rocketed a ball to left center that was ruled a two-base error and Kelsey Dziwulski scored. Norman scored when Shelby Harris belted a double to left.

"Our ethics have always been: team," said Seeger. "Everyone hit the ball, everybody played solid defense, it was a great game all-around."

>Class A

Williamsville South has now lost regionals at Brockport State in 2003, 2005 and 2007. In the years in between, the Billies and record-setting pitcher Chelsea Plimpton won state titles.

Plimpton, who will finish her career as the state's career leader in strikeouts and perfect games, hadn't allowed a hit and struck out nine as the scoreless game went to the bottom of the sixth, when Victor strung together three straight hits to take its lead. Michelle Prong's double reached the left-center fence on one hop, Caitlin Dolan drove her in with a line-drive single to left-center and moved to second on the throw, and Alyssa Lepore drove her in when she rolled a single up the middle.

That sent South (27-2), which had just two hits, to the top of the seventh needing a rally. The Billies stranded a runner at second for the third time when Victor's Erin Nargi (one walk) ended ended the game with her eighth strikeout.

"This field hasn't treated us well three different times," said South coach Gerry Gentner. "Victor was a little better team than we were. They got a couple critical hits and I think they hit the ball a little bit harder."

>Class B

Fredonia coach Dave Polechetti said he'd never seen a softball hit so far in a high school game.

Michelle Poweski's mammoth home run in the bottom of the third gave the heavy-hitting Hillbillies a 2-1 lead they would keep extending. Poweski, a senior captain and the Hillbillies' No. 9 hitter, led off the third by slamming a ball not only over the 200-foot fence in left field, but completely over a scoreboard two stories tall several feet behind the fence.

"That was the best hit of my entire life," said Poweski. "It's perfect timing since this is my last year. We came through when it counts."

The Hillbillies scored four times in the fifth to make their lead 8-1. Danielle Wozniak pounded an RBI double to the wall in left field, Jenna Shaw notched two of her three RBIs on a line-drive double to left and Keri Ketcham drove in Shaw by lining an opposite field single to right.

e-mail: kmcshea@buffnews.com

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