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Frewsburg, Hamburg fall a hit short

Hamburg and Frewsburg were oh-so-close to victories in the state semifinals Saturday afternoon.

However, both teams committed errors that put them behind, and both had their championship hopes end with runners in scoring position.

Hamburg lost its first game of the year, 2-1 in a Class A semifinal, to Jamesville-Dewitt of Section III (Syracuse area) when senior Megan Medina's hard line drive to center was caught with runners on first and second in the bottom of the seventh.

On an adjacent diamond at the Adirondack Sports Complex, Frewsburg fell to Section IV (Binghamton area) winner Greene, 3-2, after the potential tying run was stranded at third.

"We believed in ourselves right to the end," said Hamburg coach Lisa Palma. "We had some costly errors that hurt us. You can't take anything away from these girls. My heart goes out to them, because I really wanted it for them.

"We focused on this is the first team that's gone this far. There are thousands of people back home who are cheering for us. They're still champions."

Hamburg, which won its first sectional title this season and took a 21-0 record into its first state championship, got another standout effort from junior starter Bridget Hogan (2-3, double, nine strikeouts in four-hitter) and took the lead early.

The Bulldogs (21-1) took a 1-0 lead in the first when senior Melissa Roseman reached on a fielder's choice, moved to second on a single by Hogan and scored on a wild throw from the third baseman after a grounder by junior Heather Tighe.

J-D, which fell in the state title game to Sayville of Section XI (Suffolk County, L.I.), scored twice in the top of the fourth due to Hamburg's unforced errors, including two wild throws.

Hamburg had a baserunner in the fifth and sixth, but its best chance was its last one. With one out, Roseman bombed a double to left. Hogan was walked intentionally. Tighe's blooper fell in front of the plate and catcher Maddy Devereaux got the force at third. Medina (2 for 4, double) blistered a ball to center, but Tessa Devereaux came in to snag it and end the game.

"I was going home -- I thought it was down," Hogan said. "But it wasn't. We had an amazing year. It means so much to Hamburg and our area."

The Bears (16-8) fell behind, 2-0, after a two-run home run by Rebecca Hanrahan in the bottom of the fifth. In the top of the sixth, Frewsburg rallied as junior Sam Mott (2 for 3, run, four-hitter) singled and stole second, then scored on a double by junior McKenzie Cass. Sophomore Emily Hair followed with another double, and the game was tied at 2.

In the top of the seventh, Greene took the lead when -- with two outs -- Gabby Sherwood walked, stole second and third and scored on a passed ball.

In the bottom of the inning, sophomore Karlee Foti singled to left, moved to third on a pair of groundouts, but the game ended on a popout to the pitcher.

Greene lost the state final, 5-2, to Greenwich of Section II (Albany area).

"Obviously at the end there were a couple of miscues, but more important was the way my girls came back after that two-run shot," Frewsburg coach Jon Blanchard said.

"They're smart, they're talented,'' he said of his team," and they play with tremendous character and emotion."