OP softball ends title drought
The last time Orchard Park won the ECIC I title, co-coach Brittany Bonetto was a senior second baseman for the Quakers.
Orchard Park ended a drought by clinching its first division title since 2004 with a 7-1 win over Clarence. Katie Weimer went 3 for 4 as she hit a two-run triple in the first and two-run triple in the third. OP (12-6) also scored three in the seventh to improve to 9-3 in the division.
“We had some ups and downs but we kept fighting back,” Bonetto said. “The girls are super proud of themselves.”
Shea Swiatek homered, while Rachel Johnson went 2 for 3 with a triple. Molly Hennessy struck out 10 to earn the win.
Tonawanda denies Eden
Tonawanda prevented Cleveland Hill from earning a share of the ECIC IV Division softball title last week and donned its spoiler’s cap once more Friday in preventing defending state Class B champion Eden from doing the same.
Senior Rachel Allen tossed a no-hitter that featured 11 strikeouts as the Warriors won their seventh in row, 2-0. The Raiders (11-4, 9-3) only got three base runners against Allen (two via walk, one on an error) as the loss enabled Alden, whose only two league losses came against Eden, to clinch the division title outright.
Rachel Warthling drove in both runs for Tonawanda, the first via groundout in the second inning. She plated an insurance run with a single in the sixth. Syndey Myers went 2 for 3 with a triple.
• In a nonleaguer, Lancaster beat rival Depew, 11-5, in a battle between the No. 1 large and No. 1 small schools in the News’ Coaches’ Poll. Jenna Neumaier went 3 for 5 with a double and three RBI, while Olivia Jankowski doubled, homered and drove in two runs during her 3-for-5 effort. Kara Paradowski also went 3 for 5 with two runs scored for Lancaster (14-4).
MMA softball playoffs to start
The Monsignor Martin Association softball playoffs begin at 11 a.m. on Saturday at Sunshine Park in West Seneca with a pair of quarterfinal games.
No. 6 seed Immaculata (4-5) faces third-seeded Nardin (7-2) on Diamond No. 1, while Mount St. Mary (5-4) meets St. Mary’s of Lancaster (5-4) in a battle between the fifth and No. 4 seeds, respectively, on Diamond No. 2.
Regular-season champion Sacred Heart (13-6, 9-0) and runner-up Nichols (8-5, 8-1) earned byes into the semifinals, which are Monday at 4 p.m. at Sunshine Park. The championship game is at 4 p.m. Wednesday at Sunshine Park.
Clarence nets top seed
• Clarence and Orchard Park closed the regular season with boys lacrosse wins, meaning a tie-breaker had to be used to determine the top seed in Class A for the Section VI Tournament. Goal differential in the teams’ head-to-head meetings broke the deadlock. Clarence beat OP 12-8 and lost to the Quakers 12-10. Clarence faces the winner of Tuesday’s Lockport-Frontier clash in the semifinals while OP faces No. 3 Lancaster on Thursday.
• In the Niagara Frontier League tennis championships, North Tonawanda’s Greg Hastings and Kenmore West’s Nick Atallah qualified for the Section VI tournament in singles. Ignacio Pujana and Nick Guay of Lockport won the doubles title and head to sectionals with runner-up Eric Riederer and Colin Osborn of Grand Island.