Clarence knocks off No. 1 seed
No. 8-seed Clarence toppled No. 1 Niagara Falls, building an eight-run lead before holding off the host Wolverines, 8-5, in a Section VI Class AA softball upset. Doubles by Gabby Keller and Hannah Marlowe produced a run in the first for Clarence, and Marlowe tripled home two runs and scored on winning pitcher Christina Victor’s single in the fifth. Keller added a two-run single and Carney squeezed home another run when Clarence scored four times in the sixth.
Things got tense in the bottom of the seventh when Falls scored its five runs and had five of its 10 hits in the game.
Williamsville East turned to one of its favorite weapons, the squeeze bunt, to pull out a 5-4 victory over Sweet Home in their Class A-1 softball semifinal.
Tori Thuman singled home the tying run in the bottom of the seventh. Then cleanup hitter Bri Buccello put down a perfect bunt along the first-base line and Sara Armstrong came home with the winning run.
“We’ve done it a lot this year,” East coach Chris Durr said of the tactic. “Sara is a good runner and Bri is a pretty good bunter.”
Alden finally shook off a pesky City Honors team, scoring a run in the bottom of the seventh for a 3-2 victory over the Centaurs. Alden had the lead twice before that, but “City Honors kept tying it,” said Alden coach Jeff Krysczuk.
The bottom third of the order had five of Alden’s nine hits, including the game-winning single by No. 9 hitter Brittney Jordan. Winning pitcher Laura Kratzke allowed just four hits.
Brittany Schuster hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning and Annalise Kelly pitched the distance, striking out 10 for West Seneca East in a 2-1 victory at Amherst in their Class A-2 semifinal. … Fredonia’s Baylee Tarnowski shut out Southwestern on one-hit and Mekenna Leid homered in a 2-0 victory in a Class B-2 semifinal.
Hamburg’s great escape
Talk about pitching out of trouble. Hamburg’s Jake Mertowski entered the game in the second inning with one out and the bases full. He struck out two Sweet Home batters to preserve a 2-1 lead and the No. 1-seed Bulldogs went on to an 8-5 victory in their Class A-1 quarterfinal. Ryan Dils had a two-run single in Hamburg’s four-run fourth inning and Justus Hoffman, the fourth pitcher used by Hamburg, pitched the sixth and seventh to close it out. Next, Hamburg will host Williamsville East, a 9-4 winner over Lockport as Austin Battaglia drove in four runs with a double and a homer.
Cole Hollins hit a two-run homer in the first inning for a 3-0 lead and No. 1-seed Orchard Park went on to a 22-0 bashing of Frontier in a Section VI Class AA baseball quarterfinal. Jacob Lewis, Matt Wright and Jacob Gogal combined on a two-hitter.
Zach Nelson squeezed home Anthony Hernandez with the winning run in the top of the 10th inning as No. 7-seed Maryvale edged No. 2 East Aurora, 6-5, in Class B-1. The host Blue Devils took the lead with five runs in the bottom of the second and held it until Hernandez led off the fifth with a double and scored on a hit by Nelson. The teams had split their ECIC III regular seasons series
Williamsville North earned a matchup with the Quakers by edging Lockport, 5-4. Winning pitcher Luka Pechakas and Andrew White each had a double and three RBIs for the Spartans.