Lancaster defeats OP softball
A No. 1 versus No. 2 clash, walk-off victory and a major bounce-back triumph highlighted softball action in Western New York during a busy Wednesday.
The much-hyped game of the day took place at Sunshine Park in West Seneca, where No. 1 Lancaster defeated second-ranked Orchard Park, 4-1, in the first of two meetings over a three-day stretch between the ECIC I powers.
Reigning Prep Talk Softball Player of the Year and Canisius commit Kara Paradowski came up huge for the unbeaten Legends (11-0, 6-0), driving in two runs and scoring twice to highlight a 2-for-4 day. She singled, stole second and later scored on Tina Stasiuk’s single to break a scoreless tie in the third inning. Paradowski’s two-run single in the sixth blunted an OP rally attempt as the Quakers had just pulled within 2-1 the previous inning on an RBI single by Madison Stewart. Jenna Patterson earned the win, tossing a complete-game seven-hitter with three strikeouts.
“Two great teams on the field, a lot of great plays,” Legends coach Kelly Ambrose said. “Our defense played outstanding and we were able to quell any threats they started.”
Bulldogs rebound vs. Clarence
Two weeks ago when Hamburg and Clarence gathered for an ECIC I softball clash, the result was an ugly 17-0 loss for the Bulldogs.
They did a lot of things better in Wednesday’s rematch, taking down the visiting Red Devils, 5-3. Hamburg bolted to a 5-0 lead and then held off a Red Devils’ attempt at rallying. Clarence had runners at second and third in the seventh when winning pitcher Leah Cabarga induced a grounder to short for the final out.
“We did everything perfect today,” Bulldogs coach Rich Mattison said. “We had better hitting, better pitching, better defense.”
Cabarga, who didn’t pitch in the earlier meeting, changed speeds and location well to induce grounders and pop ups. The Bulldogs went ahead for good with two runs in the first on Madi Ross’ single, which knocked in Megan Vesneske (two hits, two RBIs) and Cabarga.
Amherst walks off a winner
Amherst finally had a one-run game go its way as the Tigers rallied to earn a walk-off victory over Williamsville South, 5-4, in ECIC II.
The Tigers had lost in walk-off fashion three times in their previous one-run games, including a 2-1 decision at Williamsville South last week. That changed when Kayla Shutts’ one-out single to right center drove in the game-tying and winning runs for Amherst to cap a back-and-forth game.
“It was nice being the home team today,” Tigers coach Mike Chatelle said.
Mia Ciccarella started the winning rally with a one-out single. She reached third on Hannah Bardeen’s double, setting the stage for Shutts.
Perfectos, and no-nos
No-hitters, including two perfect games, happened Wednesday.
Eden’s Mattie Woodard tossed a five-inning perfect game with eight strikeouts and also went 4 for 5 with three RBI during a 15-0 win over visiting JFK in ECIC IV.
Emily Trotman threw a five-inning perfecto for Mount St. Mary in a 22-0 rout of Niagara Catholic in Monsignor Martin play.
Alden blanked Pioneer, 9-0, with the Bulldogs’ Brooke Strausbaugh one batter away from a perfect game of her own. She issued a walk in the first inning but that was the only flaw during a complete-game no-hitter that included 12 strikeouts.
Sarah Kester tossed a no-hitter and went 3 for 3 in leading Springville to a 19-0 win over Lackawanna. Teammate Sydney Rosati added a one-hitter as the Griffins completed the doubleheader sweep with 3-0 win in the nightcap.
Hamburg baseball wins wild one
Hamburg defeated Clarence in a wild one, 7-6, in ECIC I baseball as winning pitcher Ryan Hornstrom, who came on in relief in the fifth, worked out of a no-out, bases-loaded jam in the seventh to preserve the decision.
The host Bulldogs rallied to take the lead in the sixth on Devon Crowley’s run-scoring triple. Before that, his younger brother Dylan drove in the tying run with a fielder’s choice.
In ECIC I, Lancaster defeated Orchard Park, 10-2, for its seventh win in a row. Ben Damiani went 3 for 4 with two doubles to lead the defending Section VI Class AA champions.
Meegan near milestone
Molly Meegan is now one goal away from 100 in her career as the Mount St. Mary forward poured in five during a seven-point day in the Thunder’s 15-0 win over Nardin in Monsignor Martin girls lacrosse.
The Buffalo News will publish the Scholar Athletes for the winter season in Saturday’s editions.