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Newcomer Medina will face battle-tested Depew for Class B softball title

Sectional title champions – that has a nice ring to it.

"That has an incredibly good ring to it," Medina head coach Amber Cleaveland exclaimed after her team defeated the No. 1 seeded Eden Raiders on Thursday night. "For the first time in history, that’s awesome. It was something that probably was on the high pedestal of ‘maybe.’ First it was OK we won the league – we were three-way co-champs – then okay, we won our first round, second round, and we’ve been building and peaking at the right time."

Both teams were engaged in a pitching duel going into the sixth inning before the Mustangs brought eight batters to the plate, scoring the game’s first four runs. Junior Alisha Scroger had the biggest hit in the sixth-inning rally as her two-RBI double gave her team the four-run advantage. Medina plated an additional run in the following inning off a sacrifice fly.

Emily Kams, coming off a complete game, one-hitter Tuesday in Medina’s semifinal win over Fredonia, tossed another complete game in front of an estimated 200 at Williamsville North’s brand new all-turf sports complex. She only allowed three hits.

"My main motivation is my team," Kams, a commit to Niagara County Community College, said. "I’m always playing for my team, they are my No. 1 supporters. For being a senior, we want this more than anything. This is just the perfect opportunity."

Eden scored three runs – all with no outs – in the bottom of the seventh to give Medina a little scare. Kams settled in after getting a runner out on a sacrifice bunt by inducing two pop outs to secure the Mustangs’ first-ever sectional title.

Medina is now handed the tall task of facing Depew for the overall Class B title on Tuesday at Williamsville North.

Depew, the No. 2 small school, claimed their second consecutive Class B-1 title over Alden with a 2-0 victory. It was the third consecutive season that both Depew and Alden were playing in the Class B-1 title game.

"I’m more relieved because the expectations going in was to win B-1," Depew head coach Dan Seelig said. "Last year we had the run, and we want to be better than last year. We want to take the run at the state title and take the motor coach rolling and continue this run."

Depew senior Karsen Cotton, a commit to Niagara, threw a complete game and allowed just three hits. She added that playing Alden is very difficult, but fun.

"We played them last year around this time and it was a really tough game," Cotton, a five-year varsity player, stated. "I look forward to playing them every time. They always have a good pitcher, they always have good offense, and are a really, really, really tough team to beat. You have to play well to beat them."

Ashley Crawley went 2 for 2 with a triple and single while also drawing a walk. Jordan Petyk also added two hits for Depew (15-5).

Brooke Strausbaugh pitched a complete game allowing six hits, while striking out three for Alden (14-5).

First pitch for the overall Class B title on Tuesday is scheduled for 5 p.m.


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