Williamsville North played its first softball game on its new turf field on April 5, losing to Lancaster. It was also the first game as head coach at North for Michelle Switzer.
Things were a lot different on Saturday at Clarence. Switzer's Spartans scored the biggest upset of the Section VI season, knocking off Lancaster, 5-2, in a Class AA semifinal game that had been suspended from the day before.
It was the only loss of the season for the Legends, who were ranked No. 1 in New York State in Class AA and Western New York large schools as well as the No. 1 seed in the sectional playoffs.
Winning pitcher Emily Nicosia homered during the Spartans' four-run fourth inning which began Friday, was halted by rain and resumed on Saturday at Clarence High. North added another run in the sixth. Lancaster scored twice in the bottom of the sixth but the rally was cut short.
Nicosia, a four-year varsity player, allowed six hits, but walked only one and struck out eight.
"She's playing the best softball of her career and at the plate she keeps coming up big for us," said Switzer. "Her homer helped us break it open in the fourth and get a lot of momentum our way. Alex Mucci singled in another run and another run scored on a wild pitch."
Play was halted on Friday with two outs, a North runner on second and a 3-0 count on the batter. A groundout ended that frame on Saturday but the Spartans had a 4-0 advantage to sleep on. Anna Brand drove in the run in the fifth inning with a two-out double and Miranda Fish drove home Brand with the run in the sixth. Renee Shapiro had a pair of hits for the winners.
Lancaster (21-1) had defeated North twice in the ECIC I regular season.
The Spartans will face defending champion Orchard Park for the Section VI Class AA championship on Tuesday at a site to be determined. It cannot be held at Williamsville North as had been planned.
Orchard Park defeated North, 4-2 and 8-2, in the league season.
"After defeating the No. 1 ranked team in the state, our team feels it can compete with anybody and we'll be ready," Switzer said.
Surowiec comes through for North
Winning pitcher Josh Surowiec took to the mound in the bottom of the second inning of a suspended game and homered for the go-ahead run as Williamsville North tripped up No. 1 seed, Lancaster, 6-5, in a semifinal game of the Section V Class AA baseball playoffs. The Spartans will face No. 2 seed Clarence for the AA title today at noon at Sal Maglie Stadium in Niagara Falls.
Williamsville North trailed, 4-3, when play was suspended in the bottom of the second inning on Friday. The Legends once had led, 4-0.
Surowiec got out of the second inning with a ground ball out and allowed only four hits the rest of the way. He struck out six and walked only one. The senior left-hander homered in the fifth inning to break a 4-4 tie, and North added an insurance run in the sixth. Lancaster got a run in the bottom of the sixth but could manage no no more.
"Josh had their batters on the defensive," said Williamsville North coach Jerry Scarcella. "He had real good command."
Surowiec is 4-0 for the season with an earned-run average around 1.30 and is batting close to .600, according to Scarcella.
Three bronzes for local crews
Three local high school crews took home bronze medals at Saturday's Scholastic National Championship Regatta in Pennsauken, N.J.
Nardin's varsity four was third in 5:35.076 in a final won by Merion Mercy (Pa.) Coxswain, Kiera Bohen, Cameryn Orlowski, Tara Finlayson, Julia Stoll and Katherine Bauer made up the Gators' boat.
The Nichols crew of coxswain Mackenzie Cordosi, Grace Alford, Alex Hartung, Kiera Callahan and Hailey Miller finished third in the Girls Lightweight Fours in 5:27.270. E.L. Crossley (Ont.) won that final.
A Nichols junior varsity four of Zach Berzon, Michael Berdysiak, Andrew Jensen and Michael Battin with coxswain Katie Bean finished third in its final in 5:02.988 a little more than 2 seconds behind the winning crew from Don Bosco (N.J.), which won in 5:01.812.
The Canisius varsity four finished fifth as did the Crusaders' lightweight eight. City Honors took sixth in the varsity fours petite final.
Orie twins star in CHSAA meet
Monsignor Martin Association athletes took six first places Saturday in the state Catholic High School Athletic Association track and field championships at Icahn Stadium on Randalls Island in New York City.
Twins Gabrielle and Danielle Orie, with a first place each, led Nardin Academy to fourth place in the meet. The Gators had 30 points. Gabrielle won the 2,000 meter steeplechase in 7:08.42 to earn a place in the State Federation meet. Danielle Orie won the 3,000 meter run in 1:02.12 to also qualify for the Fed. In addition, Gabrielle was third in the 800 while Danielle was second in the 1,500.
The other WNY first on the girls side was by Kathryn Vogl of St. Mary's with a leap of 35 feet, 1 inch in the triple jump. Shea Warren of Park School met the qualifying standard for the Fed meet with her second-place throw of 97-3 in the discus.
The Canisiux 4x100 relay long jumper Alex Buczynski and St. Joe's discus thrower Tyler Doty took firsts in the boys meet. The relay of Buczynski, Paul Woods, Kenyatta Huston and Joel Nicholas won in 42.62 seconds. Buczynski took the long jump at 22-4 with Woods second and Jeff Walter of St. Francis fourth. Doty heaved the discus 139.2. He also was fourth in the shot put.
Buczynski in the long jump and Doty in the discus qualified for the Federation meet.
Canisius was seventh in team scoring with 18 points.
Big day on track for C/LV
Cattaraugus/Little Valley athletes stood out Saturday in the CCAA Track and Field Championships at Dunkirk High.
Sisters Abby and Bailey Gostomski took two first places each in the girls meet while Kellen Martin won three boys events for the Timberwolves.
Abby Gostomski won the 800 (2:21.60) and the 2,000 steeplechase (7:20.48) while Bailey took the 800 (2:21.60) and 1,500 (4:47.36). Emma Zeiders won the 200 (25.78) and 400 meters (58.03) for Silver Creek. A seventh-grader, Kaniya Johnson of Olean, won the girls 100 in 12.87. seconds.
Martin was first in the 400 hurdles (58.06), long jump (19-11.5) and triple jump 42-7.75. Michael Peppy, a Maple Grove junior, doubled in the 1,600 (4:27.06) and 3,200 (9:42.15).
Southwestern (Division I), Randolph (II) and Maple Grove (III) led the boys team scoring. Southwestern also triumphed in the girls Division I while Allegany-Limestone (II) and Clymer-Sherman-Panama (III) led the girls team scoring.
St. Francis makes baseball final four
St. Francis joined St. Joe's and Canisius in the semifinals of the Georgetown Cup baseball playoffs with a 7-0 quarterfinal victory on Saturday over Nichols.
Gavin Krawiec shut out the Vikings for six innings to get the win. He struck out eight. Noah Fleckenstein had a pair of triples for the Raiders.