Williamsville East and Depew are Section VI Champions.
But while Depew all but put the game away with three first-inning runs en route to a 5-2 win over Medina, it took Williamsville East 10 innings to walk it off on a Christy Mack two-run single for a 2-1 victory over Olean.
Andrea Taboni scored Depew’s first run on a wild pitch in the bottom of the first, and Jenna Marranca drove in two more later in the inning with a two-run single to right field.
“She was pitching outside,” said Marranca. “I had two strikes, and I hit it, and it was a good accomplishment.”
Marranca was a JV call-up late in the season, and coach Dan Seelig had a good feeling about the sophomore. As he said after the game, timing was everything.
“We kind of thought she had that potential to do it,” Seelig said. “And timing is everything. She had the hit to put pressure on Medina when we scored, so it was huge that a JV player could step into that role and come through with a big play.”
Veteran pitcher Karsen Cotton took the hill in the top of the second staked to a 3-0 lead and never looked back. She went the distance for the win and allowed just two runs, both in the sixth inning. She allowed just five hits and struck out 13.
The umpire “was giving me the outside pitches, so I was staying low, staying outside, and when they were climbing the plate, I just had to go inside,” Cotton said. “My change up was working well today, so overall a pretty good day.”
“She makes coaching a lot easier when she’s on the mound,” said Seelig. She’s getting better still by the day – her accuracy, her command on the mound. She has just been the cornerstone of the program for six years. This is just a great way to climax her whole career, the way it’s going right now. I’m proud of her.”
On the neighboring diamond, Williamsville East and Olean played a fast-paced game that would have ended well before Depew and Medina, but both the Flames and Huskies were unable to score through nine innings.
Alyssa Ramarge was on the hill for Olean; Jessica Weaver pitched for the Flames. Each team was scoreless until the universal tiebreaker rule took effect in the 10th inning, which gives each team a runner on second base to start the inning. The Huskies scored once in the top of the 10th.
Then it was the Flames’ turn. They filled the bases with one out, and Mack stepped to the plate.
“I was really nervous getting up there, and I just knew I needed to make contact and get those runs in in order for us to win,” Mack said.
A single to left gave Williamsville East a walk-off 2-1 win and the Class A Section VI Championship.
“She’s been one of our top two hitters all year,” Williamsville East coach Chris Durr said. “She came through. She hit it hard enough that I thought maybe the left fielder was gonna field it, and then once the left fielder bobbled it once, I knew that we had a good chance to score.”
“I’m just proud of the way we stayed in there,” Durr said. “I knew this was gonna be this type of game. I told Olean that’s the best softball game I’ve ever been involved in, win or lose.”