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High School Extra: Ken West's Matt Chimera earns 400th softball win

A coach doesn’t win 400 games without receiving an assist along the way.

Matt Chimera had plenty of help on the way to that milestone over the years from working with quality players, including his daughter Allie, to working with quality assistants.

Kenmore West defeated rival Kenmore East, 3-1, in a Niagara Frontier League softball game Saturday at Ken West. The victory was the 400th in the coaching career of Chimera, who plans to retire from teaching and coaching at the end of the year.

"It's great. It's been a lot of years and a lot of great players I've had the opportunity to coach,” said Chimera, who also coached football for 38 seasons in the district and wrestling for 20. “I'm very lucky to have had a lot of quality assistant coaches around me. Between Joe Catalano, Dennis Sarow and Kim Leggett, they're the most recent ones that have worked with me, ... you don't win 400 games without help like that."

Ken West (3-1, 2-0) scored the game’s first three runs. The Blue Devils struck for one in the second as a throwing error on Liz Notto’s bunt attempt enabled McKenna Horne to score from first. In the third inning, Rachel Rickman’s one-out, two-run single increased the cushion.

Lydia Serrano scattered six hits and struck out five to earn the victory.

During Chimera’s 26 seasons at West, he’s guided the Blue Devils to one New York State Public High Schools Athletic Association championship (in 2002), 12 NFL titles, four Section VI championships.

West wins battle of Kenmore

It’s good to be a Blue Devil fan on Saturday.

On a day which the school’s softball team secured career win No. 400 for longtime coach Matt Chimera at rival Kenmore East’s expense, Ken West baseball made it sweep of rival Kenmore East by outslugging the Bulldogs 15-8.

West scored all 15 runs in the first four innings.

Rafael Smith went 3 for 4 with four RBIs and two runs. He hit a three-run single in the fourth. Dominic Schmidt went 3 for 4 with a double, two RBIs, two stolen bases and four runs scored. Zach Boyes stole four bases and scored three runs.

Elsewhere, Clarence defeated Orchard Park, 7-6, in ECIC I. Mason Davis belted a homer among his two hits. Matt Brown, Aidan Wallace and Isaiah Corry each recorded two hits for the Red Devils. ... Williamsville East rocked Fredonia 11-1 in a nonleaguer between traditional Section VI Class A and B contenders. Mike Wolf drove in four runs as he finished a homer shy of the cycle, scored three times and stole three bases for the Flames. Teammate Andrew Orsini went 3 for 3 with three RBIs.

Clarence softball wins twice

In the Clarence Softball Showcase, the host Red Devils defeated Nardin and Amherst.

In the 3-1 win over reigning Monsignor Martin champion Nardin, Julianne Bolton tossed a three-hitter with 13 strikeouts wih Allie Klownowski hitting a double and driving in a run.

In Clarence’s 15-4 win over Amhewrst, Haley Marlowe drove in four runs, while Mary Blajszczak plated three to highlight a 4-for-4 day at the dish.

Winkelsas coaching O’Hara

Cardinal O’Hara is turning to a former Big Leaguer to turn its baseball program around as Joe Winkelsas has been hired to coach the Hawks this season.

Winkelsas, a Buffalo native and Bishop Timon graduate, pitched professionally from 1996-2010. The right-handed pitcher appeared in eight Major League games as a reliever, one with the Braves in 1999, and seven in 2006 with the Milwaukee Brewers.

He is a member of the University of South Carolina Salkehatchie Athletic Hall of Fame.

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