2022 Section IV Blog

7/8/22

 

It’s been about a month since a frenetic end of the season in Long Island, which saw Section IV send four teams to their respective championship games, and Deposit-Hancock take home the crown in Class D.  Vestal (A), Chenango Valley (B), and Greene (C) all won semi-final matchups, only to run out of steam in the championship.

 

Overall, it was another highly successful year for this section, as four state title berths further boosted this area’s reputation.

 

But, as is the case every year, the seniors move on, and a fresh group of faces will look to leave their mark in 2023.  Let’s take a look at the five sectional champions, along with their chances of repeating, and other teams that could step up.

 

(Please note that I am going by the current classifications, which could always change based on enrollment.  For example, Deposit-Hancock was Class C in 2021, but Class D this past year.)

 

* Horseheads pulled a stunner in Class AA, taking down Corning 7-5 to claim the sectional title.  Corning came into the game ranked #3 in the state’s biggest class, and certainly looked like they were ready to chase their second consecutive state championship (keep in mind that the 2020 and 2021 championships did not take place).  Even facing a 5-2 deficit entering the 6th did not shake the Blue Raiders, who got big home runs from the Wolf sisters Molly and Megan, and Olivia Packard.  Megan Wolf struck out eight, and hung tough against a lethal Hawks’ offense.  The run ended in the Regional Final to Monroe-Woodbury, who then went on to win it all a week later.  The Blue Raiders will lose All-State Third Team selection Eva Koratsis, along with STAC West All-Stars Carly Scott and Packard.  They do return plenty of talent, however.  Molly Wolf will be a senior, and was an All-State Fifth Team pick.  She’ll be joined by a pair of West All-Stars.  Megan Wolf has three years remaining and has already pitched in plenty of big games.  Maddie Matkosky has two years left, and spent time at both 2nd base and pitcher.  Also, it should be noted that the Horseheads JV team went undefeated and plowed through everyone in winning a STAC title.  With young players coming back who will only get better, the Blue Raiders will continue to be a force in Class AA.

 

* Corning won the STAC Championship before being upset in the sectional final.  While they will certainly have other years where they compete and win plenty of games, it will be hard to imagine matching the offensive talent that they are losing this year.  They placed four players on the All-State team, and all are seniors: Atalyia Rijo (First Team), Ellie DeRosa (Second Team), Kellie Zoerb (Fourth Team), and Kelsey Booker (Fifth Team).  They do return pitcher Peyton Sullivan and OF Kendall Curreri, who were both STAC West All-Stars.  Elmira loses West All-Star Kaitlyn Place, but return a pair of all-stars in Payton Ross and MacKenie Fusare.  Ithaca loses STAC All-Conference pick Jenna Plue.  While Horseheads remains the favorite to repeat, it will be an open race between the other teams to see how else can reach the sectional championship.

 

* As much of a shocker as Horseheads beating Corning was, Vestal ended Championship Saturday at BAGSAI with arguably the biggest upset.  They jumped up 9-0 on Maine-Endwell, then held on for dear life to get the victory, 9-7.  M-E was the #2 ranked Class A team in the state and for good reason.  Vestal went on to prove the victory was no fluke as they took down Tappan Zee and Troy before falling in the state championship game.  What makes their run even more impressive is how young they were, as they will lose only a pair of seniors who took home STAC postseason accolades: Faith Hicks (All-Conference) and Mallory Duff (Metro All-Star).  On their way back are three players who were recognized as All-State selections in Kendall Brady (First Team), Caitlyn Petteys (Second Team), and Kymora Wang (Third Team).  Combine those names with STAC Metro All-Star Edna Kiefer, and the Golden Bears have plenty of reasons to think they can not only repeat as sectional champions, but can claim the school’s first state championship as well.

 

* While Vestal returns a boatload of talent, Maine-Endwell has to feel great about next year’s squad as well.  It starts with All-State Second Team selection and Monmouth commit Olivia Lewis, who has continued the rich tradition of ace pitchers for the Spartans.  She will be joined by All-State Fourth Team member Kaety L’Amoreaux, who is one of the top athletes in the entire state, let alone Section IV.  A pair of STAC All-Conference selections in Shannon Mentz and Lauren Dundon will make their returns, along with Metro All-Star Aleciyah Brodley.  They will have a chip on their shoulders to prove that they are the best team in Class A.  Union-Endicott loses All-State Fifth Team selection Elena Pasquale, along with Metro All-Star Morgan Folli.  But, three Metro All-Stars are back in pitcher Kendra Lee, and OF’s Ali DiPietro and Natalie Barrett.  Johnson City will look to continue to improve with Metro All-Star Sophia Colgan returning, but will miss fellow all-star Alyssa Carlin to graduation.

 

* Chenango Valley put it all together when it mattered the most in Class B, taking down Windsor, Owego, and Marcellus to return to the state final four for the first time since 2010.  They beat Marlboro 6-2 in the semi-final before running into a red hot Ichabod Crane and falling in the championship.  They have a pair of All-State selections returning: Kate Hope (First Team) and Madeline Trisket (Fourth Team).  Both came up with walk-off hits in the postseason, as Hope’s single beat Owego, and Trisket’s three-run shot defeated Marcellus.  They also will welcome back Central All-Star Colsten Beers.  But, they will need to replace three All-Conference players in Mikayla Bucci, Chloe Osteen, and Priscilla Soule.  Those will be some pretty big shoes to fill for the Warriors, as they will look to hold off what is always strong competition in Class B.

 

* Owego made it to the sectional championship riding the arm and bat of Lauren Gilbert, as the senior and Keuka commit was rewarded with an All-State Second Team pick.  Losing Gilbert hurts, but the Indians do welcome back a handful of Central All-Stars: Sarah Terry, Jordan Greeno, Taylor Dalton, Alex Aubel, Ava Brown, Natalie Donovan, and Saylor Ayres.  Despite losing Gilbert and Central All-Star Carly Kirtland, they have to feel great about competing for a championship again.  Susquehanna Valley was the lone #1 seed to not advance to Championship Saturday, but they have a young ace in Kylee Richardson on her way back, as she was an All-State Third Team pick.  Fellow All-State selection Makenna Demoney (Second Team) graduates, along with All-Conference picks Bella Gaskins and Ava Spotteck.  Returning will be All-Conference selections Paige Weaver and Avery Zembeck, along with East All-Star Emma Aton.  They will once again look to get back on top.  Windsor loses All-State Fourth Team selection Peyton Swartwout, but return young talent in East All-Stars Jillian Munson, Paige Smith, and Anna Finn.  Keep an eye on Chenango Forks, as they return All-State Second Team pick Sarah Nickerson, as well as their battery in Central All-Stars Jessica Stone (P) and Alexis Scott (C).  Oneonta also welcomes back East All-Stars Madie Denning and Jordan Bellinger.  Dryden returns IAC North Large MVP Kahlen Cornell, and All-Division members Becca Stafford and Ava Henry.  Much like Waverly did in 2019, the IAC schools will need to find a way to compete and take down the more battle tested STAC schools come sectional time.

 

* Greene experienced a dream season, capturing the Class C championship over Elmira Notre Dame, then beating Sandy Creek and S.S. Seward before falling to Greenwich in a heartbreaking state championship loss.  Leading the way was Class C Player of the Year Olivia Kennedy, who repeated as POY and joined 11 other players as multiple-time selections in Section IV history.  She’s now up there with recent names such as Paige Rauch, Makenzie Stiles, and Emily Hess.  That’s quite the talented list to be a part of, and she earned her way there with 38 total strikeouts in the state semi and final.  Now, the Trojans are entering the post-Kennedy era, but have quite the pair of All-State selections to lead the way in Payton Yahner (Third Team) and McKenzie Scott (Fourth Team).  Yahner threw a no-hitter this year and combined with Kennedy on another one.  They will be joined by MAC Second Team selections Rhea Malmquist and Abby Yahner.  While losing Kennedy is a huge blow, much like when Deposit lost Stiles, they have great talent coming back and will look to prove that they are still a championship-caliber team.

 

* Elmira Notre Dame felt the wrath of Kennedy in the Class C championship, as the Crusaders were no-hit and struck out 14 times.  They will use that game as a learning experience and look to come back even stronger in 2023, as they follow the lead of their three All-State selections in Olivia Switzer (Second Team and IAC South Large MVP), Lawson Bigelow (Fourth Team), and Ava Mustico (Fifth Team).  Three more South Large All-Division picks are also back: Payton Miller, Izzy Griffin, and Shannon Maloney.  These players combined with a challenging schedule could very well boost them over the hump.  Sidney will be led by All-State Second Team selection Ava Cirigliano, who has quickly turned into one of the area’s top pitchers.  Southern Cayuga lost in the first round to Edison, but has a strong returner in Ellie Brozon (All-State Fourth Team, IAC North Small MVP).  Tioga and Spencer-Van Etten were the victims in the semi-finals, but each have plenty of reason for hope.  Tioga sees the return of IAC South Small Co-MVP Mykenzie Thetga, along with All-Division pick Erin Luther.  The other half of that MVP award is S-VE’s Reagan Sudnikovich, who will return with All-Division selections Katelyn Klym and Faith Brenchley.

 

* While four teams from Section IV made it to the last game of the last day, it was Deposit-Hancock that was the area’s lone champion.  They demolished Roxbury for a sectional crown, then beat Eldred, Scio/Friendship, and Oriskany to win it all.  This was accomplished in their first shot as a combined program, as they won a Class C sectional last season, but there was no state tournament.  They won with a combination of veterans and youth.  The seniors they will lose are All-State selections Riley Martin (First Team), Rylee Smith (First Team), and Zoe Gifford (Fourth Team).  They will fortunately welcome back Kaitlyn Macumber, who is an All-State First Team member for good reason.  She did it all in the championship game, from hitting a three-run homer to pitching a three-hit gem with eight strikeouts.  She’ll be joined by MAC Second Team picks Pagen Macumber and Addison Makowski.  If there’s one thing we’ve learned about Deposit then and D-H now, it’s that they are extremely well-coached (Dan Briggs is a four-time NYS Coach of the Year), and have a program ready to see others step up to fill a void.  Because of these reasons, they will once again be the team to beat in Class D.

 

* Roxbury reached the sectional championship before falling to D-H, but still had a terrific season in claiming their third straight Delaware League championship (2018, 2019, 2022).  They rode a talented senior class in All-State Third Team selection Bryanna Meehan, along with Delaware First Team picks Brianna Cross and Lacey German.  They will face an uphill challenge in replacing that amount of talent.  Schenevus lost to Roxbury in the semi-final, but will return Tri-Valley First Team pick Sam Osborne, as well as Second Team pick Taylor Knapp.  Marathon was a victim to D-H once again (Deposit in the past), and sees all four of their IAC North Small All-Division picks graduate.  Milford and Gilboa lose their All-State pitchers, with Milford’s Leeanna West (First Team) and Gilboa’s Kara Dumas (Second Team) both graduated.  One team to keep an eye on is Morris/Edmeston, as they have the lone All-State underclassman outside of D-H’s Kaitlyn Macumber returning.  That person is Hannah Wist, who was a Second Team pick in the circle.

6/5/22

 

What a weekend it was for Section IV softball!  Four of the five teams playing for Regional Championships came away victorious, giving S4 their most state semi-final representatives since sending teams in all five classes back in 2016.

 

Let’s take a look back at the action.

 

Class AA Regional Championship: Monroe-Woodbury 6 – Horseheads 2.  Perhaps the toughest test any Section IV team faced was Horseheads going up against the undefeated powerhouse in Monroe-Woodbury.  And after M-W starter Brianna Roberts struck out an incredible 20 batters in a three-hitter, it’s easy to see why.  (Roberts, by the way, is a Binghamton University commit, so at least she’ll be on our side soon!)  The Blue Raiders, though, did not back down from the battle after the entire order struck out the first time through.  In the 4th, Maddie Matkosky worked a leadoff walk, and one later, Eva Koratsis hit a two-run homer to knot the game up.  The only other time the offense made any noise was back-to-back singles to open the 7th from Koratsis and Molly Wolf, but three straight strikeouts ended the game.  Even though the outcome wasn’t what they hoped for, there’s still a lot to look back on and be proud of for this squad.  They were the team that slayed the dragon in beating Corning just to get to this spot.  Simply put, they ran into a buzzsaw in M-W with a pitcher who might very well be named the Class AA Player of the Year.  Kudos to the Blue Raiders on their great season!

 

Class A Regional Championship: Vestal 9 – Tappan Zee 1.  For the second straight game in a big pressure situation, the Vestal offense absolutely unloaded at the perfect time.  Just like they did against Maine-Endwell, the Golden Bears found themselves up 9-0.  This time, however, they made sure not to sweat it out in the 7th, as the combination of Raveena Rai and Reilly Storer combined on a seven-hitter with only one run surrendered.  How did Vestal get those nine runs?  Look no further than their first three hitters in the lineup of Kendall Brady, Caitlyn Petteys, and Kymora Wang.  They combined to go an incredible 7-for-13 at the dish with six RBIs and seven runs scored.  Brady had a double and solo homer, Petteys a solo shot as well, and Wang a triple.  You really can’t ask for any more than what those three gave them.  The seven hits matches their production from the M-E sectional championship, so it’s not like these performances came out of nowhere.  Now they will look to keep their good mojo going against Troy from Section II in a semi-final matchup, with the winner playing either Mepham (VIII) or Webster Schroeder (V).  If Webster Schroeder looks familiar, it’s because they’re a frequent opponent of M-E in the Mary Testa Tournament.  M-E beat them 2-1 earlier this year.

 

Class B Regional Championship: Chenango Valley 4 – Marcellus 1 in 10 innings.  The closest of the five games took place at nearby Union-Endicott, as Chenango Valley once again took it down to the very end to get a victory.  After using a 6th inning comeback to score three runs and beat Windsor 3-2 in the semi-final, and getting a Kate Hope walk-off hit to down Owego in the 8th inning of the sectional championship, it was Madeline Trisket’s turn to play the role of hero.  With two on and one out in the 8th, Trisket crushed an 0-2 pitch over the fence in left, and the Warriors lived to play another day.  This came after she pitched six innings of scoreless ball in relief of starter Mikayla Bucci, who’s only blemish was as solo home run off the bat of opposing pitcher Aubrey Fraher.  Both teams would make a little noise here and there, but the timely pitching would continually shut down any threat.  Fortunately for the Warriors, they were the home team, and after some discussion on whether the International Tiebreaker rule of a runner being placed on 2nd base to start the 10th inning would happen (it didn’t), Trisket stranded a pair with her 10th strikeout to get to the bottom half still tied at 1.  Madison Hargus started things off by legging out a bunt single.  After Emma Farr-Giblin sacrificed her to 2nd, Hope took a walk on a full count.  Trisket then collected her first hit of the day at the perfect time.  For the Warriors, that’s now three straight nailbiting wins when facing elimination, which should only help them know they can get the job done when the heat is on late in games going forward.  They get a semi-final date with Marlboro of Section IX, with the winner playing either Depew (VI) or Ichabod Crane (II).

 

Class C Regional Championship: Greene 6 – Sandy Creek 0.  The undefeated run for the Trojans continues, as Sandy Creek kept it close at 3-0 going into the 7th, but three runs were tacked on to put the game away.  Greene starter Olivia Kennedy tossed another one-hit gem, but did so by relying on her defense this time.  She struck out six, walked three, and induced 14 ground ball outs.  For those who believe that she doesn’t need a strong defense to win, think again.  This game proved that the players behind her are just as important to Greene’s success as she is.  After three scoreless innings, Greene went up 3-0 in the 4th thanks to some errors and quirky plays with the wind.  Kennedy hit a high fly ball to center that dropped in the infield in the howling wind.  Kylie Ferris collected an RBI bunt single, and two more scored on errors.  In the 7th, three more runs were driven in on an RBI pinch-hit double by Kenzie Button (a JV call-up), an RBI triple by Kennedy, and a run-scoring single by Mckenzie Scott.  The only out recorded in the air was a deep fly out to centerfielder Faith Tierno, who benefited from the wind keeping it inside the park.  Games like this are good for the Trojans, as they showed they can win without Kennedy striking nearly everybody out.  Next up is a semi-final matchup with Section IX’s S.S. Seward.  The winner plays either Avon (V) or Greenwich (II).

 

Class D Regional Championship: Deposit-Hancock 12 – Eldred 4.  In their second year as a combined program, Deposit-Hancock will get their first crack at a state championship with no state title games being played last year.  Eldred actually drew first blood against D-H starter Kaitlyn Macumber.  Bryn Greenfield drew a leadoff walk, went to 2nd on a wild pitch, 3rd on a groundout, and scored on another wild pitch.  Macumber would soon be spotted a 9-1 lead, and she was a big part of that hitting #1 in the order with four hits (two doubles) and two runs driven in.  An RBI double by Amanda Ray and RBI single from Macumber gave D-H the lead for good in the 2nd, and they never looked back.  Pagen Macumber hit behind Kaitlyn and went 3-for-4 with two runs scored, Riley Martin 4-for-5 with a pair of RBIs, Zoe Gifford 3-for-4 with three RBIs, and Rylee Smith a flawless 4-for-4.  Add it all up, and it was a 22-hit day for the Eagles.  They also played errorless ball on defense.  The former Deposit is used to being in situations like this, as their intense regular season schedule has more than prepared them for the Class D state tournament.  All six of their losses came in tournaments to teams like Corning and Chenango Valley, and to their MAC rival Greene a pair of times.  D-H head coach Dan Briggs has not backed down from any team, no matter the size.  Now they will take those experiences into a semi-final game against Scio/Friendship from Section V.  The winner faces Oriskany (III) or Argyle (II).

 

Here is the complete schedule for our Section IV teams playing for state championships on Saturday at Moriches Athletic Complex in Long Island.  Please note that the semis and finals will all be played the same day.

 

Class A State Semi-finals, 11:15 AM

Vestal vs. Troy

Mepham vs. Webster Schroeder

(Championship at 3:45)

 

Class B State Semi-finals, 1:30

Chenango Valley vs. Marlboro

Depew vs. Ichabod Crane

(Championship at 5:00)

 

Class C State Semi-finals, 9:00 AM

Greene vs. S.S. Seward

Avon vs. Greenwich

(Championship at 1:30)

 

Class D State Semi-finals, 11:15 AM

Deposit-Hancock vs. Scio/Friendship

Oriskany vs. Argyle

(Championship at 3:45)

5/30/22

 

Championship Saturday from BAGSAI is in the books, as Section IV crowned five new champions.  We saw everything from nailbiters, to blowouts, to near wild comebacks, to dominant pitching performances. 

 

Let’s recap it all right now.

 

Class AA Championship: #2 Horseheads 7 - #1 Corning 5.  The upset of the day (or maybe it was the second biggest upset?) occurred in Class AA.  Horseheads came into this game unranked and on the wrong end of both games against Corning this year.  Corning was ranked #3 in the state, STAC Champions, and winners of 16 straight.  And guess what?  None of it mattered once the first pitch was thrown.  The Blue Raiders overcame deficits of 3-0 and 5-2 to post five runs in the final two frames to stun the Hawks and take the title, 7-5.  Corning built their early lead on RBIs by Kelsey Booker, Peyton Sullivan, and Kellie Zoerb to go up 3-0.  Rachel Lunger then cut into that with a two-run double in the 4th, but Corning got those runs right back on an RBI double by Atalyia Rijo and solo shot from Ellie DeRosa.  Through five innings, Horseheads only had a pair of hits and some walks, and things were certainly looking in favor of the #1 seed.  But, as I wrote about in my preview for this game, if there was one reason of concern for the Hawks, it was their pitching.  Jane Austin relieved in the 5th and got the Blue Raiders in order, but in the 6th, it was a different story.  Molly Wolf and Olivia Packard smashed back-to-back jacks, and suddenly it was 5-4.  Needing a run to stay alive in the 7th, Molly’s sister Megan hit a leadoff solo homer, and it was 5-5.  Sullivan went back in, Maddie Matkosky walked, Eva Koratsis walked an out later, and Molly Wolf delivered in the clutch again with a two-run single for the deciding runs.  Corning was able to muster a single and a walk in the bottom half, but were unable to do anything with them.  And with that, Horseheads won their first championship since 2018, also a comeback win over Corning (9-8).  It was an amazing show of confidence all game long for Horseheads, as they did not panic both times they got down.  Instead, they took the fight right to Corning with aggressive swings and eight strikeouts from Megan Wolf.  Maybe most impressive was that they allowed Rijo to reach base only twice, and the lone home run was a solo blast.  Corning will probably have a hard time getting over this one, even though they still had a great season.  Horseheads will now represent Section IV in a Regional Final on Saturday, and will be looking to claim their fourth state title, and first since 1996 in Class A.

 

Class A Championship: #2 Vestal 9 - #1 Maine-Endwell 7.  If you thought there’d be no way to top an upset like Horseheads over Corning, then hopefully you stuck around until it was dark outside to see Vestal stun M-E.  What made it even more improbable was how they did it – by building up a 9-0 lead, something that probably hasn’t happened to the Spartans in years and years.  Both teams showed plenty of heart in this game, as Vestal held on for dear life after a furious M-E rally made it look like they might just completely erase the deficit.  Vestal got up 2-0 early on a sac-fly and wild pitch, then turned to their power to go up big against M-E starter Olivia Lewis.  In the 3rd, Kymora Wang hit a two-run homer, Edna Kiefer tripled and scored on a wild pitch, and Kay Ferro blasted a three-run bomb to go up 8-0.  Not done yet, Kelsey Brady’s RBI single made it 9-0, as Vestal posted a seven-run inning.  That would be the final scoring of the day for the Golden Bears, as those couple of insurance runs ended up being huge.  M-E started to chip away in the bottom half on a two-run shot by Kaety L’Amoreaux and a wild pitch that scored Lauren Dundon.  A couple innings later, Lewis smashed her own two-run homer, and #9 hitter Kaylee Hurba made it 9-7 on a two-run double.  Vestal ended up using all four of their pitchers, as Mallory Duff started and went into the 3rd, Raveena Rai and Reilly Storer got some outs from there, and Wang pitched the final two scoreless frames, getting L’Amoreaux to ground out to end it.  I’ve been tracking game scores back to the 2017 season, and not once has Vestal defeated M-E, and they usually play a pair each year.  What Vestal did have going for them was that they already saw Lewis twice this year, came off of several great scrimmages in preparation for this game against teams like Chenango Valley and Windsor, and played loose as the clear underdogs.  It all came together on Saturday.  M-E, like Corning, will always wonder what this season could have led to, as they came up short of their own lofty expectations.  It’s no stretch to say there are plenty of teams across New York still alive in Class AA and A that were shocked (and maybe thrilled) to see these results.  Vestal will now look to win three more, starting with the Regional Final on Saturday.  For as rich a history as they’ve had, they have never won a state championship.  Perhaps this is the year it turns around.

 

Class B Championship: #2 Chenango Valley 5 - #4 Owego 4 in 8 innings.  While the Horseheads and Vestal games were nailbiters coming down to the bottom of the 7th, it was this game that was the closest, and took an extra inning to decide.  In a rare Class B title game that didn’t involve the semi-final losers Susquehanna Valley and Windsor (for the first time since 1995, neither team appeared in this game), Chenango Valley built a 4-1 lead, saw it evaporate, then won it on Kate Hope’s walk-off single in the 8th.  Owego drew first blood in the 2nd when Sarah Terry reached on an error, and then another error soon scored her.  CV got that run right back on an RBI double by Kaylee Watson to score Mikayla Bucci.  CV got some cushion to their lead in the 3rd.  Hope doubled leading off and scored on Madeline Trisket’s RBI base knock.  After Priscilla Soule reached base, Chloe Osteen brought them both in with a two-run single.  Owego, though, got a huge double play on a popped up bunt and throw behind to first that helped them halt CV’s momentum.  The 4th inning saw Owego starter Lauren Gilbert absolutely demolish a solo homer leading off, and Ava Brown hit an RBI groundout to cut it to 4-3.  The score then was tied in the 5th when Terry hit one that couldn’t be handled at 2nd, scoring Taylor Dalton to make it a whole new ballgame.  Both teams had mild threats in the 7th, but were unable to get the big hit.  In the 8th, Owego led off with a Brown single, who advanced to 3rd on a bunt and delayed steal, but was left there when Trisket struck out Brooklyn Gaurnier to end the threat.  CV started a one-out rally in the bottom half when Emma Farr-Giblin pinch-hit and collected an infield single.  Megan Butch pinch-ran for her, and Watson singled to make it two on.  A sacrifice bunt by Maddy Hargus put runners in scoring position, and Hope scored Butch on a liner just over the head of Sophia Palladino in center to hand CV their first sectional title since their state championship season in 2010.  What made Hope’s moment even more interesting was that she wasn’t even allowed to use her own bat, which got tossed out by the umpires in pregame.  Osteen’s bat did the trick for her.  For Owego, they came within an eyelash of winning their first sectional championship in five tries.  They upset top-seeded SV, as they were the only #1 seed to not make it this far.  They have a lot to look back on and be proud of.  CV went through a tough spot last season in a semi-final loss to SV on a controversial call, but have exorcised their demons in finally winning it all after 12 long years.  They’ll look to keep it going on Friday against a Section III team in the Regional Final at Union-Endicott.

 

Class C Championship: #1 Greene 4 - #3 Elmira Notre Dame 0.  I have two words for you – Olivia Kennedy.  Is there a better player in all of New York?  If there is, I’d love to see her, because this young lady has really separated herself from the pack.  In what is becoming second nature for her, she tossed a no-hitter on 14 strikeouts to hold down an Elmira Notre Dame offense full of pop.  And for good measure, after striking out the side to start the game, she tripled leading off the bottom of the 1st and scored on McKenzie Scott’s RBI single.  Payton Yahner added an RBI double, and Greene had all the runs they would need in this one.  A pair of more runs came in to close the scoring in the 4th, as Scott scored on a sacrifice from Kylie Ferris, and DJ Lora chipped in with a run-scoring single.  The only baserunners for the day for Elmira ND came in the form of walks to Lexi Blitz and Ava Mustico.  In 22 games, Greene has surrendered nine runs, or 0.4 runs/game.  That’s absurd!  They’ve only given up runs in four games.  It’s hard to know exactly what type of competition teams will face in the state tournament, but an argument can easily be made that Greene is the best bet of the five Section IV champions to win it all.  They just made a strong team in Elmira ND look punchless.  When you have a horse like Kennedy taking the ball, you automatically feel like your odds of winning are big.  As for Elmira ND, they have to feel proud about winning the IAC Large School championship, and by making Greene play all seven innings in a game that certainly wasn’t a runaway, something Greene has done to countless teams.  Greene last was in the state tournament in 2012 and lost in the championship to Greenwich.  This squad will look to erase that memory, starting with the Regional Final on Saturday.

 

Class D Championship: #2 Deposit-Hancock 19 - #1 Roxbury 4.  This was one of the most interesting matchups of the day.  Deposit-Hancock (then Deposit, but now combined) have made themselves very comfy at BAGSAI, and have time and time again showed their dominance at the small school level.  Roxbury came into this game as the new kid in town, with a sparkling 14-1 record and champions of the Delaware League.  Could they find a way to slay the dragon known as D-H?  Simply put, no.  The Rockets quickly found out what separates D-H from everyone else.  Hitting first as the away team, Kaitlyn Macumber singled leading off and scored on Riley Martin’s two-run homer.  The next three innings saw 15 runs scored, as a combination of hitting and errors did Roxbury and starter Bryanna Meehan in.  Martin homered again in the 2nd, a three-run job, and drove in another run on a fielder’s choice to finish the day with six RBIs.  Macumber also homered in the 4th, as she collected four hits on the day.  Roxbury, to their credit, never quit, as Brianna Cross stroked a two-run single in the 3rd, and Lacey German and Lydia Biruk added RBI singles.  The pressure that the Eagles put on the opposing pitcher is something teams cannot possibly prepare for in practice, and that was evident in this one.  Even though the final score was lopsided, Roxbury has absolutely nothing to hang their heads about.  They had one of their best seasons in school history, winning a league title and a pair of games in sectionals.  They just ran into a buzzsaw, to say the least.  D-H continues to be a dynasty that mows down any team in their class.  They will play a Regional Final game on Saturday against Section IX’s Eldred at Union-Endicott.  These teams last met in 2019 in this same game, which was a Deposit 6-1 victory en route to a state championship.  Let’s see if history repeats itself this year.

5/27/22

 

Championship Saturday at BAGSAI is back!  It’s been three long years since we’ve been able to say that (last year’s championships were at the higher seeds).

 

Let’s dive right into previews for what to expect in all five championship games.

 

Class AA Championship: #1 Corning vs. #2 Horseheads, 3:00 at BAGSAI.  For the second straight year, it’s the STAC West foes duking it out for the sectional crown.  Last year’s game was a memorable one.  Corning found themselves up comfortably 10-4 in the 7th inning, or so they thought.  A leadoff walk led to a flurry of activity for Horseheads, who got within a run and a runner on 3rd with one out, but couldn’t push the tying run across the plate as Corning won 10-9.  This year, Corning is 2-0 against the Blue Raiders, with scores of 9-6 and 8-3.  The first game was a classic, as Kelsey Booker hit a walk-off, 3-run homer in the 11th inning.  In the second game, Corning built up an 8-2 lead and cruised to a win, clinching the division title.  Now the stakes are at the highest, as Corning looks to win their third straight AA title.  They’ll do it with an offense that is the true definition of balanced.  They have threats penciled in every spot of the order, from leadoff hitter Atalyia Rijo, down through the power of Kellie Zoerb, Ellie DeRosa, Sophia Polzella, and Booker, and in the lower part with Peyton Sullivan and Olivia Keegan.  What Horseheads will have to rely on is putting pressure on the Corning pitching staff, which has strong arms, but not necessarily a true ace like they did when they won a state championship with Laura Bennett in 2019.  Corning head coach Mike Johnston mixes and matches his pitchers as he best sees fit.  In the STAC Championship win over Maine-Endwell, Sullivan started and went five innings, then turned the ball over Jane Austin for the final two.  Horseheads will likely hand the ball to Megan Wolf, and for good reason, as she’s coming off of a three-hit shutout over Elmira in the semi-final.  The Blue Raiders’ offense will need production from the top of their order in Maddie Matkosky and Carly Scott, who will look to set the table for the heart of their order in Eva Koratsis, Olivia Packard, Belle Giammichele, and Molly Wolf.  If they can keep Corning in the yard, which is no easy feat, and take advantage with runners on base, then they can pull the upset.

Sectional Championship Game History:

Corning (3-3) – 3 championships in 2012, 2019, 2021

Horseheads (12-16) – 12 championships in 1983, 1991, 1993, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2018

Times Met in Championship: 3

Corning – 2 wins (2012: 13-4, 2021: 10-9)

Horseheads – 1 win (2018: 9-8)

 

Class A Championship: #1 Maine-Endwell vs. #2 Vestal, 5:00 at BAGSAI.  Maine-Endwell will look to make it back-to-back Class A titles, and continue their overall dominance of this class in recent years.  Last year, they ran the table in a shortened season with an emphatic 12-0 dismantling of Union-Endicott.  This year, they return a team that lost some big bats from the past, but have still put up plenty of runs from newer faces.  One face that has stayed the same is pitcher Olivia Lewis.  She’s the owner of a pair of no-hitters this season, and too many strikeouts to even keep track of.  She worked the first four innings of the 12-1 win over Johnson City in the semi-final, striking out nine.  As good as Lewis is, what Vestal has to feel good about is that they have seen her a couple of times this year, with the first time being a 7-3 loss in 11 innings.  Vestal got some big hits that day on a triple and RBI single by Kymora Wang, and a solo homer from Kelsey Brady.  They also worked five walks, so they were able to get some runners on.  They’ll need more of that on Saturday, as a fast start by the Golden Bears would put M-E in a position they’re not quite used to.  That’s what Corning did in the STAC Championship game, and while M-E was able to get some runners on throughout the game, they couldn’t get the big hits when needed.  Vestal has a few options of whom to hand the ball to in the circle: Mallory Duff, Reilly Storer, Raveena Rai, and Wang.  In the most recent 7-4 loss to M-E, Wang went 5 2/3 and struck out 10, with her three runs all unearned.  Storer went the distance in beating U-E in the semi-final.  Regardless of who starts, the Vestal offense will need to create some noise on the basepaths, as they have to put the ball in play and not watch Lewis up her strikeout tally too much.

Sectional Championship Game History:

Maine-Endwell (12-3) – 12 championships in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2021

Vestal (8-7) – 8 championships in 1975, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1995, 2003, 2005, 2019

Times Met in Championship: 3

Maine-Endwell – 3 wins (2013: 5-4, 2015: 5-3, 2017: 4-0)

 

Class B Championship: #2 Chenango Valley vs. #4 Owego, 3:00 at BAGSAI.  In the only class that saw the #1 seed get bounced (Susquehanna Valley), it’s two teams looking to take control of Class B.  Chenango Valley used a three-run 6th to get past a scrappy Windsor team, which was in cruise control until that fateful inning.  CV got a one-out double from Kate Hope to get the rally started, and a single by Madeline Trisket and double by Priscilla Soule soon put the Warriors on top to stay at 3-2.  Owego relied on their star, Lauren Gilbert, to take down the top seed.  She did it on the mound with five hits and seven strikeouts, and at the plate with the deciding two-run home run in the 6th.  Perhaps even more impressively, she went out and held the Sabers scoreless in the final two frames with the pressure on, only allowing one single.  Now it’s the rubber match between these squads, as each team won on the other’s home field.  CV drew first blood with a dominant 10-2 victory on April 11.  Trisket did it all that day, as she struck out 10 in the circle and hit two doubles from the leadoff spot.  Chloe Osteen and Soule added a pair of RBIs.  In the rematch, Owego started fast and didn’t look back, jumping up 4-0 before the Warriors even came to bat.  The Indians took advantage of some wild pitches to score, and Gilbert added a solo shot for the quick lead.  CV did get the deficit down to 8-5 after the 5th, but were unable to score again.  Now each team is coming off of close semi-final wins, and each has to feel good about their chances.  Mikayla Bucci has been the pitcher of record for CV of late, and like Gilbert, she is dominant when locked in.  After grabbing the late lead against Windsor, she set the next three down in order with two strikeouts.  It’s about as even a matchup as you’ll find on this day, with Owego looking to win the school’s first sectional title, and CV for the first time since 2010 when they won a state championship.

Sectional Championship Game History:

Chenango Valley (7-12) – 7 championships in 1982, 1987, 1992, 1995, 2001, 2009, 2010

Owego (0-4)

Times Met in Championship: none

 

Class C Championship: #1 Greene vs. #3 Elmira Notre Dame, 5:00 at BAGSAI.  Here’s a fun matchup that pits the present vs. the past.  Greene is the present with an undefeated record at 20-0, and have realistically only been truly challenged a couple of times this season in a 5-4 win over Nichols in Mudville, and their 2-1 MAC Championship victory over Deposit-Hancock.  Five of their nine runs surrendered this season came in those two games.  You read that correctly: nine runs given up in 20 games.  That’s simply amazing.  It all starts with reigning Class C Player of the Year Olivia Kennedy, who somehow manages to top her own lofty expectations.  She’s tossed two perfect games, two no-hitters, and combined with Payton Yahner for another no-hitter.  The Trojans have an offense that can win by putting up double-digit runs, or by playing small ball like they did to beat D-H with perfect bunting.  They’ll look to claim their second overall sectional title, with the other in 2012.  On the other hand, the past is Elmira Notre Dame, who have absolutely owned Class C over the years.  They have 14 sectional titles, which is only behind Afton’s 22 for tops in all of Section IV.  What will be very interesting to see is how these hitters react to facing Kennedy, as each side could be facing their toughest challenge yet this year.  The Crusaders’ offense is loaded, with Lawson Bigelow leading the way.  She gets plenty of support from the likes of Shannon Maloney, Ava Mustico, Paige Harvey, and Maddie Fargo, among others.  They also have Olivia Switzer, who can beat you from both sides of the field.  She struck out 14 Lansing hitters in winning the IAC Championship 11-0, then set down 13 in beating Sidney 8-5 in the quarterfinal round.  Elmira ND has won their last 11, and will look to slay the dragon and hand the Trojans their first loss of 2022.

Sectional Championship Game History:

Greene (1-2) – 1 championship in 2012

Elmira Notre Dame (14-7) – 14 championships in 1983, 1986, 1987, 1990, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2011, 2015, 2016, 2017

Times Met in Championship: none

 

Class D Championship: #1 Roxbury vs. #2 Deposit-Hancock, 5:00 at BAGSAI.  This is a very similar matchup to Class C in that a dominant new team is looking to take down the queens of Class D.  Roxbury has won three straight Delaware League Championships (with no games in 2019 or 2020) and brings a 14-1 record into Championship Saturday.  That one loss was to Schoharie, and it was way back on April 5.  Since then, it’s been pure dominance by the Rockets.  It all starts with Bryanna Meehan, who has put the team on her back for the last two seasons.  In three playoff games (league championship and two sectional), she has 34 strikeouts.  The offense has lots of power from Lacey German, Kimora Brown, Ryleigh Goodchild, and Brianna Cross.  They have plenty of reasons to feel confident about winning their first sectional title since 1981.  But, standing across the field from them is the dynasty now known as Deposit-Hancock, who has picked up right where Deposit left off before the programs combined.  They were a Class C team last year and defeated Elmira Notre Dame 5-2 in the championship.  Now they are down to a D school again, which no doubt made all of the other D schools just so thrilled!  Their record of 13-6 is not as sparkling as Roxbury’s, but there’s a reason for that.  D-H has only lost to bigger schools in the Mudville and Mary Testa Tournaments, and to Greene twice.  Take those six games away, and it's been 13 blowouts for the most part.  One of those came in a 19-1 semi-final win over Marathon in which Kaitlyn Macumber struck out 14 in a two-hitter, and the offense blew the game open with an 11-run 4th.  Kaitlyn and Pagen Macumber did it all at the top of the lineup with six hits and six RBIs, and Addison Makowski drove in four.  In the quarterfinal win over Morris/Edmeston, Riley Martin had two hits and three runs scored, Riley Smith had three hits, and Makowski went a perfect 4-for-4.  Add everything up between these two programs, and it makes for a perfect matchup for the Class D title.  What D-H has going for them is a non-league schedule that got them battle tested for this time of year, and the experience of playing in big game after big game over the years.  Roxbury will have to be ready for their toughest test of the season, and have to believe that they can be the team that takes down a Deposit program that has not lost a sectional title at BAGSAI since 2013 to Afton.

Sectional Championship Game History:

Roxbury (1-5) – 1 championship in 1981

Deposit-Hancock (1-0) – 1 championship in 2021

Times Met in Championship: none

5/22/22

 

The sectional season is in full swing, as First Round games are completed in Class C and D.  We’ve already seen Spencer-Van Etten win their first sectional game since 1996, and Windham-Ashland-Jewett since 2001.  Those are some amazing streaks that have been broken.

 

With a small break in the action until Monday, let’s take a look at the Quarterfinal games for B, C, and D.  (Class AA and A have already been previewed in my last blog entry, along with the B Quarterfinal between Waverly and Owego.)

 

Class B Quarterfinal: #6 Dryden at #3 Windsor.  Here’s two teams that have a completely opposite history for sectional results.  Windsor is among the cream of the crop over the years, with a 54-26 all-time record in sectional play to go along 10 sectional titles and 4 state titles.  Dryden, on the other hand, is 3-20 all-time, with their last victory in 2015 over Whitney Point.  Obviously, that doesn’t mean anything to the players on these teams.  Dryden will send their ace to the mound, IAC North Large division MVP Kahlen Cornell.  She will need to be at her best, as Windsor has twice played tournaments in Mudville, and swept their part of the Mary Testa Tournament with dominant wins over Johnson City and Waverly.  The winner goes to #2 Chenango Valley on Thursday.

 

Class C Quarterfinal: #8 Edison at #1 Greene.  Edison got a dominant, one-hit shutout from Gabby Milazzo to advance past Southern Cayuga.  Now they get the ultimate test in a trip to undefeated Greene, the #2 ranked team in all of Class C.  Greene is coming off of an exciting, 2-1 victory over Deposit/Hancock, the #1 ranked team in Class D, to win the MAC Championship.  They will hand the ball to Olivia Kennedy, who has dazzled all season long.  With no state tournament the last couple of seasons, Edison is still the reigning Class C state champions, and with Greene looking to take the crown this year, there is no better matchup than this.

 

Class C Quarterfinal: #7 Tioga at #2 Union Springs.  Tioga survived quite a scare from #10 Harpursville, as they needed a rally in the 7th to overcome a one-run deficit and win 7-6.  Now they get a rematch of the IAC Small School Championship, won by Union Springs 6-0.  Hailee Smith was awesome in that game, just as she’s been all season long.  She tossed a three-hit shutout and smashed a three-run homer.  Needless to say, Tioga will have to figure out how to stop her if they want to get some revenge.  Tioga catcher Mykenzie Thetga was just named co-MVP of the IAC South Small division, and she will need to deliver against a dominant pitcher.  The Tigers have scored in double digits nine times this season, so they have shown the ability to get hot.  They’ll need that to get to the semi-finals.

 

Class C Quarterfinal: #6 Sidney at #3 Elmira Notre Dame.  Sidney ran past #11 Bainbridge-Guilford, building up a 9-0 cushion behind the arm of Ava Cirigliano and the bats of Makayla Bates and Kayla McEwan.  Now they get to hop on a bus for the hour and a half ride to Elmira Notre Dame, who once again claimed the IAC Large School championship on May 12.  Olivia Switzer can do it all, and has been named the IAC South Large division MVP.  Six of her teammates earned All-Division or Honorable Mention nods as well, which shows how deep of a lineup they have.  Sidney can compete if they get a strong performance from Cirigliano, who has faced strong competition this year in the likes of Greene, Deposit/Hancock, and Johnson City.

 

Class C Quarterfinal: #5 Spencer-Van Etten at #4 Lansing.  As is the case with many 5 vs. 4 matchups, this is a toss-up.  On one hand, S-VE has enjoyed a breakout season, winning their first 10 games before a loss to Tioga.  They’ve faced a tougher schedule in the second half, dropping games to Elmira Notre Dame, Edison, and Owego.  But, they cruised by #12 Unatego 5-0 in the First Round, getting a big performance by Rhiana Lawrence in a one-hitter.  The battery for the Panthers is strong with Lawrence and Reagan Sudnikovich, the co-MVP of the South Small with Thetga.  But Lansing is the home team for a reason, and they will have to bounce back from an 11-0 loss to Elmira Notre Dame in the IAC Large School Championship.  They have a great pitcher-catcher combination of their own in Ashley Bell and Iris Boerman, both recently named as IAC All-Stars.  In fact, Lansing had eight players named as All-Division or Honorable Mention, which constitutes almost their entire starting lineup.  Lawrence vs. Bell in the circle is one of the best matchups you’ll see around here.

 

Class D Quarterfinal: #9 Davenport at #1 Roxbury.  Davenport slipped by #8 seed Richfield Springs 5-4 in the First Round.  Now they get to see Roxbury, who left no doubt in clobbering Gilboa 14-0 for the Delaware Championship.  These division foes did meet once already this season, and to put it bluntly, it was a massacre.  Roxbury won 28-1 on April 22, with Lacey German driving in a whopping eight runs, and Bryanna Meehan striking out 10 and driving in four.  That was part of an ugly start to the season for Davenport, losing their first four games all by blowout.  But, that’s a thing of the past, as they’ve played much better ball of late with wins over Windham-Ashland-Jewett and Stamford/Jefferson.  They’ll need to figure out a way to get runners on against Meehan, who has not lost to a Section IV team this season.

 

Class D Quarterfinal: #7 Morris/Edmeston at #2 Deposit/Hancock.  The team names have slightly changed, but if you’re a fan of softball in this area, you’ll love this matchup.  It’s hard to ever forget the epic sectional final battles between Edmeston and Deposit in 2016 and 2017.  Deposit won both in extra innings, with only four runs separating them.  Now we get combined programs, and both have enjoyed plenty of success this season.  Morris/Edmeston just crushed #10 Laurens 19-2.  Hannah Wist is yet another pitcher who is a huge threat at the plate as well, as she struck out eight and went 4-for-4 at the dish.  Their competition has now gone way up, as D/H has only lost to Greene (twice) and to bigger schools in tournaments.  They almost handed Greene their first loss in the MAC Championship before falling 2-1.  Morris/Edmeston has nothing to lose in this game, and must play loose and with no fear if they want to pull the road upset.

 

Class D Quarterfinal: #11 Windham-Ashland-Jewett at #3 Marathon.  The biggest upset so far was W-A-J taking down #6 Gilboa 14-13.  Ashtyn Hansen was sensational in smashing two homers with 6 RBIs, and her team needed every one of those runs in earning their first sectional win since 2001.  Now it’s off to Marathon, who quietly find themselves as a huge threat in Class D as an IAC school.  The schedule they go through against teams like Union Springs, Lansing, and Dryden obviously pays off this time of year, as the Olympians have found themselves in the sectional finals three straight times.  They haven’t broken through yet, and can’t be looking too far ahead of themselves and taking the #11 seed lightly.

 

Class D Quarterfinal: #5 Milford at #4 Schenevus.  We have our second league championship rematch (IAC Small School the other) as Milford travels to Schenevus.  The Dragons made it two straight Tri-Valley championships with an 11-2 victory over Milford.  The teams also met once before in the regular season on May 6, with Schenevus getting the victory 7-2.  There’s a saying that goes like this: “It’s hard to beat a good team three times in the same season.”  Milford will have to hope that’s true, as they get one last crack at this.  Both teams feature players that contribute at a high level in both the pitcher’s circle and at the plate: Milford’s Leenana West and Schenevus’ Kelsey Burton.  The venue will change, as Schenevus will host for the first time after games at Milford and SUNY Oneonta for the T-V championship.  Milford will have to find a way to generate some offense, as their lowest outputs of the season (2 runs) came in both games vs. Schenevus.

5/17/22

 

Sectional season is here!  While we got a tournament in last season, there was no state tournament as the ultimate reward.  This year, for the first time since 2019, we’re back to a full end-of-season schedule.

 

Here’s a look at what to expect in the Section IV Tournament.

 

Class AA

* Top 3 seeds: Corning, Horseheads, Elmira

* Number of teams qualified: 3

* Semi-final matchups: #3 Elmira at #2 Horseheads (#1 Corning receives a bye)

* Dates of games: Semi-final – 5/25; Championship – 5/28

* Most intriguing semi-final game: #3 Elmira at #2 Horseheads.  As is usually the case, it’s the only semi-final matchup in Class AA.  These two teams have locked horns for three straight years now, with Horseheads winning 11-4 last year, and Elmira taking it 9-1 in a big upset in 2019.  This season, the STAC West rivals have played twice, and to no surprise, they split.  Horseheads took the first one 3-2 on April 28.  The Blue Raiders were down 2-1 in the 6th, but an RBI groundout by Molly Wolf tied it, and a sacrifice fly by Bella Giammichele brought home the winning run.  One week later, Elmira got their revenge with a 10-7 victory.  Payton Ross led the way with three hits and two runs, and Kaitlynn Place drove in a pair.  What’s interesting is that each team won on the other team’s home field, so Elmira has to feel confident going into Horseheads to try and make it happen again.

* Other thoughts: Corning is fresh off of a pair of wins in the STAC Playoffs over Chenango Valley and Maine-Endwell, with the latter win avenging their only loss of the season.  They did it by overcoming an early 3-0 deficit to CV, and by building up a big 6-0 lead over M-E.  They are a combined 4-0 against both Horseheads and Elmira this year, so the odds are in their favor no matter who they have to face.  The odds were also in their favor last year, and while they did win it all, they had to hold off a furious Horseheads rally for a 10-9 win.  So, anything is possible.

* All-time sectional records (championships in parenthesis):

#1 Corning: 7-7 (3)

#2 Horseheads: 46-30 (12)

#3 Elmira: 2-3 (0)

 

Class A

* Top 4 seeds: Maine-Endwell, Vestal, Union-Endicott, Johnson City

* Number of teams qualified: 4

* Semi-final matchups: #4 Johnson City at #1 Maine-Endwell; #3 Union-Endicott at #2 Vestal

* Dates of games: Semi-final – 5/25; Championship – 5/28

* Most intriguing semi-final game: #3 Union-Endicott at #2 Vestal.  It would hardly feel like a sectional tournament if Union-Endicott and Vestal didn’t play each other.  Make it four straight years they’ve matched up, with U-E winning twice.  Last season, U-E went on the road and pulled the 5-4, 8-inning upset.  In 2019, Vestal got the win in the sectional title game, which came a day after U-E pulled a stunner in dethroning Maine-Endwell, something that hadn’t been done since 2011.  This season, Vestal has had their way with the Tigers, winning both times by a combined score of 17-3.  The Golden Bears found a way to hit around U-E starter Kendra Lee, as she only lasted 3 1/3 innings in the last game, a 12-3 loss.  Lee has pitched in plenty of big games in her career, so she will need to be at her best.  Vestal counters with a few different pitchers who all could take the ball: Mallory Duff, Raveena Rai, or Reilly Storer.  It’s very possible they’ll all get the call in this game.

* Other thoughts: After a year off, Johnson City makes their return to the postseason, and they will be looking to pick up their first win since defeating Owego 9-3 in 2016.  It will be a tall task, however, as Maine-Endwell will be hungry to bounce back from dropping the STAC Championship game to Corning.  Both games went M-E’s way back in April by scores of 9-1 and 11-0.  For the Wildcats to pull the upset, they’ll need to start fast and create some pressure on M-E starter Olivia Lewis, which is how Corning was able to beat them a week ago.

* All-time sectional records (championships in parenthesis):

#1 Maine-Endwell: 31-19 (12)

#2 Vestal: 33-36 (8)

#3 Union-Endicott: 46-28 (13)

#4 Johnson City: 27-32 (4)

 

Class B

* Top 4 seeds: Susquehanna Valley, Chenango Valley, Windsor, Owego

* Number of teams qualified: 6

* Quarterfinal matchups: #6 Dryden at #3 Windsor; #5 Waverly at #4 Owego (#1 Susquehanna Valley and #2 Chenango Valley receive byes)

* Dates of games: Quarterfinals – 5/23 and 5/24; Semi-finals – 5/26; Championship – 5/28

* Most intriguing quarterfinal game: #5 Waverly at #4 Owego.  These teams did not play this year, but they did at the end of the regular season last year, and it was Waverly that got the 3-2 win.  For those who are still on the team for Waverly, that has to be at least somewhat of a confidence boost.  Owego will be ready, though, as they will hand the ball to their ace, Lauren Gilbert.  She has regularly pumped in double-digit strikeouts, as she did recently against Chenango Forks and Spencer-Van Etten.  Waverly went through a tough stretch in which they dropped five straight, but have figured things out since then with four wins in five games.  Micheala Lauper will need to be in her best form, just as she was with 17 K’s over Candor on May 13.

* Other thoughts: Susquehanna Valley edged Chenango Valley to claim the top seed, and if the last couple of years is any indication, a sectional final between the two would feature plenty of fireworks.  SV’s only league loss was to CV on a walk-off home run by Priscilla Soule on April 29.  Windsor will look to take care of business against Dryden, then they would get a road game in CV.  Windsor recently finished off a suspended game from early April and beat CV at home, 6-5 in 10 innings.  If you’ve followed Class B softball over the years, you should know that both programs have played in some classics.  Keep an eye out for Owego, who lost to all three higher seeds early in the season, but bounced back with a 9-5 win over CV on May 2.  They’d have to get by SV, but have the pitching and talent to make a run.

* All-time sectional records (championships in parenthesis):

#1 Susquehanna Valley: 57-22 (14)

#2 Chenango Valley: 50-27 (7)

#3 Windsor: 54-26 (10)

#4 Owego: 16-28 (0)

#5 Waverly: 15-25 (1)

#6 Dryden: 3-20 (0)

 

Class C

* Top 4 seeds: Greene, Union Springs, Elmira Notre Dame, Lansing

* Number of teams qualified: 12

* Quarterfinal matchups: #12 Unatego at #5 Spencer-Van Etten; #11 Bainbridge-Guilford at #6 Sidney; #10 Harpursville at #7 Tioga; #9 Southern Cayuga at #8 Edison (#1 Greene, #2 Union Springs, #3 Elmira Notre Dame, #4 Lansing receive byes)

* Dates of games: 1st Round – 5/19; Quarterfinals – 5/24; Semi-finals – 5/26; Championship – 5/28

* Most intriguing quarterfinal game: #12 Unatego at #5 Spencer-Van Etten.  A game like this is a reminder of what makes sectionals so much fun.  Two teams that would most likely never schedule a game against each other now get to mix it up.  Unatego made the MAC Playoffs and lost to Greene 16-0, then got edged 6-5 to Sidney in the consolation.  S-VE barely lost out on an IAC South Small division title to Tioga, but have still enjoyed a great season.  They won their first 10 before losing to Tioga, then got some revenge by beating Tioga 11-9 over a week later.  During the second half of the season, they have played a tougher schedule with losses to Tioga, Elmira Notre Dame, Edison, and Owego.  Unatego hasn’t been afraid to hit the road and challenge themselves, starting the year in Mudville and ending the regular season in the Cobleskill-Richmondville Tournament.  If the Spartans want to pull the upset after hitting the road for the hour and a half bus ride, they’ll have to rely on that experience of playing away games all season long.

* Other thoughts: Greene is a perfect 18-0 and coming off of a terrific 2-1 MAC Championship victory over Deposit/Hancock.  No team has had answers for Olivia Kennedy this season, or their #2 pitcher Payton Yahner.  They’re as prepared as they can be in looking to claim their second ever sectional crown (2012).  Union Springs is also red hot, winning their first IAC title since 1976 in shutting out Tioga 6-0.  They have the ace in Hailee Smith who can carry them far.  Elmira Notre Dame has once again put together a dominant season, with an IAC Large School Championship win over #4 seed Lansing.  Their only local loss was to Horseheads in the Mary Testa Tournament, a Class AA school.  They’ve won nine straight, and being on the opposite side of the bracket from Greene, are looking to make a run back into the championship game.  Lansing will need to shake off the tough loss to Elmira Notre Dame, but have solid wins over Dryden, Marathon, and Midlakes in the Mudville Tournament.

* All-time sectional records (championships in parenthesis):

#1 Greene: 23-30 (1)

#2 Union Springs: 14-25 (0)

#3 Elmira Notre Dame: 73-25 (14)

#4 Lansing: 39-28 (3)

#5 Spencer-Van Etten: 7-23 (1)

#6 Sidney: 25-28 (2)

#7 Tioga: 30-27 (1)

#8 Edison: 46-25 (6)

#9 Southern Cayuga: 10-21 (0)

#10 Harpursville: 43-31 (5)

#11 Bainbridge-Guilford: 10-25 (0)

#12 Unatego: 14-18 (1)

 

Class D

* Top 4 seeds: Roxbury, Deposit/Hancock, Marathon, Schenevus

* Number of teams qualified: 12

* Quarterfinal matchups: #12 Stamford/Jefferson at #5 Milford; #11 Windham-Ashland-Jewett at #6 Gilboa; #10 Laurens at #7 Morris/Edmeston; #9 Davenport at #8 Richfield Springs (#1 Roxbury, #2 Deposit/Hancock, #3 Marathon, #4 Schenevus receive byes)

* Dates of games: 1st Round – 5/19; Quarterfinals – 5/24; Semi-finals – 5/26; Championship – 5/28

* Most intriguing quarterfinal game: #9 Davenport at #8 Richfield Springs.  The winner of this game gets to travel to #1 Roxbury, who are hungry for their first ever sectional title.  But, they do get to avoid the side of the bracket with Deposit/Hancock, which is something lots of teams would secretly hope for.  Davenport could not have started the season off any worse, getting blown out in four losses by the score of 80-4.  Whatever soul searching they did after that must have paid off, because they’ve been a completely different team since then.  Recently, they have defeated Afton, Stamford/Jefferson, and W-A-J, and dropped a tight 10-7 game to Milford in the Calhoun Tournament Championship.  Richfield Springs hasn’t played nearly as many games, which is a reminder of the tough weather we experience around here.  They’ve won three of their last four, including a 14-8 win over Laurens.  Kalen Barnhard tossed a no-hitter earlier this season, and will look to slow down a Davenport offense that has scored in double-digits 11 times.

* Other thoughts: It might be a surprise to some that Deposit/Hancock has been the #1 ranked team in New York for Class D all season long, yet find themselves as the #2 seed in their own section.  But, that’s a testament to how great of a season Roxbury has enjoyed.  Roxbury blew out Gilboa 14-0 for another Delaware Championship, and only has one loss in a non-leaguer to Schoharie.  Bryanna Meehan has the talent and experience to lead her team to a deep run.  D/H only has losses to bigger schools this season in tournaments, and twice to Greene.  Against schools their own size, they have been lights out and basically unchallenged.  They make their return to Class D after winning Class C over Elmira Notre Dame last year.  For the last three seasons, Marathon has found their way into the championship game, which shows how their IAC schedule gets them ready for sectionals.  They could potentially face Gilboa in the Quarterfinal, which would be a rematch of last year’s game won by Marathon.  Schenevus is coming off of the high of winning a Tri-Valley Championship over Milford, and have won six straight.  If the top seeds hold serve, it will be fun to see if Roxbury can knock off a team with “Deposit” on their jerseys at BAGSAI, something that hasn’t been done since Afton did 2-1 in 2013.  That’s a dynasty, folks!

* All-time sectional records (championships in parenthesis):

#1 Roxbury: 34-35 (1)

#2 Deposit/Hancock: 3-0 (1)

#3 Marathon: 18-17 (0)

#4 Schenevus: 31-33 (2)

#5 Milford: 13-22 (0)

#6 Gilboa: 8-21 (0)

#7 Morris/Edmeston: (first year as combined program)

#8 Richfield Springs: 6-8 (0)

#9 Davenport: 9-18 (0)

#10 Laurens: 6-14 (0)

#11 Windham-Ashland-Jewett: 7-15 (0)

#12 Stamford/Jefferson: (first year as combined program)

5/15/22

 

For the first time since 2019, Section IV saw each of its leagues crown champions.  As luck would have it, the weather cooperated the entire week, and no games had to be rescheduled.

 

Let’s take a look back at the six championship games, as sectional play begins this week.

 

STAC Championship: (West) Corning 6 – (Metro) Maine-Endwell 2.  Corning was able to get by Chenango Valley on CV’s home turf in the morning semi-final 10-6.  Maine-Endwell received a forfeit win over East division winner Susquehanna Valley when SV chose to participate in the Morabito Tournament instead.  In the championship, Corning jumped up 1-0 on an RBI single by Ellie DeRosa.  Corning starter Payton Sullivan stranded the bases loaded when she struck out the final two hitters in the bottom of the frame.  The Hawks added two more in the 2nd by playing small ball with bunts, then got a huge two-out, three-run homer by Sophia Polzella to effectively put the game away at 6-0 in the 3rd.  The Spartans did add their only pair of runs in the 3rd on RBI singles by Lauren Dundon and Olivia Lewis, but were unable to take advantage of runners on for the majority of the game.  Jillian Austin struck out Shannon Mentz to end the game and hand the Hawks their first league title after merging East and West into one district 12 years ago.  The Spartans were denied a chance at becoming the first back-to-back STAC champions since Horseheads in 2012 and 2013.

 

IAC Large School Championship: (South) Elmira Notre Dame 11 – (North) Lansing 0.  It was the Olivia Switzer Show at Wells College.  The junior baffled Lansing all game with a two-hitter on 11 strikeouts, then went 4-for-4 at the plate with a double and four RBIs.  She was a 2nd Team All-State selection last season, and one would think she’d be a notch higher this year.  The Crusaders’ offense stayed consistent all game, putting up runs in all six innings they came to the plate.  Lansing starter Ashley Bell was able to limit the big hits from happening, as the only extra base hits she surrendered were a pair of doubles.  But, the Crusaders stole four bases, and moved runners along time and time again with singles.  Ava Mustico hit leadoff and went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs scored.  Lauren Bigelow had two hits and two runs driven in.  Perhaps these two will be on a collision course again come sectional time.

 

IAC Small School Championship: (North) Union Springs 6 – (South) Tioga 0.  After many years of Tioga domination in this game, including a 17-0 shellacking over Union Springs last year, the North division finally caught up.  Union Springs claimed their first IAC title since taking three straight way back in 1974-1976.  The difference was Hailee Smith, who once again dazzled.  She allowed five hits against a powerhouse offense, but got plenty of support from the gloves behind her with only three strikeouts.  She also made her presence felt at the plate with a huge three-run homer in the 5th to put the game on ice.  Angelia Scholz and Ella Johnson each doubled twice, and Bella Tracey, hitting in the last spot of the order, had two hits and a run scored.  Tioga got a 3-for-3 outing from MacKenzie Williams, but made very little noise all game long.  Like the Large School title game, these two teams could very well meet again in Class C sectionals.

 

MAC Championship: #1 Greene 2 - #2 Deposit/Hancock 1.  The most competitive championship came in the MAC, to very little surprise.  All three runs were scored with small ball.  Greene pushed across a run in the 4th.  Payton Yahner led off with a triple and scored on an RBI bunt single by Kylie Ferris.  D/H evened it up in the 6th.  Amanda Ray bunted and got to 2nd on a throwing error.  After pinch-runner Olivia Johnston went to 3rd on a wild pitch, she scored when Kaitlyn Macumber’s grounder to Yahner at 2nd was thrown late to home, making it 1-1.  With tensions high, the Trojans again utilized picture perfect bunting to push the winning run across the plate.  Olivia Kennedy, who struck out 10 in the circle, walked leading off.  Adreana Romano ran for her, went to 2nd on a bunt single by Mckenzie Scott, went to 3rd on a wild pitch, and came across to score on (you guessed it) an RBI bunt single by Yahner.  Kennedy got two groundeouts and a strikeout to end the game and give the Trojans their first MAC title since 2012.

 

Delaware Championship: #1 Roxbury 14 - #2 Gilboa 0.  For the third straight time (minus taking two years off in 2020 and 2021) Roxbury got the better of Gilboa in the championship game, and this time in dominant fashion.  These two teams got a preview each other earlier in the week, which Roxbury won 8-2.  Seeing Roxbury starter Bryanna Meehan once didn’t make a bit of difference for Gilboa, as she was even stronger the second time around with a two-hit, 13 strikeout shoutout of an explosive offense.  The Rockets’ offense was clicking all game long: Brianna Gross tripled and drove in four, Lacey German had three hits and two RBIs, and Kimora Brown homered.  This was Roxbury’s sixth league title dating back to 2008.  They did win one in 1997, but unfortunately, my championship record history is spotty during those years, so it’s very possible they have a few more.

 

Tri-Valley Championship: #3 Schenevus 11 - #1 Milford 2.  Schenevus made it two straight league championships, and did it by upsetting two higher seeds this time around.  After bouncing #2 seed Morris/Edmeston 6-3 in the semi-final, they handed Milford their second loss of the season, both to the Dragons.  Schenevus downed the top seed by running, running more, and then running again.  According to the stats on GameChanger, they recorded an incredible 16 stolen bases.  Holy cow!  Couple that with five Milford errors on defense, perhaps it’s a surprise that the final margin wasn’t even higher.  Kelsey Burton did it all for the Dragons, pitching a four-hitter with 10 strikeouts.  She also added a pair of RBIs at the plate.  Katie Ferris also drove in two, and Samantha Osborne added two hits.  Schenevus has won three of the last four league titles.  According to my records, here are the years I have them as winning league titles: 1976-1980, 1992-1995, 2004, 2008-2010, 2012, 2018, 2021-2022.  In 2011, they were scheduled to play Franklin for the league title, but it was never held due to constant rainouts.  Like the Delaware League, my records going back many years are a bit all over the place, so there could be more titles in there that I have not seen.

 

* Sectional seedings will be determined on Monday night, with brackets hopefully being out on Tuesday for all to see.  Wednesday at the latest.  Once everything is announced, I will have a full sectional preview for all five classes.  All games taking place through TODAY (Sunday, 5/15) will still count towards sectional points, but after today, they do not.  Any games scheduled for early next week are tune-ups to stay sharp.  For example, Vestal and Horseheads are scheduled to play a scrimmage on Monday, which will be great for both teams (Vestal is Class A, Horseheads is Class AA).

 

* Check back in later this week for the full sectional preview!

5/13/22

STAC Semi-final, Saturday 10:00 AM at Chenango Valley: (West) Corning vs. (Central) Chenango Valley.  With East division winner Susquehanna Valley not participating in the STAC Playoffs, the only semi-final of the day will feature a rematch from the Mary Testa Tournament a couple of weeks back.  In that game, Chenango Valley held a 5-3 lead heading into the 5th inning before the power of the Hawks’ offense took over.  Fourteen runs were plated over the final three frames, as Corning won handily 17-5.  It was an amazing display of strength, as Atalyia Rijo crushed three home runs, and Ellie DeRosa, Peyton Sullivan, and Kelsey Booker all added one apiece.  Couple that with four more homers in their 15-0 victory over Deposit/Hancock the game before, it was a 10-homer day for the Hawks against two teams high in their respective state rankings.  They left no doubt as to why they are the #3 ranked team in Class AA.  They have power and production up and down the lineup, and have more than bounced back from an early season loss to Maine-Endwell to win 14 straight, including three out-of-state games in Myrtle Beach.  While the Hawks have plenty of momentum on their side, the Warriors will get some home cookin’ on their own turf, as luck would have it.  After defeating Seton to officially claim the Central division title on Thursday, they will look to get some revenge on Saturday.  They’ll need to rely on the combination of Mikayla Bucci and Madeline Trisket in the circle, as both have put up big numbers this year.  At the plate, their best players will have to step up, much like Priscilla Soule did by hitting a walk-off, three-run homer to beat Susquehanna Valley on April 29.  While the final score of the first meeting was lopsided, what CV has to remember is that they were the ones leading going into the second half of that game, and have to find a way to limit the big inning from happening again if they want to give themselves a realistic chance of pulling the upset.

 

STAC Championship, Saturday 1:00 PM at Chenango Valley: Winner of Game #1 vs. (Metro) Maine-Endwell.  Thanks to an early season 7-3 victory over Corning, Maine-Endwell finds themselves as the #1 seed in STAC, and will await the winner of the semi-final game.  In that win over Corning, the Spartans put together a 6th inning rally after being down 3-2.  A two-out, two-run single by Lauren Dundon gave them the lead before Olivia Lewis clubbed a three-run home run to put the game away.  Lewis, the Monmouth commit, struck out 13 batters in the circle, and tallied two home runs herself at the plate.  She displayed how well-rounded of a player she truly is, to say the least.  While M-E has not played Chenango Valley this year, they did lock horns last season, with the Spartans winning 7-3 behind 15 strikeouts from Lewis.  The faces may change at M-E, but the production does not.  They still have an ace pitcher in Lewis, who has emphatically followed in the footsteps of Emily Hess and Allie L’Amoreaux in recent years.  She hits cleanup on offense and get plenty of support from names like Kaety L’Amoreaux, Aleciyah Brodley, Shannon Mentz, and Dundon.  They have shown the ability to win with their bats, such as their 13-12 victory over Horseheads, or by closer, lower scoring games as of late, like their 2-1 win over Union-Endicott.  By earning the top seed, they will be as rested as can be entering the championship game, and will look to start fast and get a lead for Lewis.  M-E and CV have never met for the STAC Championship.  But, the last time STAC held a league title game in 2019, M-E defeated Corning 6-5 in a 12-inning classic.  If Corning wins the first game, don’t be surprised to see another nailbiter between these loaded programs.

5/11/22

 

IAC Small School Championship, Thursday at Wells College: (North) Union Springs vs. (South) Tioga.  After a little uncertainty, we now have our second IAC championship matchup.  Tioga dropped one to Spencer-Van Etten on Monday, forcing Tuesday’s games to carry much more weight.  Tioga lost for the second straight day, this time to Elmira Notre Dame, but S-VE couldn’t force a one-game playoff by falling to Edison.  So here we are, with Union Springs now knowing who they face with a Small School title on the line.  The Wolves enter this game a very impressive 13-1, with their lone setback to Port Byron in the Cayuga County Championship.  They have run the table over every IAC opponent they faced.  And, they’re coming in on a high note, as #2 pitcher Bella Tracey just no-hit Moravia.  Their ace is Hailee Smith, who has dominated all season long.  Tioga is reeling a bit with two straight losses, but still bring a powerful offense led by Erin Luther, Austyn Vance, M.J. Thetga, and RaeAnne Feeko. They did play a tougher schedule of the two teams with games vs. Elmira ND, S-VE, Edison, and non-leaguer against Deposit/Hancock.  Traditionally, this has been a complete blowout for the schools from the South division.  From 2010-2018, Tioga or Edison won every single time, and quite often in blowout fashion.  That doesn’t mean anything to these teams, as Union Springs will look to ride the arm of Smith to win their first IAC title since taking three straight from 1974-1976.  Tioga will look for title #10, breaking a tie with Edison for second in IAC history.

 

MAC Championship, Thursday: #2 Deposit/Hancock at #1 Greene.  This is one of the best league championships in all of New York, as D/H comes in ranked #1 in Class D, and Greene #2 in Class C.  It doesn’t get much better than that.  These teams have already squared off once this year, with Greene taking it 6-0.  In that game, Olivia Kennedy fired a two-hitter, striking out 11 and walking three.  Kylie Ferris drove in three runs with a two-run single and RBI groundout.  Payton Yahner added a pair of RBIs.  The numbers for Greene have been staggering.  In 17 games, they’ve surrendered eight runs.  That’s it!  Of those 17 wins, 14 have been by shutout.  It’s reminiscent of when Makenzie Stiles was shutting down opponents left and right for Deposit in recent years.  With all that said, D/H is a terrific team and ranked #1 for a reason.  They will need to have big games from their best players: Kaitlyn Macumber on the mound, and Riley Martin at the plate.  If those two can deliver, then they can hang with Greene.  Both teams will have bigger goals in mind come sectional time, but the first step of many will be in claiming a league title over a powerhouse team.  With a victory, Greene will claim their first league championship since defeating Afton 1-0 in 2012.  D/H was declared the league champion last year based on their regular season record, but will look to do it on the field for the first time since combining programs last season.

 

Tri-Valley Championship, Friday at SUNY Oneonta: #3 Schenevus vs. #1 Milford.  While the top seed Milford emphatically held serve in a 28-6 shellacking of Cherry Valley-Springfield/Sharon Springs, Schenevus pulled the upset over #2 Milford, 6-3.  Schenevus received a great effort from Kelsey Burton, who struck out six in the circle, and knocked in a pair at the plate.  Sam Barrett chipped in with a couple of hits and runs scored.  It was quite the turnaround from their first meeting of the season, won by Morris/Edmeston 19-4.  But as the saying goes, that’s why they play the game.  Milford had no trouble in their semi-final, as Leeanna West struck out 11 and drove in five.  Lexi Sutphin also had 5 RBIs.  Milford has enjoyed a terrific season, but even with the #1 seed, they did fall to Schenevus 7-2 about a week ago for their only loss.  Burton struck out seven, and Serenity Hopkins drove in two.  To take nothing away from that victory, it should be noted that Milford suffered that loss in the back end of a doubleheader, as they beat Laurens 9-3 in the first game to run their record to 7-0 before the loss.  Now that game is on a neutral field, and both teams have to feel great about their chances.  Milford bounced back after the loss to win the Calhoun Tournament over Worcester and Davenport.  Schenevus has played great ball lately, with a big non-league win over Unatego, who just appeared in the MAC semi-finals.  Combine that with their wins over Milford and Morris/Edmeston, they are at their peak right now.  The last two winners of this league?  Schenevus last year, and Milford in 2019.  This one will be a great one to watch. 

5/8/22

 

Just like that, we’re already at league playoff time.  The IAC, MAC, Delaware, and Tri-Valley will crown champions this week.  STAC was all set to go on Saturday, but Susquehanna Valley’s previous commitment to playing in the Morabito Tournament in Mudville has seemingly caused some changes.  Stay tuned for those updates.

 

Let’s take a look at the matchups in each league.

 

MAC Semi-final: Tuesday: #4 Unatego at #1 Greene.  Greene is currently on 5-game shutout streak, and has put up zeroes in 13 of their 16 games.  That’s incredible.  These two teams met on Thursday and Unatego fell by a respectable 6-0.  Payton Yahner struck out nine, and Olivia Kennedy did it with the bat this time, crushing a long home run.  Unatego started off the season by dropping a pair in Mudville, but have only used that experience to get stronger.  They’re 8-4 since then, including a no-hitter thrown by Bailey McCoy on Friday in 16-1 win over Walton.  It’s a tall task for any team trying to beat Greene, but if the Spartans can keep it close and make the Trojans nervous (something only Nichols has done in a 5-4 defeat in Mudville), then they have a chance to pull the upset.

 

MAC Semi-final: Tuesday: #3 Sidney at #2 Deposit/Hancock.  (Home games for D/H are played in Deposit, for those of you planning to watch.)  Sidney was red hot to start the season, winning their first 10 decisions.  As I wrote about in my Blog update last week, I was looking forward to seeing how they’d compete against D/H on Thursday and Greene on Friday.  Those games ended up being losses by scores of 11-4 and 8-0, respectively.  That’s not always the worst thing, as it should allow them to regroup and be ready for the stretch run.  Ava Cirigliano has had a terrific season, posting some big numbers in the circle.  She will need better support from her defense in the rematch, as the Warriors committed five errors in the loss.  As for D/H, they can throw Kaitlyn Macumber, Riley Smith, or Addison Makowski and expect great results.  Macumber pitched in their first meeting, striking out 15 and allowing only two hits.  Smith was terrific at the plate, hitting a homer, triple, and double.  If Sidney can limit her damage and play better defense, it will be a closer game.  Sidney will have to shake off their recent losses and regroup if they want to pull the upset.

 

(MAC Championship will be on Thursday at the higher seeded team.)

 

IAC Large School Championship, Thursday at Wells College: (North) Lansing vs. (South) Elmira Notre Dame.  After a couple years (minus 2020) of crowing an overall league champion, the IAC is back to Large School and Small School champions.  These two teams met last year in the IAC Semi-final, and it was a complete blowout as Elmira ND won 19-1.  Simply put, they could do no wrong, as Olivia Switzer spun a one-hitter, and the offense didn’t let up the whole game.  Switzer is back this year putting up more impressive numbers.  This past week, her team went 4-0, and she struck out 36 and surrendered only three earned runs.  Lawson Bigelow, one of the best hitters in all of Section IV, was sensational with three homers (including a grand slam) and 12 RBIs.  She’s the exact definition of a “cleanup hitter,” as it’s best to try and face her with the bases empty if at all possible.  Lansing has not played as deep a schedule as Elmira ND, though they did just split a pair of games in Mudville.  Their toughest test was against Class AA Ithaca, and they fell 11-0.  But, they’re the division champions for a reason, and have nothing to lose against a powerhouse like Elmira ND.  It starts with Ashley Bell, who pitched the Bobcats to their first sectional berth last season in quite awhile.  She’ll have to use her full repertoire to keep the big bats on the other side off balanced.  Andra Benson has led the way on offense with some huge numbers, along with others such as Reace Todi and Iris Boerman.  Simply put, they’ll need big performances from their best players to try to keep the game close and win it late.

 

IAC Small School Championship, Thursday at Wells College: (North) Union Springs vs. (South) TBD.  As of now, the opponent for Union Springs is still not etched in stone, but it will be either Tioga or Spencer-Van Etten.  As luck would have it, those two teams will lock horns on Monday.  I will have a preview once the dust has settled.

 

Delaware League Championship, Thursday at Neahwa Part in Oneonta: Gilboa vs. Roxbury.  Just as most people predicted, these two titans will clash for the third consecutive time.  After taking the last two years off from crowning a league champion, Roxbury won 14-4 in 2018, then by a close 4-3 in 2019.  Both teams only have one loss so far, though it does tell a story.  Roxbury lost to Schoharie 9-2 in a non-league game on April 5, and have run the table ever since.  Gilboa has had an impressive season, but their one clunker was a 19-3 loss to Milford on April 26.  Milford, it should be noted, is the #1 seed in the Tri-Valley.  Roxbury is led in the circle by Bryanna Meehan, who burst on the scene last year with four no-hitters and a Class D 2nd Team All-State selection.  She’s more than justified that again this year.  She gets plenty of support at the plate from names like Lacey German, Ryleigh Goodchild, and Kimora Brown.  While the offensive numbers are big, perhaps their most impressive win was a 6-4 victory over Morris/Edmeston, proving they can do it without the eye popping offense on some days.  As for Gilboa, if you take away their one loss, their offense has put up just over 22 runs a game.  I don’t care who you’re playing against, that’s incredible.  Kara Dumas racks up the K’s in the circle, as she recently struck out 14 against Margaretville, and 13 against Davenport.  Much like Roxbury, there’s production up and down the lineup from the likes of Karly Sutton, Bailey Hughes, and Olivia Ross.  These teams are scheduled to play on Monday, so it will be interesting to see what types of lineups each team goes with, especially with the championship game already set.

 

Tri-Valley Semi-final, Monday: #4 Cherry Valley-Springfield/Sharon Springs at #1 Milford.  CV-S/SS went from winning their first game in three years to claiming as spot in the league playoffs.  That’s a great turnaround for this program.  When they defeated Frankfort-Schuyler 37-24 on April 22, Alyssa Rockwell, Emma Whiteman, and Lexi Dygert all homered.  They’re currently on a three-game winning streak, and four of their last five.  Milford won their first seven decisions before Schenevus finally got them 7-2.  These two teams did meet in the first game of the season, and Milford won handily 17-2.  In that game, Leeana West threw a no-hitter and struck out 13.  She has been terrific all season.  What also more than stood out that game was the Milford took an incredible 21 walks at the plate.   Needless to say, that’s going to have to drastically change if CV-S/SS wants to stand any chance of winning.  It will be a tall task for CV-S/SS, but if they can somehow rattle West, they will give themselves some hope.

 

Tri-Valley Semi-final, Monday: #3 Schenevus at #2 Morris/Edmeston.  The other semi-final features another rematch in which the first game was lopsided.  Back on April 26, Morris/Edmeston defended their home field with an emphatic 19-4 victory.  Hannah Wist, who as a freshman was already a Class D 2nd Team All-State selection last season, struck out eight and scored three times.  Emma Dabreau also had a big game with four runs scored.  Schenevus showed that perhaps it was just one of those days, as they’re coming off of great wins over Unatego and Milford.  Taylor Knapp got the walk-off hit to down Unatego, and Kelsey Burton led the way with seven K’s to hand Milford their first loss.  There’s been a lot of water under the bridge since their first matchup, and I picture a very even contest in this one.  Morris/Edmeston being the home team and getting the last at-bat could be crucial.

 

(Tri-Valley Championship will be on Friday at SUNY Oneonta.)

 

* The schedule this week includes many league playoffs.  Here’s some games to circle:

            - Monday: Tri-Valley Semi-finals at higher seed, Corning at Elmira, Johnson City at Union-Endicott, Chenango Valley at Chenango Forks, Lansing at Union Springs, Gilboa at Roxbury

            - Tuesday: MAC Semi-finals, Vestal at Maine-Endwell, Chenango Valley at Windsor (completion of 4-4 tie from 4/5)

            - Wednesday: Union-Endicott at Vestal

            - Thursday: MAC Championship at higher seed, IAC Large School and Small School Championships at Wells College, Delaware Championship at Neahwa Park in Oneonta, Elmira at Union-Endicott

            - Friday: Tri-Valley Championship at SUNY Oneonta

            - Saturday: Susquehanna Valley, Deposit/Hancock, and Windsor at Morabito Tournament in Mudville

 

* Looks like lots of sun and warmth, so get out there and enjoy a week of big softball games!

5/1/22

 

May is here, which is always an exciting month for softball.  League playoff will be heating up soon, with sectionals right behind it.

 

We had a full week of games, so let’s take a look back at the action, followed by a closer look at possible league playoff contenders.

 

* At long last, we finally got in the full assortment of games for my favorite tournament, the Mary Testa Tournament.  The last time that happened was 2018, as a combination of poor weather and the pandemic KO’d it for quite awhile.  All seven sites played three games (Newark Valley, Chenango Valley, Maine-Endwell, Johnson City, Owego, Susquehanna Valley, and Union-Endicott).  It was a great day that saw teams of all different sizes compete against each other.

 

* One of the big headlines of the day was Corning’s unreal display of power.  The Hawks, the #5 state ranked team in Class AA, beat Deposit/Hancock (#1 in Class D) 15-0 and came right back to pull away from Chenango Valley (#3 in Class B) 17-5.  How did they score 32 runs in two games, you ask?  Home runs, home runs, and then a few more home runs.  All in all, they cranked out 10 total.  Ellie DeRosa had four (three vs. D/H), Atalyia Rijo hit three vs. CV, Kelsey Booker two, and Peyton Sullivan one.  To say they have production up and down the lineup would be an understatement.  To stand a chance against them, you’ll have to play clean defense and not give them walks.  And even then, it might not be enough.  This is a very talented team that is hungry to defend their state championship from 2019.  So far, so good.

 

* Another headline was Olivia Kennedy and her no-hitter vs. Oneonta.  That makes four total for her, as she has three on her own, and one combined with Payton Yahner, another ace.  Greene went to Newark Valley and swept both games.  The Trojans are currently 12-0 and the #2 ranked team in Class C.  Kennedy is the reigning Class C Player of the Year, and at this rate, it’s hard to see her not being honored with that distinction again. 

 

* Other teams that went 2-0 on the day were Windsor, Horseheads, Susquehanna Valley, and Union-Endicott.  Windsor had a great week, as Peyton Swartwout no-hit Chenango Forks on Friday, then followed that up with two dominant wins over Johnson City and Waverly.  They have run their winning streak to six.  Horseheads left no doubt in squashing Owego 14-0, then Elmira Notre Dame 7-2.  Molly Wolf was terrific with three RBIs in game one, then a two-run homer in the next game.  SV suffered a heartbreaking loss to Chenango Valley on Friday, but showed great fortitude in bouncing back the next day with two wins over Elmira and Pittsford Sutherland in close games.  U-E defended their home dirt with two emphatic victories over Chenango Forks and Edison. 

 

* What I like so much about this tournament is that teams get different looks against other teams they might rarely see, and sometimes against much bigger schools.  Take a look at Deposit/Hancock.  They came into this day with one loss against Greene on April 21.  Their wins have been blowouts for the most part.  On Saturday, they took it on the chin against much bigger schools.  And you know what?  They’ll be much better off for it.  If they have plans on making a run through sectionals into the state tournament (of course they do), then games such as these will get them to refocus on what it takes to get to the next level.  Playing in a tough tournament like this will only make them more battle tested.  That’s the takeaway they should have.  Ditto for Edison and Elmira Notre Dame, a pair of Class C teams who played up in class on Saturday.

 

* I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: If you think you have a strong team, then look to schedule your squad in tournaments like the Mary Testa and/or Mudville.  You might not win every game, but the looks you’ll get from the opposing teams will only make your team stronger.

 

* We’re not too far away from the league playoffs, so let’s take a look at all five conferences, starting with STAC.  (This is only a preview of who MIGHT make the playoffs, and nothing more.  Still plenty of ball left to be played.)

 

* In the STAC West, it’s a battle between Corning and Horseheads, with Corning taking the first game 9-6.  The rematch is on Thursday in Horseheads, which is one to circle.  In the Metro, Maine-Endwell only has two losses against teams in other sections.  They still have two games left against Vestal, who are not far behind, and one against Union-Endicott.  The Central has turned into a two-team race between Chenango Valley and Owego, with CV taking the first game 10-2.  The rematch will be on Monday, and go a long way towards determining the division winner.  Finally, the East is a battle between Susquehanna Valley and Windsor, as both teams are playing great.  SV won the first one 14-7, with Friday bringing the next game.  Give it a week, and there will be much more clarity in all divisions.

 

* Over in the IAC, it’s Lansing pulling away from the crowd in the North Large.  They have two wins over 2nd place Dryden.  The South Large is looking to be Elmira Notre Dame’s division to lose, as they own a pair of wins over Edison, with two games on the schedule vs. Waverly this week.  In the North Small, Union Springs has had a great year, and finally suffered their first loss to Port Byron on Saturday.  They have clearly separated themselves from the pack.  The South Small sees a two-team race between Tioga and Spencer-Van Etten, as Tioga won the first one 7-1 on Saturday.  A week from Monday will bring the rematch, with S-VE looking to get some revenge.

 

* The MAC has three very strong teams in Greene, Sidney, and Deposit/Hancock.  Greene hasn’t lost yet, with a win over D/H 6-0.  Sidney is also perfect and very impressive, but has not played either of the other two teams yet, which will be the ultimate test.  That will change this week, as they play D/H on Thursday and Greene on Friday.  Talk about a tough two-day stretch!  But to be the best, you have to beat the best, so Sidney will welcome the chance to prove how good their club is.  As for the final team, it’s looking like Unatego will get the edge, with Harpursville right behind.  Their game on Tuesday will help figure out.

 

* In the Delaware League, the two teams that jump out are Gilboa and Roxbury.  No surprise, as they’ve both met in the championship game the last two times they’ve been held in 2018 and 2019, with Roxbury winning both.  Each team has one loss, as Gilboa dropped one to Milford, and Roxbury to Schoharie.  We’re still a week away (5/9) before these two teams finally lock up, and by then, it will be interesting to see what kind of lineup each team goes with if it’s already determined that they will meet in the league championship.

 

* The Tri-Valley is bit more muddied, with a few teams still alive for the two championship slots.  Milford is at the top, with Laurens, Morris/Edmeston, and Schenevus right behind.  Milford plays both Schenevus and Laurens this week.  Laurens also gets to play Morris/Edmeston.  According to Schedule Galaxy, league playoffs are set to begin next Monday, so it’s quicker than you think.  This week will obviously be huge in figuring it all out.

 

* As mentioned, there’s not much regular season time left.  Here’s a look at the big matchups for this week:

            - Monday: Union-Endicott at Corning, Vestal at Elmira, Owego at Chenango Valley, Greene at Lansing, Union Springs at Dryden, Edison at Tioga, Unatego at Schenevus

            - Tuesday: Elmira at Horseheads, Union-Endicott at Windsor, Elmira Notre Dame at Waverly, Harpursville at Unatego, Morris/Edmeston at Laurens

            - Wednesday: Owego at Union-Endicott, Elmira Notre Dame at Spencer-Van Etten, Windham-Ashland-Jewett at Gilboa, Schenevus at Milford

            - Thursday: Corning at Horseheads, Maine-Endwell at Vestal, Waverly at Elmira Notre Dame, Deposit/Hancock at Sidney, Unatego at Greene, Roxbury at Hunter-Tannersville

            - Friday: Union-Endicott at Maine-Endwell, Windsor at Susquehanna Valley, Spencer-Van Etten at Edison, Tioga at Elmira Notre Dame, Sidney at Greene, Gilboa at Windham-Ashland-Jewett, Laurens at Milford

            - Saturday: Lansing and Morris/Edmeston at Mudville

 

* Enjoy the week, and hope the rain stays away long enough to get these games in!

4/24/22

 

Welcome to a typical week in New York, where we got a little bit of all four seasons in a matter of days.  Believe it or not, we actually did get in at least one game each day, thanks to Waverly’s 19-1 victory on the turf at Watkins Glen on Tuesday, while many other schools were shut down from the storm.  Thankfully, that’s over with, and hopefully everyone has their power back and is back to as normal as can be.

 

Plenty to look at from the week that was, so let’s get to it.

 

* By my count, we still have 11 teams left undefeated: Chenango Valley (STAC, 6-0-1, still needing to finish a 4-4 game vs. Windsor that was called for darkness), Susquehanna Valley (STAC, 4-0), Lansing (IAC, 6-0), Union Springs (IAC, 6-0), Spencer-Van Etten (IAC, 8-0), Greene (MAC, 7-0), Sidney (MAC, 5-0), Gilboa (Delaware, 2-0), Windham-Ashland-Jewett (Delaware, 2-0), Milford (Tri-Valley, 1-0), and Richfield Springs (Tri-Valley, 2-0).  Keep in mind, it’s possible one of these teams has a loss, but it has not been sent my way.

 

* We’re a week away from May, so having that many teams left undefeated is certainly impressive.  However, a couple things must be pointed out.  The first is the obvious difference in number of games for some of the teams.  Greene just won two games in the Mudville Tournament to extend their record to 7-0.  Gilboa, on the other hand, has not played a game since beating South Kortright 33-3 back on April 6.  That’s no fault of their own of course, they’ve just been victimized by the bad weather.  Other teams have gotten much luckier scheduling games on days the weather cooperates, and the field conditions are solid.

 

* The other takeaway is the quality of competition some teams have faced.  That’s the case in any sport quite frankly, but especially in this one.  Two of the best teams in the state are Corning and Maine-Endwell, and each has one loss against very good opponents (Corning lost to M-E, and M-E lost to Liverpool).  Tioga was 4-0 before Saturday, but dropped a non-league game to the always dangerous Deposit/Hancock 12-6.  That’s a great game for both teams to want, because it’s the type of competition they’ll face if they go deep in sectionals.

 

* If you want some further reading about this subject, check out the article posted on the Tioga County Sports Report about Spencer-Van Etten’s 7-0 victory over Newark Valley on Saturday.  S-VE has outscored their opponents an unbelievable 126-3, which head coach Ron Miller is obviously happy about.  But, he also knows that Dryden is the only team they have faced that reached sectionals last season, and the games will get much tougher from here on out.  It’s refreshing to see that he’s keeping things in perspective, which will only help them going forward.

 

* Over in the MAC, the depth of pitching is once again showing, as has historically been the case in that league.  Greene’s combination of Olivia Kennedy and Payton Yahner are as good as they come.  Kennedy notched a perfect game on Monday in an 18-0, 5-inning win over Oxford.  She struck out 12, then recorded the other three outs herself on comebackers.  Sidney’s Ava Cirigliano was very impressive on Saturday in leading the Warriors to a SCFU Tournament championship.  She spun a one-hitter with 15 strikeouts in the first game vs. Oxford, then followed that up with 10 strikeouts to take the title over Harpursville.  I can see her name being added to the No-Hitters page soon, as she’s been knocking on the door with one-hitters.  Deposit/Hancock’s Kaitlyn Macumber did just that in a 13-0, 5-inning win over Afton on Monday.  Of the 15 outs recorded, 14 were by strikeout.  Wow!  Unatego has won four straight thanks to great pitching from Jess Partridge and Bailey McCoy.  I’ll take a closer look at all the division races next week, but these are the teams clearly separating themselves at this point.

 

* I want to give credit to Cherry Valley-Springfield/Sharon Springs for picking up their first win since 2019.  They outslugged Frankfort-Schuyler, a Class C team out of Section III, 37-24 in a football score.  Alyssa Rockwell hit a grand slam, and Emma Whiteman and Lexi Dygert added home runs as well.  If you’ve ever been an athlete, you’ve most likely experienced the highs and lows of competition.  Not gaining a win in a few years is a really tough pill to swallow.  But, when it finally happens, it’s such a great feeling.  Congrats to these ladies for making it happen!

 

* On Saturday, one of the best tournaments in all of New York takes place.  The Mary Testa Tournament will hold games at many different locations throughout Section IV.  It’s a great day which sees some of the “smaller” schools take on “bigger” schools.  As of now, the weather in Binghamton says 52 and sunny.  It’s a been a few years since the full assortment of games has been played, as the combination of atrocious weather and the pandemic has KO’d it far too often.  But I’m confident this time around, we’ll be good.  Once the schedule arrives, it will be posted on the Section IV Softball Twitter page.  Be on the lookout for it!

 

* Next week, I’ll take a closer look at the races in each league across Section IV.  Some leagues chose not to hold playoffs last year due to the shortened season, so it will be great to see five league champions crowned again. 

 

* As of now, Wednesday looks brutal with rain and snow, but the other days look at least good enough to get games in.  Like always, please continually check each school’s Schedule Galaxy for changes to games.

            - Monday: Horseheads at Corning, Union-Endicott at Johnson City, Marathon at Union Springs, Edison at Waverly, Greene at Harpursville

            - Tuesday: Horseheads at Maine-Endwell, Elmira at Chenango Valley, Elmira Notre Dame at Edison, Milford at Gilboa

            - Wednesday: Horseheads at Elmira, Tioga at Spencer-Van Etten, Unatego at Deposit/Hancock

            - Thursday: (No current “big” games, but possible rainout date from Wednesday)

            - Friday: Vestal at Union-Endicott, Susquehanna Valley at Chenango Valley, Ithaca at Lansing, Waverly at Spencer-Van Etten, Milford at Windham-Ashland-Jewett

            - Saturday: Union Springs vs. Port Byron in the Cayuga County Championship, Mary Testa Tournament at different locations (all games at 10, noon, and 2): at Newark Valley (NV vs. Greene, Greene vs. Oneonta, NV vs. Oneonta), at Chenango Valley (CV vs. Deposit/Hancock, D/H vs. Corning, CV vs. D/H), at Maine-Endwell (M-E vs. Abington Heights, Abington Heights vs. Webster-Schroeder, M-E vs. Webster-Schroeder), at Johnson City (JC vs. Windsor, Windsor vs. Waverly, JC vs. Waverly), at Owego (Owego vs. Horseheads, Horseheads vs. Elmira Notre Dame, Owego vs. Elmira Notre Dame), at Susquehanna Valley (SV vs. Elmira, Elmira vs. Pittsford-Sutherland, SV vs. Pittsford-Sutherland), at Union-Endicott (U-E vs. Chenango Forks, CF vs. Edison, U-E vs. Edison)

 

* Get ready for another crazy week of weather, and enjoy another week of softball!

4/17/22

 

It was a lighter week of action, as teams across Section IV were on their Spring Break.  A few teams made their way to Myrtle Beach to compete, while others got in a game or two around here.

 

Let’s take a look at what stood out from the previous week.

 

* I want to start with the tremendous showing from Corning in their Myrtle Beach games.  While all teams that played mixed in regular season action with scrimmages, it didn’t seem to matter what kind of game it was to the Hawks.  In their three official games, they won by a combined score of 48-8.  Even a couple of the games that were scrimmages weren’t close.  There are two takeaways I have from this: 1) While we all know their offense is loaded, it was the pitching that really came through.  In a 12-2 win over Bamberg-Ehrhardt, SC, Peyton Sullivan tossed five scoreless innings, then did the same a couple of games later in a 14-0 shutout of Fort LeBoeuf, PA.  She’s only a sophomore, so her best days are still ahead of her. 2) These results make Maine-Endwell’s 7-3 victory over Corning a week ago stand out even more.  In that game, if you recall, M-E was down 3-2 in the 6th when they turned in on with a 5-spot to put the game away.  It's another reminder that the competition in Section IV more than prepares teams once they get away and play other areas, such as in tournaments like this, and especially the state tournament in June.

 

* The other teams that competed in Myrtle Beach were Vestal, Elmira, Horseheads, and Elmira Notre Dame, and all saw some success.  Vestal had quite the busy week with seven games or scrimmages combined.  They played four regular season games, picking up a couple of wins, with both of their losses in one-run games.  Horseheads clobbered Lewisville, SC 14-1.  Eva Koratsis, a Fordham commit, had three doubles in that game, and Maddie Matkosky had three hits at the plate and three hits surrendered in the circle.  Elmira Notre Dame, a Class C school, welcomed the step up in competition and split a pair of 11-1 games.  On the good side, they beat Chesterfield, SC, and Olivia Switzer led the way with a 4-for-4 showing at the plate, and no earned runs allowed on the mound.  Elmira had a bit of a rough go, as they dropped all three games they played.  Their first game was tight, as they scored a pair of runs in the top of the 7th against Otsego, OH, only to surrender three in the bottom half to lose 3-2.

 

* All in all, it’s a great experience for these kids to get out of their comfort zone a bit and compete against all sorts of different schools.  If you love softball, what could be better than spending Spring Break in nice weather (more on the bad weather in a bit) and getting to play softball all week?  Oh yeah, in Myrtle Beach no less!  For other schools thinking about making this trip, if you have the horses to compete, then make it happen!

 

* Chenango Valley picked up a couple of big STAC wins this week, defeating Owego 10-2 and Union-Endicott 8-2 the next day, both on the road.  They have a very tough 1-2 pitching punch in Madeline Trisket and Mikayla Bucci, who’s a Geneseo commit.  Both allowed only four hits in their starts, with Trisket punching out 10 hitters in the Owego win, and Bucci fanning five against U-E.  They currently have a unique 4-0-1 record, but that’s only because their opening game against Windsor was stopped due to darkness, but will be finished at some point (tied 4-4).  Right now, they certainly look like the team to beat in the STAC Central, with division games left against Chenango Forks, Seton, and one more against Owego.

 

* In the IAC, three schools who have taken care of business so far are Lansing, Union Springs, and Tioga.  Lansing has been able to win the close games, defeating Dryden 2-1 in their opener, then downing Southern Cayuga 5-4 more recently.  Union Springs has only been able to play two games, but they’ve both been blowouts.  Hailey Smith tossed a one-hitter with 11 strikeouts in shutting down Marathon 10-1.  Tioga has also played only twice, but their offense has certainly showed up for both.  Abby Foley went a perfect 5-for-5 in a 20-0 shellacking of Newfield.  ReeAnne Feeko and McKenzie Williams each had three hits.  In a close 13-12 win over Waverly, Mackenzie Thetga homered and drove in five as part of a four-hit day.

 

* Speaking of Waverly, they’re currently 2-1, and all three games have been decided by one run.  The good news is that after losing to Tioga to open the season, they’ve bounced back with two straight over Newark Valley and Edison.  If you’ve followed Section IV action the last few years, then you’ve seen just how much success Waverly and Edison each have had.  Their game on Monday was a good reminder that no matter the records, when these teams meet, it’s anyone’s game.  Waverly was down 12-2 and facing a mercy rule defeat in the 5th when they turned it on, and then some.  They plated eight that inning, then four more an inning later to take the lead for good.  Edison scored a run in the bottom of the 7th to go down one, but Waverly was able to get the last out on a fielder’s choice with runners on the corners.  Credit goes to both teams for showing so much fight.  Looking forward to seeing what happens in their rematch on April 25.

 

* There really wasn’t much action at all from teams in the MAC, Delaware, and Tri-Valley leagues, although Bainbridge-Guilford did manage to play three games and go 1-2.  In the MAC, a few schools haven’t lost yet: Greene (3-0), Deposit/Hancock (1-0), Harpursville (2-0), Oxford (2-0), and Sidney (2-0).  I discussed Greene’s dominant pitching last week, as they currently have outscored teams 51-0.  Those numbers jump off the page.  They are currently scheduled to play four straight games this week, which includes Lansing, Sidney, and D/H, in addition to the Mudville Tournament on Saturday.  Weather will no doubt ruin that, but hopefully they can get some of those big games in.

 

* In the Delaware league, Gilboa has two blowout victories.  Kara Dumas leads the way in the circle, as she struck out eight in a 19-4 win over Stamford/Jefferson, then teamed up with Olivia Ross to throttle South Kortright 33-3.  Gilboa has had a good amount of success in recent years, appearing in the league championship game in 2018 and 2019 (the last two years have been cancelled), and making it to the Class D semi-finals before losing to the Deposit dynasty in 2019.  Keep an eye on them going forward.

 

* Like the Delaware league, the Tri-Valley has yet to get going too much.  Laurens and Milford are each 1-0, and Schenevus and Richfield Springs are both 2-0.  Laurens won a wild 28-26 game over Stamford/Jefferson, while the other three teams have largely been untested.  Tuesday’s game between Schenevus and Richfield Springs will be a big one.  Milford is set to play Richfield Springs on Thursday.  Those games will start to clear up the division race.

 

* As I mentioned earlier, there’s a lot of games scheduled this week… along with the possibility of a lot of snow on Tuesday.  Because, why wouldn’t there be?  Did you forget where we live?  Anyway, I will do my usual in previewing the games to keep an eye on this week, but please constantly check schedules for the latest updates.  These can, and will, be changed at some point. 

 

Here goes anyway:

            - Monday: Elmira Notre Dame at Edison, Harpursville at Sidney

            - Tuesday: Elmira at Horseheads, Vestal at Maine-Endwell, Chenango Valley at Chenango Forks, Greene at Lansing, Dryden at Tioga, Gilboa at Roxbury, Schenevus at Richfield Springs

            - Wednesday: Union-Endicott at Windsor, Newark Valley at Waverly, Deposit/Hancock at Harpursville, Sidney at Greene

            - Thursday: Greene at Deposit/Hancock, Milford at Richfield Springs

            - Friday: Tioga at Candor

            - Saturday: Corning at Vestal, Ithaca at Owego, Tioga at Deposit/Hancock, Windsor, Edison, and Greene at Mudville, Union Springs at Cayuga County Tournament in Weedsport, SFCU Tournament in Bainbridge (Harpursville, Sidney, Oxford, B-G), Laurens Tournament (Laurens, Schenevus, plus two other teams)

 

* Hope the snow clears quickly and enjoy the week!

4/10/22

 

Welcome back to the blog!  The 2022 season is finally underway, as every team in Section IV (with the exception of Margaretville) is on the board.  That’s no easy task with the weather we get, so it’s good to see at least one game being played by each team.

 

Let’s take a look at what has stood out thus far in the young season.

 

* One team that has really jumped off the page is Spencer-Van Etten in the IAC.  They’re 5-0 and have outscored opponents by a whopping 81-3.  Only Dryden has been able to get on the scoreboard against them, and even that was in a 13-3 loss.  In the circle, they have Rhiana Lawrence, who has the season’s first perfect game on Wednesday.  She struck out 12 of the 15 batters she faced in a 22-0, 5-inning romp over Odessa-Montour.  Sydney Presher has also chipped in with some dominant relief performances.  At the plate, it’s pick your poison.  Faith Brenchley, Hannah Martinez, Raegan Sudnikovich, Aubrie Kastenhuber, and Adrienna Farmer, among others, make for a potent lineup.  A couple of games to keep an eye on are April 25 vs. Candor and April 27 vs. Tioga, where the competition will certainly pick up.  Those games will go a long way in determining who will take the IAC Small South division.

 

* Speaking of pitching, there’s already been eight no-hitters tossed this season, with Lawrence collecting a perfect game.  Bryanna Meehan (Roxbury), Molly Wolf (Horseheads), Leeanna West (Milford), and Kalen Barnhart (Richfield Springs) have all been flawless.  Corning got a no-no from the combination of Peyton Sullivan, Jillian Austin, Daphne Sherman, and Anya Beers.  Greene received back-to-back no-hitters from the powerful duo of Payton Yahner and Olivia Kennedy, who will cause headaches for opposing hitters all season.  Simply put, Section IV has historically been loaded with big pitching, and that doesn’t look like it’s changing anytime soon.  Combine that with some teams still getting used to being outside on a field again, and maybe it’s not too surprising to see so many no-hitters.

 

* A big early season STAC matchup went the way of Maine-Endwell on Friday.  M-E, the defending Section IV Class A champs, welcomed Corning to town, the Class AA champs, and took them down 7-3.  (Remember, there was no state tournament last season, so who knows what could have been.) It wasn’t easy, though, as the Hawks held a 3-2 lead in the 6th before the Spartans turned it on.  With two outs, leadoff hitter Kaety L’Amoreaux doubled to put runners on 2nd and 3rd, and they both came home on Lauren Dundon’s clutch 2-run single.  Olivia Lewis then smashed her second homer of the day, effectively putting the game on ice.  Lewis, the Monmouth commit, finished 3-for-4 at the plate with two homers and 4 RBIs, and struck out 12 in the circle.  Perhaps her biggest accomplishment was keeping Corning’s Atalyia Rijo in check, as the Arkansas commit went 0-for-2 with a walk and run scored.  Corning did get a couple of hits from Towson-bound Kellie Zoerb, and a perfect RBI bunt from Sophia Polzella, which was so good, it actually scored Ellie DeRosa from 2nd base.  The biggest difference was obviously the pitching, though to be fair, it’s hard to see anyone getting the edge over M-E in that comparison all season.  Keep an eye on a possible rematch when it’s STAC playoff time in May.

 

* Getting back to Greene for a moment, they are 2-0 and have blanked their opponents 35-0.  They also outscored Union-Endicott in a scrimmage.  While that obviously doesn’t count as a real game, it’s still impressive to see.  I already mentioned how Payton Yahner and Olivia Kennedy each tossed no-hitters in these games.  Yahner blanked Unadilla Valley/Gilbertsville-Mount Upton in a 19-0, season opening victory.  Kennedy followed that up by striking out 11 Seton batters in a 15-0 win.  If you follow all of the sports in Section IV, you’ll see their names pop up quite often.  They team up to post big numbers in field hockey and basketball as well.  Kennedy is the reigning Class C Player of the Year in New York, and will be attending Division II Caldwell in the fall.  Yahner is a junior with plenty of big high school games left in her.  On Tuesday, they will go to Bainbridge-Guilford for a big early season MAC battle, so we’ll see if B-G can somehow figure out how to get runners on base.

 

* Best of luck to Corning, Elmira, Elmira Notre Dame, Vestal, and Horseheads, as they travel to compete in Myrtle Beach this week.  Now that’s a heck of a way to spend Spring Break!

 

* As mentioned, this week is Spring Break for high schools in the area.  Who knows, we might actually get some warm weather along with it.  We can dream anyway.  There are a handful of games going on, so here’s a look at some of the big matchups.  As usual, games can be cancelled or moved around at the last second, so constantly check Schedule Galaxy for the latest updates:

            - Monday: Johnson City at Maine-Endwell, Chenango Valley at Owego, Union Springs at Marathon, Waverly at Edison

            - Tuesday: Ithaca at Union Springs, Greene at Bainbridge-Guilford

            - Wednesday: Ithaca at Union-Endicott, Susquehanna Valley at Windsor

            - Thursday: Chenango Valley at Union-Endicott, Greene at Lansing, Bainbridge-Guilford at Oneonta

 

* Enjoy the week, and hope for good weather!