2022 Section IV Blog

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!