Get ready for some slap-hitting and some risers. The sunny weather has seen some nonleague games go on, and some league action is set for early next week.
Here's a quick catchup on last year's softball season as we welcome everyone to start hollering through the dugout fence ... you can even do those wacky sing-song chants if you'd like:
** The All-WNY first team had a whopping nine underclassmen among its 14 selections last season.
Clarence standout pitcher Jennifer Sansano, who was the Pitcher of the Year as a sophomore in 2008, returned to the first team as a junior. Other juniors honored were Olean 3B Sarah Shembeda, Immaculata P Megan Smith, Albion P Lindsey Colonna and JFK C Jamie Nash.
Williamsville North P/2B Robin Kennery, Falconer P Cherise Gunnell and Roy-Hart SS Amanda Werth were on the team last year as sophomores while Niagara-Wheatfield SS Caitlin Attfield made the first team as a freshman.
** Fredonia was the state runner-up in Class B for the third straight year. Randolph (C) was the only other team to make the final four and it lost in the semifinals.
The other defending champions in Section VI are Williamsville North (AA), West Seneca East (A) and Forestville (D).
** St. Mary's won its first Monsignor Martin Association league championship since 1990 with a 7-2 win over Immaculata in the final -- the teams split their total of four meetings during the season.
** City Honors won its seventh straight Thompson Trophy title with a League I championship (beating McKinley, 3-0, in the final) while Grover Cleveland toppled Middle College, 11-10, for the League II championship.
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So what about this year?
Who will prevail in the always extensive North Tonawanda Tournament (Friday, April 23 and Saturday, April 24)?
Who's going to end their season as the champions of all of Western New York's leagues? And Section VI's classes? Will anyone advance to the final four or have a shot at a state title? How well will Fredonia do despite its substantial graduation losses?
Who will be on the All-Western New York team?
What league will be the toughest?
What are the best matchups you're looking forward to?
Get the discussion started below in the comments section, and feel free to post any observations on any early nonleaguers that have been played.
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Our season outlooks of the spring action will start when the Scholastic Spotlight returns April 13.
After that, there's about a little over a month of action before the postseason -- the Section VI seeding meeting is May 23 while the Georgetown Cup quarterfinals are May 29.
More spring sports posts are on the way ...