Hello from the Times Union Center for the second of three days of basketball for Monsignor Martin Association girls teams at the state Federation Tournament of Champions.
As always, we'll certainly be looking forward to your #PrepTalkLive contributions from these contests via Twitter.
Our scoreboard page has a full schedule of today's games -- that same page will have box scores as games are reported to us throughout the evening.
Keep track of the action and contribute to it as well in the blog below -- the easiest way to do that is to tweet updates with the #PrepTalkLive hashtag.
We set up blogs like this throughout the winter, especially on busy nights -- we'll monitor games via not only our tweets, but those of high school sports fans and followers who use the #preptalklive hashtag.
We want tweets from all varsity sports, every season, every day of the week. The #preptalklive blog (and hashtag) -- as it was during football season -- is the place to check out scores from all over Western New York.
Sunday's semifinals at Canisius College 4-St. Mary's (19-6) vs. 1-Canisius (20-4), 6 p.m. 3-Bishop Timon-St. Jude (12-13) vs. 2-St. Joe's (20-5), 7:30 p.m. Championship
Wednesday at Canisius College, 7 p.m.
MONSIGNOR MARTIN GIRLS PLAYOFF SCHEDULE
Saturday's quarterfinals at Canisius College 1-Cardinal O'Hara vs. 8-Nichols, 10 a.m. 4-Nardin vs. 5-Christian Central, 11:30 a.m. 2-Sacred Heart vs. 7-Mount Mercy, 1 p.m. 3-Holy Angels vs. 6-Mount St. Mary, 2:30 p.m. Semifinals: Tuesday at Canisius College, 6 & 7:45 p.m. Championship
Fri. March 1 at Canisius College, 7 p.m.
Keith & Lauren welcome guests from Niagara Falls boys basketball and look back at the week in high school sports.
0:00 -- Opening, discussion of McShea's Prep Talk column on Oracle Charter.
3:40 -- Interview with Niagara Falls coach Sal Constantino and seniors J.J. Wilkins and Jermaine Crumpton
16:25 -- Wrestling (Clarence, Wednesday's matches, Mariacher's blog on the 'Pit' at Iroquois
27:20 -- Sacred Heart girls basketball (including coach Sister Maria Pares' pregame speech & a flashback to the Sharks' PTTV visit last week)
33:25 -- Amherst boys basketball (including coach Chris Kensy's postgame speech after the Tigers first win in Maryvale in 10 years, one that came over Maryvale coach Mark Kensy, Chris' dad)
37:45 -- Look at this week's boys basketball polls
39:10 -- PrepTalkTV Rewind (St. Joe's basketball, Lockport girls basketball coach Bill Shaw's halftime speech, Tonawanda girls basketball, Mount Mercy's "Mercy's Heroes")
43:15 -- A look ahead at ton of action from Thursday to Tuesday; closing.
For this week's PrepTalkTV Weekly -- which you can see right here tonight at 9 -- we'll welcome in Western New York's No. 1 large school boys basketball team has they head into a super weekend of matchups.
Niagara Falls coach Sal Constantino and seniors Jermaine Crumpton (who has signed with Canisius College) and Jaleo Wilkins will be our in-studio guests for what will be another loaded show of highlights from boys and girls hoops as well as wrestling. We'll also have more highlights in PrepTalkTV Rewind, our weekly look at the boys basketball polls and a look ahead to this weekend and beyond.
Looks like I'll be ready to go in plenty of time for tonight's chat.
Mount Mercy won its first Monsignor Martin Association softball title since 2004 by making quick work of Holy Angels, winning a mercy rule-shortened, five-inning, 10-0 championship victory over Holy Angels at a very sunshine-y Sunshine Park in West Seneca.
Junior Alison Benz struck out seven in four innings of work and allowed just three hits.
Nicki Fitzgerald, a freshman, had a two-out, two-run triple to put Mount Mercy on top, 2-0, in the second. Her sister, junior Meghan Fitzgerald, had a two-run double during a five-run third. Mercy added three more runs in the bottom of the fourth.
Mount Mercy got a nice defensive play to end the top of the second. With runners on second and third, Benz fielded a grounder by Anna Playfair and threw home to senior catcher Abby Campbell, who blocked the plate and tagged out a sliding Rachel Ziarnowski.
"Show me the ball!" the home plate umpire hollered as he confirmed Campbell's block and tag.
Mercy went ahead in the bottom of the inning when Nicki Fitzgerald, the team's No. 9 hitter, pounded a deep shot to right that went for a triple to score Kayla Larson, who had walked, and Kaitlyn Murphy, who reached on an error.
Here's the triple:
It was a big hit on what was already a special day for Nicki Fitzgerald. Upon reaching third base, she heard chants of "Happy Birthday!" from her dugout. She heard it a few more times when she came to the dugout after the inning.
Mount Mercy batted around the next two innings. The five-run third had Benz and Campbell single, and both came around on another big two-out hit by a Fitzgerald as Meghan blooped a double to center on a 2-2 count.
Here's the double:
Murphy smacked a double up the middle to score Meghan Fitzgerald for a 5-0 lead. Murphy scored on a single by Chelsie Crawford. Crawford would score on an error in the outfield.
Holy Angels starter Sarah Brown had some control problems in the fourth, walking five batters. Chelsea Cortade scored on a fielder's choice, Benz scored on an error and Larson scored on an RBI single by Meghan Fitzgerald.
Benz, who struck out the side in the third, faced only four batters in the fourth and fifth, both times stranding runners who had singled. Benz had two strikeouts in the fifth and got the final out on a groundout that she fielded and threw to Courtade at first.
Keith McShea has covered high school sports at The News since his hiring in 1999. The 1995 University at Buffalo graduate and Long Island native (North Babylon Bulldogs) covers — and live blogs — everything from scrimmages to state championships & helps head The News' All-Western New York selections.