The second annual Western New York Baseball/Softball Showcase will be held at North Collins this weekend.
All players are underclassmen, and they compete on teams that are organized mostly by high school league.
The event begins Saturday with the baseball side, with the ECIC taking on CCAA at 11 a.m., followed by the Monsignor Martin/Buffalo Public Schools vs. Niagara Frontier League/Niagara-Orleans League at 2 p.m., with the winners playing at 5 p.m.
On Sunday, the same matchups occur in softball at noon, 2:30 and 5 p.m.
Here are the rosters for the event, supplied by event organizers:
I'm at Brockport State for the Class AA, A and B softball games. The C and D games are at Olean. The baseball games are at Niagara Falls (AA), Batavia (A & D) and Jamestown (B & C). We will have reporters providing updates from all baseball games.
If you are at one of today's big games on the diamonds, be sure to tweet updates with the hashtag #preptalkscores. Those tweets will automatically appear in the live blog below.
If it is the second weekend in June, it must be State Championship Saturday.
Today there are state championships being decided all over upstate and downstate New York. I'll be spending the day at the softball final four at Queensbury. Nick Veronica is with Mary Jo Monnin covering state track in Syracuse. Aaron Mansfield (Grand Island) and correspondent Scott Eddy (Frewsburg) are in the Binghamton area for the baseball championships.
While I'll have updates on the three softball games (featuring Clarence in AA, Hamburg in A and Frewsburg in C), tweets to the hashtag #preptalkscores -- including those from our reporters in the field -- will also automatically show up in the live blog below. So if you are on the road at states and you're updating via Twitter, be sure to include that hashtag. I'll have periodic tweets updating softball at @KeithMcSheaBN, but most of my play-by-play updating will come in the live blog (weather and battery permitting).
Check out today's full schedule on our scoreboard page, where you can check back throughout the day for updated scores and highlights.
See you out at the games, in the live blog and on the tweeter. :-)
I had a summer break that started as soon as the 2010-11 season concluded, and now I'm back -- and here to throw some notes out regarding some summer news and notes ...
* Late in the spring season we told you about the BCANY Hoops Festival set for Johnson City from Aug. 5-7. The event seems like a great one, and it's one that came about due to the unfortunate absence of the Empire State Games this summer.
The roster has been selected by the coaching staff of head coach Larry Jones (Depew) and assistants Mike Haskell (retired Pioneer) and Mike Berkun (Medaille):
Reggie Agbeko (St. Joe's), Stan Wier (who has transferred back home to East Aurora), Sterling Taplin (Williamsville North), Ryan Whelpley (Walsh), Matt Hart (Canisius), Aaron Frasier (Seneca), Aaron White (Canisius), Jamaal Carter (City Honors), Adam Weir (Canisius), Jordan Williams (Bishop Timon-St. Jude).
The team will play Long Island on Friday, Aug 5 at 4:30 p.m. On Saturday, Aug. 6, the Buffalo team plays New York City at 9 a.m. and Hudson Valley at noon. Saturday's evening session includes a dunk contest and three-point contest at 4:30 p.m.; a parent clinic on recruiting at 5:30 and a player clinic with college coaches at 6:30.
The event concludes on Sunday, Aug. 7 with the seventh-place game (9 a.m.), fifth-place game (10:30 a.m.), consolation (noon) and championship (1:30 p.m.).
While the event is being run by BCANY, there are some expenses that will need to be covered for teams and players (food, lodging, transportation -- costs mostly taken care of by the ESG during the Games). The squad is seeking sponsorships -- if you are interested in helping the team defray some costs, call Jones at (585) 746-8327.
This team deserves some serious commenting -- that squad is a really good one, a much better collection than I expected for what is a startup event this year. Great talent, great depth, great mixture of schools. Excellent job by the basketball community in getting the word out and credit the coaching staff for what must have been some difficult choices after the tryouts.
* Speaking of some good hoops competition, this weekend might be the Taste of Buffalo but fans can get a taste of hoops up in Niagara Falls. Some top programs are in action at the Niagara PAL Team Camp at Niagara Falls. Here's the lineup:
Friday: 5 p.m. -- Main gym, Niagara Falls vs. Canisius; Aux. gym, St. Joe's vs. Niagara-Wheatfield; 6 p.m. -- Batavia vs. Grand Island; Aux. gym, Wilson vs. Holland; 7 p.m. -- Main gym, Jamestown vs. Sweet Home.
Saturday: 9 a.m. -- Main gym, St. Joe's vs. Niagara Falls; Aux. gym, Canisius vs. Jamestown; 10 a.m. -- Main gym, Sweet Home vs. Wilson; Aux. gym, Batavia vs. Niagara-Wheatfield; 11 a.m., Main gym, Grand Island vs. Holland.
Single elimination tournament begins at noon, with championship at 5 p.m.
There is a $2 admission for fans 13 and older.
* I will hopefully hit some summer events of all sorts -- I'll be soon selling raffle tickets to benefit the Tom Borrelli Award and Scholarship Fund. We have some great prizes and it's a great cause as we continue to honor our fallen coworker.
The third Borrelli Award for boys and the inaugural Borrelli Award for girls will be announced later this month and the winners will receive their trophies at the July 27 Tom Borrelli Golf Tournament at Holland Hills. For those interested in golfing ($100 per person) or donating, please email me at email@example.com.
* By the way, the spring All-WNY teams and all-league teams (for baseball, softball and boys and girls lacrosse), which have been published over the last month, have all been collected at the high school home page.
Hello from state championship softball at the Adirondack Sports Complex in Queensbury.
Niagara-Wheatfield is here in Class AA, Falconer in B and Frewsburg in C.
I'll have updates throughout the day, but a light drizzle is limiting me to the iPhone right now.
9:48 a.m. Niagara-Wheatfield leads Cicero-North Syracuse, 2-1, after one in the AA semifinals.
Falcons leadoff dynamo Caitlin Attfield led off with a bunt single and came home on this fielder's choice:
The N-W rally ends with C-NS centerfielder Jenna Tartaro tracking down a nice shot off the bat of Alyssa Depetris.
10:15 a.m. Not a good bottom of the second for N-W: C-NS scores seven to take an 8-2 lead after two. The rain has picked up to a harder drizzle now.
10:30 a.m. We are suspended due to rain in the bottom of the third. C-NS leads, 8-2, and has the bases loaded with no out.
10:55 a.m. Down the road at the Morse Athletic Complex, Frewsburg has a 4-2 lead on Haldane in a C semifinal heading to the bottom of the second. Raining here but there hasn't been a delay. Frewsburg had a four-run first in which they sent 10 batters to the plate.
11:14 a.m. Haldane scores three in the bottom of the second to take a 5-4 lead. At the end of the inning, the umpire calls a delay to address puddles at home and near third.
11:44 a.m. Play restarted fairly quickly, with Haldane adding four runs in the bottom of the third to take a 9-4 lead. Haldane with a pair of well-hit gappers to drive in their runs.
11:50 a.m. Frewsburg hasn't sent more than three batters to the plate in an inning since the first. 1-2-3 in the top of the fourth.
12:13 p.m. Ouch for Frewsburg. Seven more runs for Haldane, which now leads, 16-4, after four innings.
12:23 p.m. We are back down the road at Adirondack, where C-NS scored a run to take a 9-3 lead after three. This going back and forth & trying to time it right is going to be tough :-).
12:49 p.m. Back at Morse and Frewsburg got two back but trails, 18-6, in the bottom of the sixth. And Haldane just stole a base. Why???
12:51 p.m. Single makes it 19-6.
12:54 p.m. Two-run single made it 22-6 before the inning ended. Heading to the top of the seventh.
1:26 p.m. Section VI is 0-2. Frewsburg lost, 22-6. Niagara-Wheatfield lost, 9-2.
At the end of the Haldane game, their coach added insult to a blowout with some unsportsmanlike conduct I'll elaborate on later when I'm on a laptop and not an iPhone.
1:53 p.m. B semifinal has started.
2:02 p.m. Windsor gets one in the first after two errors and no hits. With one out, Emma Benson hit a fly to left that would have been a good running catch but the ball went in and out of the glove for a two-base error. Cara Martin followed with a hard-hit ball that went under the second baseman to score Benson.
Update from Binghamton: Dunkirk baseball has lost, 6-2. Check this link from The Journal News of Westchester County for some details (sorry for old school link but we're still updating via iPhone):
3:15 p.m. Been conserving energy with the iPhone. Windsor has a 4-0 lead heading to the bottom of the fifth. Windsor added three runs in the second.
3:22 p.m. Falconer gets one back with an RBI single by No 9 hitter Allyson Roach. She drove in Shelby Overturf, who walked then moved to third on two fielder's choices. Heading to the sixth.
3:47 p.m. It's a final: Windsor 4, Falconer 1.
Ballgame over. Section VI softball season over. Western New York high school season over.
* * *
My apologies about not updating this sooner (I'm writing it Monday). Saturday was a longgggg day (my story is here), Sunday was spent traveling (and recovering :-) ).
The unfortunate incident I witnessed at the end of the Class C semifinal was this:
Haldane is leading Frewsburg, 22-6, and as I noted in the blog, they were stealing bases very late in the game with a huge lead. Unnecessary and could be called classless, but it is a separate issue from what I'm about to describe.
Frewsburg, on the wrong side of the worst kind of score, seemed to be handling it as well as they could. An infielder committed an error by booting the ball late in the game, and the Frewsburg assistant joked with her that she might have tried to kick it directly to a teammate for a great play.
They were losing a big-time game, but Frewsburg seemed to have everything in perspective.
Not so on the other side.
In the top of the seventh, the last ups for Frewsburg in the game -- which was, as a reminder, 22-6 -- the leadoff batter hit a hard comebacker to the mound and was thrown out by the pitcher, who had been hit with the ball and was in some degree of pain. As the batter returned to the dugout, she passed home plate, where she received some encouraging words and a high-five from the on-deck batter.
Then I noticed that the on-deck batter had a very surprised look on her face and appeared to be talking to the catcher. The on-deck batter said something to the effect of, "No, I wasn't talking about that ... I was talking about a different thing."
The pitcher stayed in the game and the blowout ended promptly two outs later. Then I saw the same on-deck batter, with Frewsburg coach, at the end of postgame handshake line talking with the Haldane coach. It was a brief conversation in which the Frewsburg player looked to be attempting to explain some kind of misunderstanding.
According to Frewsburg people, the Haldane coach had yelled at the on-deck batter because he thought the Frewsburg players were celebrating the fact that the pitcher had been hurt. That's why the batter was in shock that she was being yelled at for something she didn't do. At the end of the game, the player wanted to explain this misunderstanding to the Haldane coach, who apparently wasn't buying the explanation. I saw the Frewsburg coaching staff make a NYSPHSAA representative aware of the Haldane coach's actions.
The player is a sophomore -- actually almost all of Frewsburg's players are sophomores (one senior, two juniors on roster) -- and after the game the incident left her upset to the point of tears.
It's an incident that didn't need to happen. A coach should speak to -- much less yell -- at an opposing player only in the rarest of cases, and this certainly didn't qualify. There was also an opportunity to smooth out what could have been a bad misunderstanding during the handshake, one that was initiated by the Frewsburg player, but that was, according to Frewsburg, rebuffed by the Haldane coach.
It's an utter lack of perspective, which in my opinion is the worst thing about high school sports. Coaches and parents (and sometimes players) that go overboard in the way they handle themselves and in the way they deal with the action on the field hijack what is a wonderful athletic and educational experience and take it places it shouldn't go. They take things too seriously to the point where they embarrass themselves.
Coach, you won a state semifinal game -- and left a girl on the other team in tears. Congratulations.
Haldane lost the state championship game later Saturday afternoon.
Hello from Brockport State for the Far West Regionals in softball. We've got a tripleheader, starting with the biggest and ending with the smallest of the top three classifications.
The Class AA final is scheduled for 2 p.m. and pits Niagara-Wheatfield against Greece-Athena. That's followed by the 4 p.m. A final between Williamsville East and Pittsford-Mendon and the 6 p.m. B final of Falconer against Mynderse Academy.
The winners today advance to the state final four in Queensbury on Saturday.
2:13 p.m. The captains meeting at home plate -- we're a bit delayed here as Wheatfield's bus was late to the venue.
Greece-Athena: Leadoff Olivia Miller 3b, Kelsey Johnson 1b, Riley Johnson ss, Chelsea Touchstone of, Emily Shoemaker lf, Sierra Valentine p, Lexi Stiewe dp, Kristen Cardella rf, Marissa McKenna c; Brianna Capezzuto is at 2b.
2:19 p.m. We are under way. Greece-Athena bats first as the away team.
2:27 p.m. One runner for Greece but no damage. Miller flew out, Kelsey Johnson reached on an error at short and moved to second on a wild pickoff attempt by the catcher, but she stayed there after a flyout to right by Riley Johnson and a strikeout, looking, by Touchstone. Middle of first: No score.
2:41 p.m. Niagara-Wheatfield has to love this start. The Falcons send nine batters to the plate and score three runs on just one hit. Attfield bunt singled, then went all the way to third on a wild throw. On the first pitch to Gruarin, she put down a bunt back to the pitcher and Attfield slided acrosse home plate for the run.
I'm furious with myself for missing the play with the iPhone. If it was the second pitch, I woulda had it. Ugh. Attfield had a great head-first slide across the plate right below us.
Gruarin went to second as the throw home went behind the catcher. Crooks blooped out to second. DeVantier walked. Gonyea singled opposite-field to right to score Gruarin and move DeVantier to third. Maranto walked to load the bases after a Gonyea steal. DePetris grounded to short and she came home to get the force and the bases remained loaded on the fielder's choice. Baron walked to force in a run. Mazierski struck out. End of first: N-W, 3-0.
2:46 p.m. Another great half-inning for Wheatfield as Sciria strikes out the side: Shoemaker, Valentine, Stiewe. Middle of the second: N-W, 3-0.
2:58 p.m. More good things for N-W. Six batters, four hits and two more runs. Attfield doubled to start against a bunt-defense, five-player infield, scooting to second when the ball got past the center fielder. Gruarin singled, Attfield scored. Crooks struck out looking. DeVantier blooped a single to right to drive in Gruarin. Gonyea blooped a single to center, just over the shortstop. With runners on first and second, Maranto hit a liner to short, and Riley Johnson nabbed it out of the air and stepped on second, almost in one motion, for an inning-ending double play. End of second: N-W, 5-0.
3:02 p.m. Sciria keeps cruising. Three up, three down. Strikeout of Cardella, McKenna lined softly to first, Miller popped out high to first. Middle of third: N-W, 5-0.
3:06 p.m. First quiet inning for N-W as Valentine may have settled down in the circle. DePetris grounded to the pitcher, Baron struck out, Mazierski lined out to left. End of third: N-W, 5-0.
3:09 p.m. Three up, three down again for Sciria. Kelsey Johnson flies to left, Riley Johnson grounds to short, Touchstone grounds to pitcher. Middle of fourth: N-W, 5-0.
3:15 p.m. Another quick one for N-W as Attfield lines out to left, Gruarin pops out foul to the first baseman, and Crooks flew out to left. End of fourth: N-W, 5-0.
3:20 p.m. A hint of a rally but still only three batters for Athena. The no-hitter for Sciria is over (wasn't my fault -- I didn't mention it :-) ). Shoemaker reaches on an infield single; Valentine struck out swinging. Then Shoemaker went on a steal and Maranto threw to Attfield who swept a tag as Shoemaker arrived and the call is out; definitely a close play, tough to tell if there was actual contact on the tag. Stiewe lined out to short to end the inning. Middle of fifth: N-W, 5-0.
3:24 p.m. Innings going quite quickly. Three up, three down for the Falcons as DeVantier fisted a liner to short, Gonyea foul-popped out to catcher and Maranto grounded to second. End of fifth: N-W, 5-0.
3:30 p.m. Cardella flew out to right, McKenna grounded to first, and then Miller delivered a solid single to left. The inning ended when Kelsey Johnson grounded to Sciria. Middle of sixth: N-W, 5-0.
3:37 p.m. Nothing for N-W. Grounder to short by DePetris, single to left by Baron, foul pop by Mazierski which is caught nicely by a sliding Kelsey Johnson, grounder to second by Attfield. End of sixth: N-W, 5-0.
Three outs to go for the Falcons. 3-4-5 batters upcoming for Athena.
3:57 p.m. Whoops. Forgot to update the blog before going to get quotes :-)
We have a FINAL SCORE: Niagara-Wheatfield 5, Greece-Athena 0.
In the seventh, Riley Johnson was hit by a pitch then was out on a fielder's choice that put Touchstone at first. Shoemaker walked to put runners at first and second, but then Sciria finished it off. Valentine flew out to right, which went as a sacrifice. Sciria fielded a grounder by Stiewe and threw her out to end the game.
Here's the final out:
It is the first trip to the state final four for Niagara-Wheatfield softball.
Back with the A game in a few moments. Infield practice going on.
4:27 p.m. Starting lineups being announced now. We'll try and type those in right now.
Williamsville East is the visitor.
Williamsville East: Leadoff Dani Silvestri lf, Marci Tirone cf, Jenna Reilley ss, Jenna Allers rf, Catherine Krok 3b, Tara Schiumo 2b, Sam Weaver p, Machenzie Klun 1b, Dana Larkin dp (for Jami Cohen c).
Pittsford-Mendon: Leadoff Courtney Case ss, Jenna Lazar 2b, Lauren D'Hont cf, Brittany Grage p, Anna Valentine 1b, Kelsey Julien rf, Michelle Hochman c, Katie Brennan lf, Erin Lyons 3b.
4:39 p.m. One hit but nothing more for Will East in the top of the first. Silvestri grounded to third. Grage struck out Tirone and Allers with a single to right from Reilley in between. Middle of first: No score.
4:45 p.m. Two strikeouts for Weaver, but a run for Pitt-Mendon. Case struck out looking, Lazar singled to right, D'Hont struck out swinging. Grage then blasted a fly ball deep to center, over Tirone's head for a double that scored Lazar. Valentine ended the inning with a grounder to third. End of first: Pitt-Mendon, 1-0.
4:53 p.m. Two baserunners this time for East, but another inning-ending strikeout. Krok grounded to third, Schiumo legged out an infield single, Weaver lined out, Klun reached on catcher's interference, putting runners at first and second, and Cohen struck out swinging. Middle of second: Pitt-Mendon, 1-0.
5:01 p.m. The inning started tamely enough but ended poorly for the Flames. Julien and Hochman grounded out to pitcher and third, respectively. Brennan then grounded to third and it looked like the ball might be headed down the line, but Krok went full extension on a dive to keep the play to a single. When Lyons followed with a double to deep left-center, it looked like Krok's play would be huge as it kept a run from scoring. However, the hits kept coming as Case smacked a single just out of the reach of Schiumo for two RBIs and a bloop single by Lazar scored Case (who moved to second on the throw home and to third on a stolen base). D'Hont ended the inning with a grounder to Weaver. End second: Pitt-Mendon, 4-0.
5:05 p.m. Nothing doing for East. Silvestri grounded out, Tirone struck out swinging, Reilley lined out to left. Middle of third: Pitt-Mendon, 4-0.
5:13 p.m. More hits for Pitt-Mendon, but a strong finish for Weaver prevents any more scoring. Grage led off with a single, Valentine flew out to right, Julien doubled on a ball that apparently went over the third base bag. Will East coach Ron Schumacher came out to protest afterwards but it wasn't a long discussion. But with runners on second and third, Hochman flew out to right -- with Allers throwing home strongly to prevent an attempted tag-up -- and Brennan went down swinging. Weaver got the last two strikes on an off-speed strike that was taken, then got a swinging strikeout with a hard one. End of third: Pitt-Mendon, 4-0.
5:21 p.m. Baserunners, but no hits or runs for East. Allers walked, Krok struck out after two foul bunts, Schiumo was hit by a pitch, Weaver grounded sharply to the pitcher, who threw to third for a nice fielder's choice. The inning ended with Klun grounding to second. Middle of fourth: PItt-Mendon, 4-0.
5:28 p.m. More runs for Mendon. Lyons led off with an infield single that banged off the knee of Reilley; she was sacrificed to second on a bunt by Case; Lazar singled and moved to second on a throw home. D'Hont grounded to third, but after she was out at first, Lyons broke for home. She scored, the throw was wild, and Lazar came around to score. More runners but no more scoring as Grage wlked, Valentine singled and Julien grounded to pitcher. End of fourth: Pitt-Mendon, 6-0.
5:31 p.m. Very quick inning for East. Strikeout swinging for Larkin, Silvestri grounded to pitcher, Tirone grounded to short. Middle of fifth: Pitt-Mendon, 6-0.
Allers is now pitching; Weaver replaced her in right.
5:43 p.m. Another long inning for Mendon, and another run. Hochman singled to right, Brennan sac bunted her over, Lyons popped out. Case reached on an infield single on which Reilley made a great play to get in front of it on a dive, then even tried to throw her out while sitting on the dirt. Lazar followed with a single which Schiumo nearly tracked down in shallow right; that scored Hochman. D'Hont struck out to end the inning. End of fifth: Pitt-Mendon, 7-0.
5:50 p.m. Will East gets a run thanks to Reilley's leadoff blast to center field which went for a triple. Allers grounded out to second to score the run. Krok fisted a soft liner to short. Schiumo walked but the inning ends with a Weaver groundout to third. Middle of sixth: Pitt-Mendon, 7-1.
5:55 p.m. Ka-blam. Grage turns on one and blasts a home run over the left-center field fence -- the fences are an even 200 feet away all around. In bottom of sixth: Pitt-Mendon, 8-1.
5:58 p.m. No more damage as the next three go down. End of sixth: Pitt-Mendon, 8-1.
Three more outs for the Flames to mount a comeback.
6:12 p.m. At leadoff there was a great battle by Machenzie Klun, who fouled off eight pitches before muscling a single over third base. Great at-bat by Klun to start a rally for East.
Alissa Davis flied out to deep left as a pinch hitter; Silvestri reached on an infield single to deep short; Tirone fouled out to first. Reilley grounded to short but the throw was wild, allowing two runs to score. The game ended with a great catch by center fielder D'Hont on a blast by Allers.
We have a FINAL SCORE: Pittsford-Mendon 8, Williamsville East 3.
6:20 p.m. Just finished interviews -- this was the final game of Ron Schumacher's 34-year coaching career.
Back with the B game in about 15 minutes or so.
6:43 p.m. Starting lineups being introduced. Falconer is the visitor.
Mynderse: Leadoff Megan Tuttle ss, Allie Deal rf, Abby Dygert c, Courtney Johnson p, Mariah Foser lf, Sydney Rogers 2b, Meghan Felice 3b, Alysha Bachman 1b, Jessica Parish cf.
6:50 p.m. First pitch of the B game. Since I have to write up three games, I might skimp on some details here. I'll still have scoring updates and probably inning updates.
6:55 p.m. Falconer threatens but does not score in the top of the first. Stuart reached on an infield single, but then Johnson struck out Erickson and Shannon G. Cherise G. reached on an error by the shortstop, with the wild throw allowing Stuart to third and Cherise G. to second. Johnson then got Hines to end the inning with a groundout to short. Middle of first: No score.
7:04 p.m. A mini-threat for Mynderse as well, but Cherise G. gets a strikeout to end the inning. Tuttle started with a strikeout, Deal walked, Dygert popped up, then Johnson thumped a single up the middle to put runners at first and second. Cherise G. got Foster on a swinging strikeout. End of first: No score.
7:07 p.m. Quick and quiet second for Falconer. Two very strong plays by shortstop Tuttle, who goes into deep short to get Overturf -- thanks to a sweep tag by Bachman; then she went deep on a hard shot by Spallino, threw off the base but again Bachman reeled it in and stepped on first in time. Ashley G. ended the inning with a foul out to catcher. Middle of second: No score.
7:15 p.m. Only four batters for Mynderse, but one was a big one. After a leadoff strikeout to Rogers, BOOM. Righty Felice turned on an inside pitch and her high fly homer landed well over the left field fence. Cherise G. struck out Bachman and then Parish rolled out to first. End of second: Mynderse, 1-0.
7:22 p.m. Roach strikes out, Stuart with another hit on a single to left, but then Erickson strikes out and Shannon G. is out on a fielder's choice as they got the out at second. Middle of third: Mynderse, 1-0.
7:44 p.m. Lots of good news to update for Falconer fans. Cherise G. had two strikeouts in facing four batters in the bottom of the third, and then Falconer blew up in the top of the fourth.
Cherise G. led off with a single that landed her at third when her solid shot to center scooted past the center fielder, then Hines singled to right to drive her in. After Overdorf' bunt attempt was caught on a pop out to the pitcher, Spallino reached on an error on the first baseman, who couldn't handle the throw from the third baseman. Ashley G. bunt singled to load the bases. Roach then lined out to center.
Then the most impressive HOME RUN of the day, as Stuart clobbers a GRAND SLAM to very deep left to turn a tie game into a 5-1 Falconer lead.
Here it is ... hard to see the ball, but it lands well past the fence in left center.
Then Erickson made it back-to-back HOMERS just left of center to make it a 6-1 lead. Shannon G. was hit by a pitch, stole second and move to third on a passed ball before Cherise G. -- who led off the inning -- flew out to deep center. Middle of fourth: Falconer, 6-1.
7:50 p.m. Three up, three down for Mynderse with two strikeouts for Cherise G. End of fourth: Falconer, 6-1.
7:56 p.m. Wow. Another HOME RUN for Falconer. Spallino gets around on one and another one goes sailing well over the left center wall. That came with two outs in the inning. Middle of fifth: Falconer, 7-1.
8:11 p.m. We're heading to the bottom of the sixth and Falconer's lead is four. Mynderse got two runs in the bottom of the fifth without a hit: two hit by pitches, a sac bunt, a walk, a wild pitch (scored one) and a sac fly (scored another). In the top of the sixth, Falconer went down on two fly outs and a pop-up. Middle of sixth: Falconer, 7-3.
8:20 p.m. Cherise G. rebounded from a shaky inning with as strong an inning as you could want: she struck out the side. End of sixth: Falconer, 7-3.
8:25 p.m. Falconer sends five batters to the plate but no runs. Falcons are now three outs away from the final four. Middle of seventh: Falconer, 7-3.
8:34 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE: Falconer 7, Mynderse 3.
Here's the final out.
Interview time for me. Gotta run.
11:28 p.m. Thanks to the Brockport Tim Hortons for becoming a satellite office for The Buffalo News High School Sports Desk. Got some food, drink, a seat and an electrical outlet to do my story ... and to do a re-do of an update of my story after my computer locked up. Gotta love it.
I'm back tomorrow evening for Silver Creek boys lacrosse's attempt to make the state championship game, which should be very exciting. I'll have the live blog going for that but the 8 p.m. scheduled start is a real booger for my deadline. We'll get it done.
With Niagara-Wheatfield advancing to the Section VI Class AA softball final, there has been a change in the schedule for Saturday's sectional championships.
The Class A and B finals will still be held at Niagara-Wheatfield, but there have been changes in the times. Williamsville East plays Depew in the A game at 2:30 p.m.; Falconer plays Dunkirk in the B final at 4:30 p.m.
Since Niagara-Wheatfield can not play for the title on its home field, it's AA championship against Clarence has been moved to Niagara Falls at 7 p.m.
Originally, all three were to be played at Niagara-Wheatfield, but sectional rules dictate that a team may not play for a title on its home field.
It's ideal that a team doesn't have a literal home-field advantage, especially in a championship game, and that possibility is something the section has to be aware of when the finals are scheduled for a high school site.
However, the I believe the rule is handled differently for different sports: I know I covered Orchard Park in last year's boys lacrosse championships at OP. I'm also pretty sure that lacrosse championships in boys and girls have been held at Amherst in years past, and those programs are almost always in the finals. I don't remember the home-field advantage being an issue in those cases.
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.
We'll chat high school sports tonight around 9:45 -- after I report on this afternoon's Monsignor Martin softball championship game. Holy Angels and Mount Mercy meet at 4 at Sunshine Park in West Seneca.
As always, anything in the world of high school sports -- or our coverage of it -- is up for discussion.
I promise I'll get to your question or comment in the chat -- but please be patient. It can get busy fielding all of the questions and I can only answer one at a time. And PLEASE don't enter your question/comment multiple times -- that only makes things more hectic.
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.