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High School Softball: Eden takes hot streak into Immaculata Tournament

Sabrina Kraska and Eden, which has had a hot offense as of late, will participate in this weekend’s Immaculata Tournament. (Photo by Mike Petro)

Eden is unbeaten in the month of May and would like to keep it that way at the Immaculata Tournament over the weekend.

Coming off a 4-0 start, Eden had a disappointing final week of April losing three times in four weeks. However, May has been kind bringing another four-game winning streak for a young team that is achieving highly.

With some increased production at the plate and some added depth on the mound provided by freshman Jill Murray, the Raiders avenged an earlier season loss to Lackawanna with a 4-2 win in nine innings on May 2. They also put up 24 runs in wins over Tonawanda and Holland and then held off JFK 4-1 on May 6.

“We had a disappointing week last week, but our freshman pitcher did well and our bats have come alive of late,” Eden head coach Marisa Fallacaro said. “Our bats have been stronger earlier in games. I’ve got some really strong hitters. I love our lineup. I think we’re really stating to put it together at the right time.”

Murray has helped out on the mound when sophomore Carly Nasca was having problems with an injured thumb. She threw a gem against Lackawanna as Eden got over the hump in a close game for the first time since beating division front-runner Alden 4-3 on April 22. That’s Alden’s only loss of the season in ECIC IV.

Down 2-0 to Lackawanna, Eden tied it in the seventh with a rally that was started by the bottom of the order. In the top of the ninth, sophomore Liz Kardstedt knocked in the winning-RBI after Courtney Cross, one of the team’s few seniors, started the rally with a double and junior Abby Waldorf added a single in the inning.

In the bottom of the inning, the Raiders got out of a bases loaded no out jam without surrendering a run to end the game. Freshman Hayley Kobie made a good a play at third base for an out, sophomore Lauren Gugino made a diving catch in left field and then Murray struck the final batter out.

“We hadn’t been winning the close games so that was great,” said Fallacaro, who noted that Class B-1 will be very deep with some of the other top teams in the division, along with WNY power Depew and Maryvale playing well. “I think it’s the start of some great stuff for us.”

Against Tonawanda, Eden sophomore Kelly Staub finished 5 for 5 with two RBI and a pair of runs scored, while Karstedt was 4 for 4 with five runs scored. Gugino and fellow sophomore Sabrina Kraska each added two hits. In beating Holland, Nasca was back on the mound, throwing a complete-game one-hitter.

Eden’s winning streak will be on the line even before the Immaculata Tournament on Saturday and Sunday (May 11-12) on the campus of Hilbert College when it finished the division season facing division front-runner Alden three days prior.

At the Immaculata Tournament, public schools like Eden, along with Lake Shore, will get to test their mettle against Catholic schools as the competition has gone to a Public vs. Parochial format. It will give many teams the opportunity to face a team it would not regularly face over two games on Saturday and one more the next day before Gold, Silver and Bronze championship games.

“That’s great because I love to see some of the Catholic School teams,” Fallacaro noted. “Some solid competition for us. It’s always a fun tournament.”
Alexis Cvetanovich, who here puts down a tag, and Lake Shore will join the Raiders as public schools at this weekend’s Immaculata Tournament. (Photo courtesy of Ron Larson)

After suffering another one run loss on Monday to Sweet Home 5-4, Lake Shore rebounded on Tuesday, April 30 to defeat Immaculata 5-4. Sophomore Pitcher Jessica Ackley tossed a six-hit, 12 strikeout game and was 2 for 4 at the plate.

Leading the Lady Eagles on offense was Machala Andrews, going 3 for 3 and one RBI. Megan Scritchfield notched a clutch hit in the top of the fifth to drive home one run which tied the game. Also for the Lady Eagles was Hayley Hammer, who went 3 for 5, while Emma Franco and Jordan Scholl each notched two hits.

For Immaculata, Kathryn Halloran went 2 for 3 with two runs scored and a RBI, while Sadie Chentfant added two hits and a pair of RBI. Molly Hennessy also doubled and had a RBI.

Molly Hennessy struck out 13 batters to lift Immaculata to a 5-1 win over Mt. Mercy. The Bears improved to 5-1 in Monsignor Martin play with the win.

Hennessy pitched seven innings and allowed no earned runs on three hits, while getting out of a sixth inning jam. Bridget Giles racked up three RBI on two hits, including a triple, for Immaculata. Cortney Carroccia added three hits.

In a 5-4 loss to Orchard Park, Julia Lalka finished with two hits and RBI. Emily Michalski added one RBI and Carroccia, Boltz , Giles and Chentfant all scored runs. Orchard Park won it in the bottom of the seventh.
Jess Lawton has helped North Collins to a 10-2 mark. (Photo courtesy of Ron Larson)

Elsewhere locally, North Collins now sits alone atop CCAA Division IV after a 14-10 win at Ripley on May 7. The Eagles’ third straight victory now puts them at 10-2 overall with just one loss in the division.

The day prior, the Eagles pulled out a 4-1 win over Ellicottville. Jessica Lawton pitched a complete-game, five-hitter, striking out eight while walking just one. At the plate, she was 2 for 4 with an RBI and one run scored. Jenna Keppel was 2-4, while Arrica Bly walked twice and scored a run. Beth Kibler and Christine Blidy also scored.

One May 1, North Collins bounced back from a 12-0 loss to Forestville in a rematch of last year’s Class D final to beat Clymer 19-3. Sam Gier finished a perfect 4 for 4 on the day with three runs scored, and finished up the game on the mound after Lawton three five strong innings.

Beth Kibler was 3-5 with two runs, Christine Blidy finished 4-5, including two triples and one double, with four RBI and two runs, and Keppel added a 3 for 5 performance with two runs scored.

Also, Hamburg improved to 6-3 in ECIC I play with a 4-3 win over West Seneca West on May 1 and a 3-0 victory over Orchard Park the next day. Maddie Tucker led the Hamburg offense with two hits against West and Bridget Hogan threw a one-hitter with 14 strikeouts in the team’s latest win.
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