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High School Softball: Hamburg moves on; Eden pulls upset

Freshman Jill Murray pitched Eden to a quarterfinal win at Olean. (Photo courtesy of David Eckhardt)
Eden is in a Section VI semifinal game for the third straight season but this year, the road traveled to get there looks different, and so does the team that’s arrived.

Minus nearly the entire group that played the past two seasons, a much younger Raiders squad went on the road and proved they’re no longer just an upstart squad with a 5-1 win at third-seeded Olean in a Class B-1 quarterfinal on Tuesday (May 21).

The No. 6 Raiders showed the patience of a veteran team, drawing three walks in the first to help them get out to a 3-0 lead. From there, freshman hurler Jill Murray went to work with a complete-game, five-hitter which included striking out nine and walking only one. She also received plenty of help with a stellar defensive effort.

“It does feel different from the last two years,” Eden head coach Marisa Fallacaro said. “These girls are so young and don’t know about the previous year, and the ones that do, don’t care about that. They’re focused on this year.

“We have emerged and I expected us to do well,” she added. “When they play as they should, we’re solid. We’ve really developed and grown as a team. They’re really playing smart.”

Carly Nasca came through with two RBI, including a sacrifice fly in the first which put Eden up 3-0. Kelly Staub also had a sacrifice fly that inning and Haley Kobie walked a run in. Liz Karstedt started the inning off, getting on and stealing a base. Sabrina Kraska also stayed hot at the plate for the Raiders. Eden added a run in the fifth and seventh, while Olean scored its lone run in the sixth.

Key defensive plays were turned in by Lauren Gugino, who made a diving catch in left, Staub, at first with her stretches and split to come down with throws, Karstedt in center, and Kobie at third.

Eden, which opened with an 11-0 home win over Springville in the pre-quarterfinals, next travels to second-seeded Newfane on Friday, May 24.

Elsewhere, Hamburg is feeling the support from others and among the team and continuing to play with that type of cause. The top-seeded Bulldogs coasted to an 11-0 win over Sweet Home in a Class A quarterfinal on Tuesday (May 21).

Senior standout Bridget Hogan threw a one-hitter with 15 strikeouts and at the plate, hit a grad slam among her three hits. She allowed only a bunt single in the third. She said the defending state semifinalists are on another mission with a team even deeper than last year with all 16 players contributing. Also in the win, Kailee Ramaekers doubled and tripled; Heather Tigue went 3 for 4; and Heather Haberman and Allie Salerno added two hits.

“We know we have the talent to get back to Queensbury, and we know everyone is behind us ­ — the community believes in us, the school does and we believe in ourselves,” Hogan noted.

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