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High School Softball: Immaculata falls to MMAA unbeaten Sacred Heart; N. Collins leads division

Kathryn Halloran attempts to make a play on an infield throw during Immaculata’s 5-1 win over St. Mary’s last week. (Photo courtesy of Ron Larson)
Giving a team extra outs to work with in multiple innings is sure to have its consequences, especially if that particular team is Sacred Heart.

The Sharks extended an unbeaten streak against fellow Monsignor Martin teams that’s stretched into the past two seasons with a 14-3 win over Immaculata in a five-inning shortened game on Tuesday (May 14).

Immaculata was the victim of two very long innings early on with Sacred Heart not only getting its bats on the ball but also taking advantage of errors and free passes at the plate. The Bears dropped to 5-4 in Monsignor Martin play and will be the fourth or fifth seed in the upcoming league tournament.

“There are moments of we can beat anybody and then there are moments when we give six or seven outs in an inning, that we can’t beat anybody. It’s obviously a frustrating time for that,” Immaculata head coach Ray Hennessy said. “Sacred Heart is a good team but they’re not 11 runs better than us.”

Immaculata actually started off on the right foot, getting a two-run homer from senior Kathryn Halloran in the bottom of the first to take a 2-0 lead. However, Sacred Heart struck for all 14 runs over the next two innings.

Hennessy tried a pitching change, replacing Cortney Carrocia with Molly Hennessy but it did not slow the Sharks rally. Bridget Giles knocked in a run on a single in the fourth and Immaculata threatened in the fifth, but it was not enough to avoid being run-ruled.

“A game like this can turn around on a dime,” said Sacred Heart head coach Karen Conway. “Every team is a challenge. I’ve been coaching long enough to know any game that you overlook somebody, you’re done. People would love to knock us off. It could make a team’s season; it would make mine as a coach, just to be a spoiler.”

Coach Hennessy said while the bats have been hot and cold, the pitching had been very good, especially in beating St. Mary’s 5-1 Thursday (May 9) at Walden Ponds. Carroccia, who finished with three hits, including a pair of doubles, also sparked Immaculata in the circle where she threw five solid innings.

Molly Hennessy came on in relief of Carrocia in the sixth with runners on second and third with no outs and struck out two and got a weak ground ball to first to end the inning. She pitched two scoreless innings. Carroccia allowed only one run over five innings. She struck out seven, walked none and surrendered seven hits.

The Bears scored twice in the first on a two-run double by Giles. St. Mary’s scored its only run of the game on an RBI double in the second. Immaculata padded its lead in the top of the seventh when Julia Lalka doubled, scoring Hennessy, which was followed up by Sadie Chentfant’s single, plating Lalka. Giles, Hennessy, Chentfant and Lalka all finished with two hits.

“That was probably one of our best games of the year,” coach Hennessy said. “We got solid and timely hitting, good pitching from both Molly and Cortney and played good defense. When you play teams that are good, you have to have all of those aspects going.”

With the MMAA playoffs beginning Saturday at Sunshine Park in West Seneca, coach Hennessy is looking for his team to make the routine plays defensively, have some good at-bats and pitch consistently.

“Just keep it simple,” he said “When we do that, I believe we can beat anybody.”

North Collins a front-runner for first place

North Collins battled through the rain and playing a tough Ripley team to earn a sweep in a home-and-home series with a dramatic 9-8 win against one of the CCAA IV’s top teams. The wins puts the Eagles in sole possession of first place in the division with a chance to close out a second straight CCAA IV title with victories at home this week against West Valley and Sherman.

On Friday (May 10), Beth Kibler was 2 for 4 with a double and two RBI, while Arrica Bly also tripled in the game to help lead the offense. Jessica Lawton was 2 for 3 with a RBI and double and on the mound, pitched a complete-game, yielding five hits, four earned runs and six walks while striking out three.

Three days earlier in a 14-10 win over Ripley. Kibler finished 3 for 3 with one run and a RBI with a triple, Sam Gier was 3 for 4 with one run scored and Bly added two hits, including a base-clearing triple, with two runs scored. Nicole Torrey was 2 for 3 with three runs scored and a RBI.

Lawton went the distance in the circle, scattering nine hits and allowing three runs while striking out four. She was also 2 for 3, including a triple, with four runs scored. Also in the win, Christine Blidy had two hits, including a triple, and three RBI and junior varsity call-up Angel Paradiso added one hit and a RBI.

North Collins, which improved to 9-1 in the division, suffered its only CCAA IV loss this season to second-place Brocton (7-2). Ripley dropped to 8-3. The Eagles final two games are against the divisions’ bottom two teams in the standings.

On May 11, North Collins fell 7-2 to Gowanda as Lawton and Gier split the pitching duties. Lawton threw four innings, giving up five earned runs, before Gier finished the final two innings, yielding only one hit and one run, while striking two out and walking three. Bly and Blidy both doubled and Kibler tripled for the Eagles (11-3).

The Section VI playoff seedings will be announced Thursday, May 16 with some play-in games starting two days later. Among the locals, Lake Shore will play in Class A-2, Eden in Class B and North Collins, a defending sectional finalist, in Class D.


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