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Hamburg softball loses semifinal meeting against Starpoint

The softball teams at Hamburg and Starpoint met a couple of rounds earlier this spring.

The Lady Bulldogs took their No. 14 seed to the home turf of the second-seeded Spartans on May 29, ending their season in Starpoint with a 10-2 loss in the Class A semifinals.

The two clubs met in the A1 versus A2 crossover game last spring at Sunshine Park, where Hamburg squeaked out a 4-2 victory on its way to winning the state championship.

“It’s a sad day. It’s bittersweet,” said Hamburg head coach Lisa Palma, who coaches the team with Dave Vesneske. “We wanted to come here and play our best game, but it is what it is. Can’t take anything away from Starpoint. They played a great game. They have awesome talent and they beat us today. They’re an awesome team.”

Allison Block got the start, but Ashley Owens finished the fifth and sixth innings as the pair combined for a four-hitter in the circle for Starpoint.

Those hits came from the bats of Maddy Tucker, AK Ross, Allison Salerno and Heather Haberman.

Haberman, Hamburg’s freshman catcher, drove in both runs for the Bulldogs. Batting third in the lineup, she scored freshman Maggie Vesneske on a sacrifice fly to take to 1-0 at the top of the first inning. She then shot a solo home run over the 225-foot centerfield fence in the third to close in, 3-2, on the Lady Spartans.

But that’s as close as Hamburg would get, as Haberman’s home run was the final run for the Bulldogs while Starpoint continued to score in all six innings.

“We got out bats on the ball and we got runners on base, we just didn’t push them across,” said Palma.

Sabrina Schunk and Jordan Stando shared the mound for Hamburg in the loss.

Schunk was called for three illegal pitches in the first inning. Block (two hits, two RBI and a run scored) hit a solo home run after the second was called, and Nicole Adams scored Owens (three hits, one RBI and two runs) after the third infraction.

“Honestly, I really thought the illegal pitches threw off our game a little bit,” noted Palma.

Aren Schwab had three hits, which included two triples, and scored three runs for the victors, who tallied 14 hits.

Starpoint will play top-seeded Williamsville South on June 4 in the Class A Championship Game.

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