Iroquois softball reigns over Starpoint

The Iroquois softball team weathered two storms on Friday – Mother Nature and the Starpoint Spartans. Of the 26 baseball and 23 softball games scheduled in WNY, it was the only one reported to The News.

The Chiefs pushed across the winning run with two outs in the seventh to beat the host Spartans, 3-2, in a game delayed 45 minutes at the start.

Kirsten Audette ripped a double, which hit the outfield fence on one hop, to score Jill Stoessel with the deciding run. Starpoint had a runner reach third in its half of the seventh, but she was left on base.

While the game’s outcome was in doubt for seven innings, so was the game even being played. Iroquois coach Pete Tonsoline said after a long bus ride, a lackluster warmup and the lightning delay, his team wanted to go home and return on Monday. Instead they pulled out the dramatic win which also gave them a share of the ECIC II title with Williamsville East and Starpoint, all with 9-3 records.

“I couldn’t have sketched this out in a million years,” said Tonsoline. “Eight of the 13 players played field hockey for me and two were on the [successful] volleyball team. They represent Iroquois and what everything means. It was a great win for us.”

JFK to honor late coach Odrobina

There will be a memorial baseball game played on Monday on JFK’s baseball diamond to remember the late Peter M. Odrobina, a longtime teacher and coach at the Cheektowaga school. Family and friends will gather at 5:45 p.m. before the Bears take on East Aurora in an ECIC IV contest scheduled for 6 p.m.

Odrobina coached and taught physical education and health for 33 years. He died unexpectedly of a heart attack on Nov. 21, 2012 in his Depew home. He was 62.

Odrobina coached baseball, basketball, cross-country, soccer and bowling in three different school districts, but his longest tenure was at JFK from 1975 until he retired from coaching last February.

Under Odrobina, the Bears baseball team won six ECIC titles, more than 200 games and were Class C state runner-up in 1988.

After graduating from JFK in 1968, Odrobina studied and played baseball at Erie County Technical Institute and the University at Buffalo before starting his teaching and coaching career. He also taught at Grover Cleveland High School in Buffalo and Woodrow Wilson Elementary School before answering the call of his alma mater.

St. Joe’s hosts I-90 Showcase today

Clarence, Western New York’s No. 1-ranked baseball team, will compete today on the turf at St. Joe’s in the I-90 Showcase. St. Joe’s plays Webster-Thomas at 10 a.m. followed by Clarence taking on the Titans at 12:30 p.m. McQuaid will face Clarence at 3 p.m. and stay on the field to challenge St. Joe’s at 5:30 p.m.