Clarence softball coach Todd Banaszak recorded his 300th career victory as the top-ranked Red Devils defeated Olean, 8-2, in a non-league matchup.
Banaszak suffered huge losses to graduation from his Class AA state championship team of a year ago but simply reloaded, something he’s done annually since taking over the Red Devils’ program in 1992.
Clarence, which improved to 18-2 overall, was led by Moriah Harris, who finished with three hits.
The Red Devils open their title defense as the No. 1 seed in the Class AA sectional softball brackets which were announced on Thursday. Niagara Falls is seeded second followed by No. 3 Lancaster and fourth-seeded Niagara Wheatfield.
Other top seeds include Hamburg (Class A-1), Iroquois (Class A-2), Depew (Class B-1), Akron (Class B-2). Frewsburg (Class C) and Forestville (Class D).
Elsewhere, Shannon Stockman had three hits including the winning RBI that lifted Williamsville North by Sacred Heart, 5-4. Winning pitcher Sarah McMahon also finished with two hits and scored three runs.
Molly Hennessy hit a three-run blast while Juliet Laka also went deep in Immaculata’s 12-9 non-league triumph over Frontier.
Alden rolled past Cheektowaga, 18-2, as Megan Hassenbohler was dominant at the plate going 4 for 4 with a homer and six RBIs.
A huge crowd at Sheridan Park saw rivals Kenmore East and Kenmore West go at it and saw East claim bragging rights, 6-5, on Tyler Gibson’s walk-off single in the seventh.
Proud East coach Leslie Simon said afterwards: “We have not had a lot to smile about this year but tonight we will be smiling ear to ear.”
Elsewhere, Brandon Nickelson cranked out a pair of hits including the winner as Orchard Park slipped past visiting Jamestown, 9-8. Tom LaCongo had two hits for the Quakers.
In Niagara-Orleans play, Newfane’s Josh Kneeland fanned 12 and tossed a complete game four-hitter in a 2-1 victory over Albion.
Bishop Timon-St. Jude’s Mike Vogel tossed a complete game and fired nine strikeouts, while Anthony Wurstner went 2 for 2 with a home run to beat Cardinal O’Hara, 10-2.
Track and field
Albion’s Marquise Riddick was the big winner in the Niagara-Orleans League Championships, claiming four events.
Riddick won the 200, 100 and 400 hurdles and long jump. Barker’s Jordan Bender (1,600, 3,200) and Akron’s Luke Klimchuk (shot put, discus) were double winners.
On the girls side, Albion’s Abby Squicciarini captured the 100 and 200 meters, while Medina’s Holly Heil won the 800 and 1,500. Albion’s Chanyce Powell was the winner in the long and triple jumps, while Akron claimed team titles in the 1,600 and 3,200.
Silver Creek played big on the road at Frontier and came away with a well-deserved 15-10 win. Zed Williams led the charge with five goals and three assists, while Sherman Williams scored three goals and Kain Kettle added two scores.
Virginia head coach Dominic Starsia was in attendance to watch Williams, who committed to the Cavaliers over Syracuse, Ohio State and Albany last fall.
In a Class B play-in matchup, West Seneca West advanced as Tyler Perna scored two goals and added two assists in a 6-5 overtime triumph over Williamsville South.
In a Monsignor Martin contest, Nichols’ Zack Cole scored five goals and Greg White added a goal and five assists in the 12-9 victory over Canisius.
In girls lacrosse, MacKenzie Clark finished with 21 saves as East Aurora downed Williamsville South, 8-7.