At Hamburg’s recent high school graduation held at the Fairgrounds, the salutatorian of the senior class, Zack Stumpf, addressed the crowd saying his generation is often criticized for being lazy and not caring.
He quickly pointed out that among the many groups just in his school that fly in the face of that judgment is the school’s softball team.
The determined Bulldogs joined Frewsburg as teams who brought state titles home to Section VI. “I thought that was very profound,” said Hamburg softball coach Lisa Palma, who attended the ceremony. “A lot of people use those adjectives to describe that generation, but I look back and thought we did accomplish a lot this year. In 20, 30, 40 years from now they can look back and say that won a championship, not many people can say that.”
Few can make the claims of Bridget Hogan either. The senior pitcher homered in the Class A championship game and drove in the winning run in the semifinals on a memorable play helping her earn a spot on the All-Western New York team. On the mound she was 17-1 with a 0.28 ERA. She fanned 211 in 123 innings and walked just 15.
Hogan is the only repeat selection. It was the Bulldogs’ second consecutive trip to the state final four. She said she felt like she redeemed herself after coming up short in 2012. She’ll trade her Hamburg purple for Niagara University’s in the fall.
The 14-player team, chosen by area coaches, includes seven pitchers, five shortstops and two third basemen. Clarence and Frewsburg, landed two picks each. The only sophomore to make the team was Toni Polk of Niagara Falls.
It’s unlikely Frewsburg would be raising its Class C banner if not for pitcher Sam Mott. Mott was a game-changer at states, homering in her team’s 2-1 victory over Sandy Creek in the final. She hit .438 in the postseason and led the team in RBIs with 34.
Three-year Bears’ shortstop Shawna Raymond scored a school-record 50 runs and led the team in batting at .488 on her way to earning All-WNY and CCAA II Player of the Year honors.
Around the bases
Clarence was this year’s Section VI Class AA and large school poll champion. The Red Devils were looking to defend their New York State title, but suffered a tough 1-0 loss to Brockport in the Far West Regionals.
All-WNY pick and undeniable leader, Katrina Buczkowski, figured in all the Red Devils’ decisions on the mound – posting a 20-3 record. She had a 1.35 ERA while batting .344.
Ashley Lyman batted .570 for Monsignor Martin Association playoff champion Nichols. She went 5 for 5 in the championship game, including a home run over the fence to help beat defending champion Sacred Heart.
Forestville pitcher Ryanne Dugan put together a string of six consecutive shutouts. She has signed a partial athletic scholarship to play volleyball at Daemen College.
Lancaster is represented on All-WNY by senior pitcher Breanna Opera, who earned a win over Clarence. Among the Redskins’ 16 wins was the program’s 500th. They reached the Class AA sectional final for the first since 2005.
Williamsville South junior Emily Martin has only struck out once since her sophomore year.
Hutch-Tech, was led on the mound by six-year varsity player Kayla Hahn, who flirted with 500 career strikeouts. The Engineers were Section VI Class A-1 finalists, Thompson Trophy champions and beat rival City Honors in all three meetings.
Hahn has signed a partial athletic scholarship with NCAA Division II Mansfield (Pa.).