Williamsville South won its share of close games this postseason to reach the New York State title game, but when it came to the final, they left little doubt who the best team in the state was in Class A.
The Billies dominated Sayville, 21-4, in the final to capture the crown. Along the way South eeked out a 7-6 win over Troy in the semifinals, they also edged Orchard Park, 7-6, in the sectional semis and survived Frontier, 2-1, in the quarters. They ended the season on a 17-game winning streak.
Eden’s path to winning the state title in Class B had its share of drama as it beat Solvay, 1-0, in eight innings in the final and Center Moriches, 4-3, in the semifinal. For South it was the program’s fourth state title, for Eden, its first – both impressive in its own right.
Williamsville South (23-2) and Eden (18-1) were rewarded for their postseason success, landing three players each on the 32nd edition of the All-WNY team. Recognized from South were three seniors: shortstop Emily Martin, third baseman Brianna Clark and catcher Stephanie Tirone.
How tough is Eden going to be next year? Its three All-WNY picks are underclassman and two are pitchers. Junior pitcher Carley Nasca struck out 83 in 53 innings and sophomore Jill Murray fanned 136 in 68 innings. What a year it’s been for Nasca. She was also on the Class C state championship team in volleyball in the fall. Sophomore 3B Hayley Kobie proved a clutch hitter throughout the season and made her share of big plays in the field.
Joining Williamsville South and Eden in the state final four was Clarence. The Red Devils were eliminated in the semifinals. Pitcher Katrina Buczkowski led Clarence to a 20-win season. She threw a perfect game against Brockport in the FWR to finish with 191 Ks in 136 IP. She was named the MVP of the Gentner Tournament played at South.
There are five repeat picks on the 14-player All-WNY team. The team, chosen by area coaches, has seven pitchers, four third basemen and one shortstop, outfielder and catcher. Williamsville South and Eden has three picks each followed by Clarence and Depew with two each. Eleven of the picks are from the ECIC. Making the first team was a freshman, Karsen Cotton of Depew.
Brooke Guay has taken Depew to three sectional finals in her three years as a starter. She had a slap triple in the 7th against Eden in this year’s sectional final.
The Wildcats’ other pick was Cotton, who had an 0.84 ERA and helped herself at the plate with a .445 average. She was 14-3 on the mound with two of the losses coming to South and Eden.
Kara Husband-Zimdahl has been hired as the head softball coach at Erie Community College. She spent this past season coaching Hutch-Tech (14-1) to the title of the City’s Thompson Trophy.
Representing the Southern Tier on All-WNY is junior Monica Moses of Olean. The Huskies (14-4) lost to eventual state champion Eden, 4-1, in the sectional quarterfinals and were CCAA East I co-champions. Moses was named the CCAA East I Pitcher of the Year.
Nichols won the Monsignor Martin Association playoff title for the second year in a row beating St. Mary’s in the final, 10-4. Junior Elizabeth Bourne of the Vikings was the MMA Pitcher of the Year. Senior Lizzy Viola of Nichols and outfielder Julia Liberto of Sacred Heart were the league’s co-Players of the Year.
Junior Toni Polk was a triple threat for Niagara Falls as she could bunt for a hit, slap and hit for power. Four of her five HRs cleared a fence. She also led the team with eight extra base hits. Polk has given Penn State a verbal commitment for softball.
Other members of the Class of 2015 who have accepted verbal offers are Molly Hennessy of Orchard Park (St. Bonaventure), Jerri Ann Orfano of Niagara Falls (Niagara University) and Allison Block of Starpoint (Canisius).