The Daily Star
---- — Staff Report
A lefty made everything all right for the Cooperstown softball team Thursday.
Christina Noto’s RBI triple to left field with one out in the bottom of the seventh gave top-seeded Cooperstown a 3-2 home victory over No. 8 seed Thousand Islands in a Section Three Class C-1 quarterfinal.
“She had hit four or five balls to left field every at-bat,” Cooperstown coach Dave Bliss said of Noto, who also tripled in the third inning but was later thrown out at the plate on a fielder’s choice. “She scorched a rocket that was caught in the first inning, she tripled in the third and she hit another hard ball to left in the fifth. We gave the left fielder a lot of work today. They were playing deep because we were hitting the ball hard there all day long.”
Noto sent her walkoff triple over the left fielder to plate Jennifer Flynn, who singled to center with one out.
“The left fielder misjudged it just a hair because she took a couple of steps in at first,” Bliss said of the winning hit, which allowed Flynn to score the winning run without a play at the plate.
State-ranked Cooperstown (19-0) gave winning pitcher Nicole Cring a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Alannah Haggerty singled and scored on a triple by Maggie Hall, who made it 2-0 after Lexi Duda popped up to the first-base side.
“The catcher, the first baseman and the pitcher all went for it and left home plate open,” Bliss said. “The first baseman dropped it, but Maggie probably would have scored even if she caught it because nobody was covering the plate.”
Thousand Islands took advantage of two Cooperstown errors in the fourth to put runners at second and third against winning pitcher Nicole Cring. Although she struck out the next batter, Cring threw a wild pitch to allow one run to score. Thousand Islands then tied it on a passed ball charged to catcher Erin Hascup with two out.
“That’s a little bit unusual,” Bliss said. “We haven’t been making those kinds of mistakes. After that one little blip there, we had to survive.”
Cring struck out 10 in a two-hitter to improve to 18-0 this season for Cooperstown, which will host a C-1 semifinal at 1 p.m. Saturday against Pulaski or South Lewis. The result of Thursday’s game between Pulaski and South Lewis was not available at press time.
Bliss said Thousand Islands finished its season at 8-9, and all nine of its losses came against state-ranked teams.
“They’re a very solid eight-seed,” he said. “A lot of their losses were close. Four of them were one-run games, including today. We were fortunate we got through that.”
CLASS CSidney game suspended
Sidney coach Mike Brazee said his Section Four Class C opener at eighth-seeded Lansing was suspended by rain in the bottom of the first inning.
The game will resume with the Bobcats ahead, 1-0, and the bases loaded with one out at 1:30 p.m. today back in Lansing.
Sidney is the No. 9 seed. Both teams started the game with 8-5 records.
CLASS DWorcester 5, Gilboa 3
Summer Rutty’s two-run homer with none out in the fifth inning led visiting Worcester to a first-round upset of Delaware League champion Gilboa in the Section Four Class D Tournament.
“It just kept going,” said Gilboa coach Dan McGlynn, whose team trailed, 3-2, when Rutty homered to the right-center gap at the Wildcats’ fenceless field. “It was a shot.”
Rutty also tripled for the 13th-seeded Wolverines (9-7), who received two hits apiece from winning pitcher Monica Ridgeway (run) and Madison Wright (two runs, RBI). Ridgeway also struck out six, walked two and scattered seven hits for Worcester, which will visit Edmeston or Davenport in the quarterfinal round Tuesday.
Tri-Valley League champion Edmeston, the fifth seed, was set to host No. 12 Davenport on Thursday, but rain pushed their first-round game to 4:30 p.m. today.
Allison McGuire went 2-for-3 with a run for the Wildcats (15-2), who had runners at first and second with one out in the seventh before Ridgeway got the last two batters to line out.
Sinzia Reese tripled for Gilboa, which received a double from Shelby Oliver.
Roxbury 2, RS 1
An infield error in the bottom of the eighth inning allowed Shannon Sprague to score the winning run in seventh-seeded Roxbury’s Section Four Class D first-round victory.
Tenth-seeded Richfield Springs scored the game’s first run in the top of the seventh.
With the bases loaded and no outs, winning pitcher Kendal Sprague struck out a batter, but the ball got past catcher Cristina Chiarappa as Madisyn Butler scored. Sprague, who struck out 10 and walked four in a one-hitter, then struck out Heather Federow and induced Veronica Van Tassel to ground out to end the inning.
In the bottom of the seventh, Kennedy Faraci walked with one out. Marissa Greene followed with a single to right-center. Faraci beat the throw to third and scored on a throwing error to tie the score at 1.
Roxbury’s eighth started with a single from Shannon Sprague. Stacey Sprague then grounded to short. The throw to second for the forceout went into right-center. Shannon Sprague scored from second on the play to end it.
Kaity Richvalsky finished with 11 strikeouts and five walks in a four-hitter for the Indians (10-7).
“We had better contact later in the game,” Roxbury coach Jane Ware said. “Three of our hits came in the last two innings.”
Roxbury (13-3) will play Morris or Deposit in a quarterfinal Tuesday.
Afton 22, Downsville 0
Cassidy Philips, Payton Cutting and Connor Decker combined for 16 strikeouts in a no-hitter to lead top-seeded Afton to a first-round Class D victory at home.
Phillips struck out seven over the first three innings. Cutting had six strikeouts over the next three innings and Decker struck out all three batters she faced in the seventh.
Decker also went 2-for-4 with four RBIs for the Crimson Knights (17-1), who will play ninth-seeded Gilbertsville-Mount Upton in a quarterfinal Tuesday.
G-MU 10, SC 2
Marissa Mehlrose struck out six and walked two in a two-hitter to pace ninth-seeded Gilbertsville Mount-Upton to a Section Four Class D first-round victory at No. 8 Southern Cayuga.
Kelsey Ross and Lauren Hill RBI singles in the second inning to give the Raiders a 3-0 lead.
Hill went 3-for-5 for G-MU (11-5), which will travel to top-seeded Afton on Tuesday for a quarterfinal.
Milford 11, Windham 1
Natasha Skillen went 2-for-4 with four RBIs, and teammates Peggy Paffenroth and Mataiah Waters finished with three hits apiece to lead sixth-seeded Milford to a Section Four Class D first-round win at home.
Windham, the 11th seed, took a 1-0 lead in the second inning. Jane Rion doubled and scored as Kali Drum reached on a throwing error.
But Milford responded with seven runs in the bottom of the inning. Addy Lawson and Skillen tripled in the inning, with Skillen’s scoring two runs, Maddy Zenir had a two-run single and Waters contributed an RBI single in the inning.
Winning pitcher Kaitlin Van Winkler struck out five walked two in a four-hitter for the Wildcats (15-2).
Next for Milford is a quarterfinal matchup against Hancock or Marathon on Tuesday.