BY DAVE RICCI firstname.lastname@example.org
The Tonawanda News
Tonawanda News — Practice not only makes perfect, it can make the difference between a win and a loss.
Charlotte Miller (2-for-3/walk) spun a three-hit gem, as Kenmore West blanked Lockport 10-0 in Niagara Frontier League softball action at the Ken-West Athletic Complex on Thursday.
The Blue Devils opened the game up early when they raced to a 5-0 lead in the second inning after sending 10 batters to the plate. Collecting four hits and one walk, the Blue Devils took advantage of two Lockport fielding errors. But it was a heads-up play by a trio of Ken-West underclassmen that lit the fuse for the big inning. Eighth grader Abby Borkowski and freshman Grace Ferguson were on third and second base while freshman Allie Chimera was at bat. Chimera (2-for-4/run/two RBI) alertly ran out a dropped third strike as Borkowski bolted home and Ferguson took off from second. Borkowski scored. Lockport’s throw back to the plate to get Borkowski hit the backstop, which gave Ferguson, who never stopped running hard, a window to slide in safe under the tag.
“I was just really into it,” Abby Borkowski said. “I just took off.”
“And on top of that they’re underclassmen,” added Charlotte Miller. “So a round of applause to them for knowing that (they should run).”
Glad to finally see some game action the Blue Devils, whose only substantial time outside came during their spring training trip to Cocoa Beach, said that their demanding schedule of 24 hours worth of practices in five days was the root of their solid performance.
“It was really good because this is our first game. We didn’t have any scrimmages or anything,” Miller said. “I think Florida really, really helped us improve. It was so, so important. We all got along on and off the field. And that’s what really helps us now because we all know each other better than we did before we went.”
“Believe it or not, in Florida, we practice-striking out and running it out,” said Ken West coach Matt Chimera. “We actually practice it because in situations like that it puts the defense in a bind. It did.....That was a big play, but we also had some big hits. I think all of our young kids all had a hit. At least one. Charlotte had some big hits. Lina (Mirabella) had a couple big hits. I thought we hit the ball well.”
Mirabella (2-for-3/triple/two RBI) doubled home in the third to make it 6-0. Miller led off the fourth with a triple as the Blue Devils would score three more runs and help Ken West extend its lead to 9-0.
Miller mixed her pitches well and her change-up was especially effective as she struck out nine Lady Lions in her six inning of work in the pitching circle.
Lady Lions (1-2 NFL) coach Julie Kwoka gave credit where it was do. Kwoka said Ken West hit the ball hard, made plays in the field and were aggressive on the base paths. Kwoka said that her team has learn from this game and find a way to be more efficient and make the plays they know they can make.
“There’s a lot of little things we need to talk about,” Kwoka said. “Today, (West) also hit the ball very well. You can always count on Kenmore West to hit the ball hard, and they do. They hit the ball hard.”
Lions starting pitcher Megan Schneider (2-for-2) collected two of her teams three hits.
Borkowski (two runs), who scored the final West run, worked a 1-2-3 seventh inning to close out the win.
It was a twin killing for Ken West who scored a 5-4 win in JV action.
The Blue Devils are scheduled to host Kenmore East, today at 4:45.
N. Tonawanda 10, Grand Island 6
Rachel Krawczyk was 3-for-4 was three RBI from the plate as she also tossed a complete game, striking out four batters to help the Lady Jacks remain undefeated (3-0 NFL). Meaghan Danaher also went 2-for-3 with an RBI in the win.
Eden 8, Tonawanda 1
Rachel Allen struck out eight in the complete game and drove in the Warriors’ only run as they fell to 0-1 in league play (0-2 overall). Haley Slater also went 1-for-3 with a triple and a run scored.
Niagara Falls 17, Ken East 5
Jasmine Petrishin tossed a four-hitter with six strikeouts in the complete game and also went 2-for-4 with four RBI and three runs scored to lead the Wolverines (2-1 NFL) in the league win. Jerri Ann Orfano also went 2-for-4, scoring five times, and Carli Leo was 2-for-5 with two RBI. Almost all of the Bulldogs’ runs came in the fourth inning when Monica Caruana hit a grand slam. She finished 1-for-3 with the four RBI.
Grand Island 5, N. Tonawanda 3
The Vikings (3-2, 2-2 NFL) found themselves trailing 3-1 heading into the fifth inning but a two-run single by Mark McKenna ignited a four-run frame to take the lead and Bobby Carroll allowed one hit over the final three innings to seal the league win. Brendan Sheehan also went 1-for-3 with an RBI in the win. The Lumberjacks well to 0-3 in league play.
Niagara Falls 14, Ken East 5
Winning pitcher Justin Beyer struck out six and allowed six hits and two earned runs in five innings and added a pair of hits and three RBI from the plate to help the Wolverines (6-1, 5-0 NFL) remain undefeated in league play. David Yarger also chipped in three RBI and Mike Colosi, Joey D’Angelo and Chris Cardona each had RBI doubles in the onslaught. Connor McMahon led the Bulldogs (0-2 NFL) with three hits.
Eden 3, Tonawanda 1
Ben Stich had a strong performance on the mound, allowing three hits while striking out 10 over seven innings, but the Warriors committed four errors that led to the league loss. Tim Barnard brought in Cody McGregor with an RBI double in the first inning for Tonawanda’s only run. McGregor also had a double and Cody Diaz had a pair of hits.
Niagara-Wheatfield 4, Kenmore West 1
The Falcons’ Jason Bolea won the first singles match, defeating Ken West’s Nicholas Atallah 2-6, 6-2, 6-2. Kenmore West took the second singles match as Niko Mancuso bested Austin Hayes, 6-2, 6-3. Niagara-Wheatfield’s Joe Lebold won the third singles set, defeating Radomir Pupovac, 6-1, 6-2. The Falcons’ Jacob Collins and Crae Contangelo won the first doubles match, defeating Joe Gordon and Colin Flynn, 6-4, 6-2, while schoolmates Preston Miller and Tyler Licastra defeated Kenmore West’s Evan Dowdall and Nick LoBrutto, 6-0, 6-2. Niagara-Wheatfield improved to 3-1 in the Niagara Frontier League, while Kenmore West fell to 0-3 in the NFL.
Ken East 3, N. Tonawanda 2
Sam Tulipane won in third singles and the Bulldogs swept doubles play to improve to 3-2. The match was tied heading into second doubles when Jacob Olivieri and John Glaspy outlasted John Groede and Steven Becker in three sets. Andrew LeMar and Greg Hastings were winners for the Lumberjacks (3-2) in first and second singles, respectively.
— Staff Reports