The Tonawanda News
Tonawanda News — Defense doesn't always win championships.
The Tonawanda Lady Warriors have played strong team defense all season, rallying behind standout pitcher Rachel Allen.
Allen fanned three, allowing only one hit over seven innings Tuesday. But, the Lady Warriors could not score any runs, falling to Royalton-Hartland, 2-0, in their Section VI Class B playoff matchup.
"We only had four hits, left a lot of base runners and couldn't push any runners home," said Tonawanda head coach Kim Fox. "We had a couple errors in the first inning that hurt us. But after that we played a solid defensive game."
Tonawanda threatened in the first inning when Haley Slater, who has been the most feared hitter in the Lady Warriors' lineup all season, cracked a shot deep to earn a triple. However, the Lady Warriors just could not get the hit to score Slater.
Slater finished 2-for-2.
The 11-seed Roy-Hart scored both runs in the bottom of the first. One on an error and one on a sacrifice fly.
Neither team could find a way to exploit the other's pitcher as no more offense came for the rest of the game.
The Lady Warriors will be without three key members next season as Maddie Oliver, Becca Toth and Alex Tyler played their last game in a Tonawanda uniform.
Oliver manned centerfield all season and provided a spark on the base paths, leading off at the plate and as a leader in the dugout.
Toth played strong in the outfield and had many games where her skills at the plate helped the team get wins.
Tyler manned the middle infield and provided a solid, confident bat in the back of her team's lineup.
Although these three will be missed, Tonawanda has a bright future ahead. The Lady Warriors will have Allen and Slater returning, along with catcher Sydney Myers.
Allen struck out 24 in three post-season games. She also provided some clutch at-bats and RBIs coming down the stretch of the regular season and playoffs.
Slater is always a threat to go deep and plays strong in the hot corner. Myers provided some strong at-bats and plays solid defensive behind the plate.
"We have a lot to look forward to," said Fox. "We finished strong this season. We had some hard times in the beginning but the team started playing together and we started to put things together."