Story and photo gallery by CHRIS BROOKS, sports editor, wellsvillesports.com @iambrooksie
FILLMORE — In the dugout, she sometimes goes by the name of Jemica. More familiarly, she is one of the area’s best pitchers in the circle not just this season, but in recent memory – Jessica Majot.
She perhaps ended the regular season on one of the most strongest notes last week, by tossing a no-hit performance on Senior Nght against Port Allegany while blasting a crucial home run against Genesee Valley/Belfast later on in the night to finish off the regular season-finale sweep at home and on the road.
You think the Lady Wolverines Senior built enough momentum to carry into the start of Sectionals? After her first performance of the Class C3 Playoffs on Monday, she answered that question very loud and clearly.
Majot was simply untouchable for the No. 3 seeds, firing off one strikeout after another along with multiple 1-2-3 innings of defense, some of which came consecutively by her arm, as she handed out 13 strikeouts and surrendered just two walks to help the offense find its groove in return from within their 7-0 shutout of No. 6 Harley Allendale-Columbia in Fillmore.
“I can’t say enough about Jess. She is a great Senior leader who continues to show up for us on the mound,” said Lady Wolverines coach Brooke Lovell. “Being able to come out and limit HAC to no hits says a lot about the type of athlete that she is. The defense also showed up tonight behind her, with Malayna (Ayers) and McKinlee (Harris) collecting some really important outs on some hard hit balls.”
While Majot was able to take complete and full command of the circle, it would allow the Lady Wolverines (18-1) to get going at the plate rather quickly. In the home half of the first inning, they went on to start fast, taking shape with a four-run stanza led by a two-run double off the bat of Ayers to break the ice right away.
Maddy Thornton would also provide some noise of her own to extend Bolivar-Richburg’s lead later on, as she blasted an RBI triple to the outfield, as the team came out hot with a 4-0 lead on HAC.
“We were able to string together multiple hits in the first inning, which was really nice to see come together,” said Lovell. “As a team, we talk a lot about starting early. Being able to jump out to a 4-0 start is just a testament to the kids and their incredible work ethic.”
From that point on, slowly but surely, the Lady Wolverines continued to find the plate on two more occasions, with two runs scoring in the third inning off base-running and a fielder’s choice from Braelin Bentley to help set up shop, while a run in the bottom of the fourth scored on error wrapped up the win.
Majot would help provide a spark for all of the fuel the Lady Wolverines offense provided, as she pitched a no-hit gem to keep HAC off the board completely.
Three different Lady Wolverines all recorded at least a pair of hits at the plate to set the pace, out of seven total for the team. Among them, Ayers and Thornton, as well as McKinlee Harris, who would score two runs along the way.
Bolivar-Richburg is back on the field for Class C3 Semifinal action on the road Thursday night, as they prepare to visit No. 2 Keshequa at the Rymer Complex with first pitch set to begin at 7 p.m.
HAC 000 000 0 – 0 0 4
Bolivar-Richburg 402 100 X – 7 7 1
HAC – Cadence Brecker (LP) (CG, 10K, BB), and Morgan Fowler.
B-R – Jessica Majot (WP) (CG, 13K, 2BB), and Madigan Harris.
Chris Brooks photo gallery:
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Class C2 Quarterfinals
No. 1 Oakfield-Alabama 12, No. 9 Cuba-Rushford 4
OAKFIELD — The Lady Rebels of Cuba-Rushford would give it their all on Monday, despite an incredible night from Aubrey Williams from the plate, but the nine-seeds could not overcome a massive, overwhelming second inning put on by No. 1 Oakfield-Alabama, as they set up shop for a 12-4 home victory to eliminate the Rebels from the Class C2 Playoff picture.
In the four innings that the Lady Rebels (6-12) would scratch across their runs in alternating fashion, three of them were responsible by Williams, who finished as a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate behind three RBI. Her first came off a hefty swing into the outfield, far enough for a double to score a run to break the ice early on in the first.
Although it would provide a spark for the offense, the Lady Hornets responded by multiplying the score by six in the home half of the second, as their bats came together as a collective to produce a lead that the top-seeds would never lose again, paced by a two-run home run by Piper Hyde, a pair of RBI-singles and miscues by the Lady Rebels defense.
Despite it, Cuba-Rushford did their best to hang with the top-seeds in the class behind the guidance of Williams, who went on to score RBI singles in the fifth and seventh innings, in between an RBI single from Sydney Howard in the third to help wrap up shop.
Howard, along with Riley Keller, were two more Lady Rebels who concluded the afternoon with at least a pair of hits at the plate, with Keller adding in a double. As a collective, the team finished with four runs off eight hits.
The season is over for the Lady Rebels, as they now graduate four seniors at the end of the school year next month, saying goodbye to Lillian Forward, Elysa Tylor, Meghan O’Keefe and Ella Jaffe.
“I feel like we had a great season, and there is nothing to hang our heads about,” Lady Rebels coach Diana Joseph said. “I am very proud of these girls and what we tried to accomplish this year. I am going to miss my Seniors when they graduate. It’s been an absolute pleasure to coach them.”
Cuba-Rushford 101 010 1 – 4 8 5
Oakfield-Alabama 060 303 X – 12 19 1
C-R – Sydney Howard (LP), Jordyn Radomski (3), and Riley Keller.
O-A – Jenna Gilbert (WP) (CG, 4K, 3BB), and Makena Reding.
Class C2 First Round
No. 7 Cuba-Rushford 7, No. 10 Pavilion 1
CUBA — Jon White was masterful across all seven innings of his start for the seventh-seeded Rebels of Cuba-Rushford on Monday, as he helped ring in the team’s Sectional debut in style by holding No. 10 Pavilion to five hits and multiple scoreless innings to help set up the offense in what was a 7-1 opening round win in the Class C2 Playoffs.
“Jon was pitching really well. He didn’t give up a walk, and the defense played well behind him most of the night,” said Rebels coach Pat Wight. “We hit the ball really well with guys on base, and that was a big plus to see. Jon had a nice three-pitch sixth inning to keep his count down, while holding their top three hitters without a hit. I’m really happy for our Seniors that we were able to give them one last win on our field, as well as have another practice with them.”
White provided a beautiful showing on the mound to lead Cuba-Rushford (9-12), as he tossed six straight shutout innings on the rubber while holding Pavilion to just five hits along the way, handing out a trio of chairs to go with a pair of walks.
While the Rebels hurler was keeping the Golden Gophers held down, the offense began to click, starting in a second inning where Finn Ricketts kicked it all off with a deep sacrifice to left field which would score not one, but two runs on the play to break the ice for the hosts.
After a scoreless third inning was tossed, the Rebels went right back at it with a three-run bottom half of the fourth, powered up by their baserunning before Noah Siegel kicked the bats into gear later on with an RBI double in the fifth to ultimately continue branching upon their lead for good.
Benson McCumiskey led all the Cuba-Rushford bats with a 2-for-3 outing, an RBI and two runs scored. Jack Frank would pitch in with a double of his own to pair with two runs, while Siegel concluded with two hits including his RBI double, and run scored.
The Rebels now soar into the Quarterfinal round, where they will now battle No. 2 Oakfield-Alabama on Wednesday at a time to be determined.
Pavilion 000 000 1 – 1 5 3
Cuba-Rushford 020 311 X – 7 7 2
PAV – Joe Forti (LP) (2K, 2BB), Evan Barrett (5) (K, BB), and Kyle Stefan.
C-R – Jon White (WP) (CG, 3K), and Logan Lewis.
Class D First Round
No. 9 Lima Christian 8, No. 8 Friendship/Scio 6
FRIENDSHIP — In control through the early stages and coming down the homestretch, No. 8 Friendship/Scio was looking to hang on. But then a sudden change of direction occurred, and the momentum began to swing No. 9 Lima Christian’s way.
There was no better time for it for the Saints, as they saw a 2-0 deficit vanish in front of their eyes, scoring eight unanswered runs in the last three innings to spring ahead of Friendship/Scio, who would make one last comeback effort in the seventh to keep the pressure on.
But it would prove to be the end of Friendship/Scio’s season, as Lima Christian completed the comeback over the road on Monday to earn the upset bid by an 8-6 count in Friendship, ending their opposition’s season.
Friendship/Scio (8-12) would find their way towards an early 2-0 lead on the Saints through the first four innings of play. In the last three frames, clutch hitting would come into play at perhaps the most crucial time of the contest.
The offense began to click for the No. 9 seeds, as they went on to score eight unanswered runs to overtake Friendship/Scio in the lead, ultimately for good despite one last effort from the hosts in black and gold to cut away at their deficit in the home half of the seventh.
Friendship/Scio would do everything in their power to cut it down to as low as a pair to Lima Christian, but the damage would been done by Lima Christian in the end, as they went on to seal the victory and slam the door on the possible comeback bid that head coach Brad Gertis says, is one thing he loves most about his team.
“They fought. That’s the one thing I love about them. They never give up,” he said. “Unfortunately, we had way too many errors and mental base-running errors to overcome. But, they fought until the very last strike. The emotion at the end is why I coach. It shows how invested they were. We just need to clean up some small things.”
The hosts would go on to put together an offensive effort that saw them record six runs off six hits, with Joey Bednez and his two hits leading the way. Cooper Greenman added in two hits of his own, inlcuding an RBI. As for the pitching, Bednez fanned six and walked five in his six-inning start for Friendship/Scio.
The season is over for Friendship/Scio, as they wrap the 2022 campaign with a record of 8-12 overall. The team will graduate a single Senior in a matter of weeks, in Bednez, Jacob Golden and Joey Nickerson.
“I want to thank my assistant coaches Jon Nickerson and Robert Davenport for their time and knowledge they brought to the team, to work with the guys and myself,” said Gertis. “It was another fun season. It’s great coaching kids that want to learn, and are passionate to be there. We lose three Senior leaders, but we have a very young core coming through, so the future looks bright. It’s time to rest before we get back to work.”
Lima Christian 000 043 1 – 8 4 6
Friendship/Scio 001 110 3 – 6 6 5
LC – Caleb Welker (WP) (2K), Nathan Herring (6) (5K, 2BB), and Curtis Welker.
F/S – Joey Bednez (LP) (6K, 5BB), Cooper Greenman (7) (K, BB), and Landen Arnold.
No. 6 Genesee Valley/Belfast 7, No. 11 Andover/Whitesville 3
BELFAST — In the last two games, the Genesee Valley/Belfast JagDogs have provided a sound and overwhelming presence on offense, launching multiple homers. Among the firestarters, Matt Cater, Carter Stout and Matt Weaver – the latter recording his first shot this past Saturday in their final regular season home game against Alfred-Almond.
When it came to starting the Class D Sectionals on Monday, the Senior simply picked up where he left off.
After No. 11 Andover/Whitesville was able to get an early jump on the No. 6 JagDogs in the initial stages, Weaver would go on to have the best game of his season, and perhaps his career. All seven of the team’s runs would come in the middle inning, with Weaver having his hand in on five of them off a pair of home runs to set the bar high enough to claim victory by a 7-3 count in Belfast.
“Matt was a one-man wrecking crew tonight, and Carter (Stout) was a horse on the mound,” said GV/Belfast co-coach Derek Kenyon. “It was a great game that Andover/Whitesville gave us. The (Layton) Miller kid had a great game, and we got our hits. They were just right at them. But we were able to barrel up with Matt. We’ve been hot lately, and that momentum went right into our favor after he hit those homers.”
After Andover/Whitesville began the evening under the lights with a 1-0 lead through the first two innings, the bats would find a way to awaken at the plate for Genesee Valley/Belfast (11-10). As a response, the JagDogs would triple up their visiting opposition with a three-run home half of the third led by the first of Weaver’s pair of nukes – his first being a two-run blast to help set up shop a lead they would never lose from that point on.
In the next offensive stand, it was cemented even further by Weaver with his final blast, launching a three-run nuke deep into the pine trees in left field to ultimately ward off Andover/Whitesville (3-15) and their late seventh inning surge along the way to advance into the Quarterfinal round.
Weaver would finish 2-for-3 at the plate with his five RBI and two runs scored. Helping the cause was Trent Scott, who had two hits of his own including an RBI triple in the third to round off the frame, combining for two RBI. On the mound, Carter Stout was spectacular in his nine-strikeout start across the first five innings.
Andover/Whitesville saw Layton Miller go the distance in his final start of the season, striking out three and walking two. At the plate, Brody Carlin recorded a pair of hits out of the team’s four in all. Their season will officially come to an end, as they finish with a record of 3-15 overall. The team will part with five Seniors, who will leave for Graduation in a matter of weeks.
Those Seniors being: Luke Erdmann, Spencer Mattison, Justin Waters, Cormac Brown and Dylan Acor.
As for Genesee Valley/Belfast, their journey continues in Wednesday’s Class D Quarterfinal round, where they now hit the road and visit No. 3 Naples with a spot in the Semifinals on the line. First pitch is slated for a 5 p.m. start.
Andover/Whitesville 010 000 2 – 3 4 3
Genesee Valley/Belfast 003 400 X – 7 8 3
A/W – Layton Miller (LP) (CG, 3K, 2BB), and Colton Calladine.
GVB – Carter Stout (WP) (9K), Trent Scott (6) (K, BB), and Justin Hill.
No. 4 C.G. Finney 11, No. 13 Hinsdale 1 (F-5)
LIVONIA — The Hinsdale Bobcats saw their 2022 regular season come to a close on Monday, as they fell to the hands of No. 4 C.G. Finney in Livonia by an 11-1 count in five innings, in their opening round Class D contest.