By CHRIS BROOKS, sports editor, wellsvillesports.com @iambrooksie
HONEOYE FALLS — After clinching back-to-back Class B2 Championships, the opportunity to add more came on Tuesday for the Lady Lions of Wellsville in a stage that all of Section V had not gotten a chance to advance towards due to COVID-19 last Spring — a trip towards the State Tournament.
With Class B1 Champion Waterloo now waiting in the wings, a game to determine who would represent Section V in the Far West Regional came. As for how the team responded to winning their second straight title? — In dominant fashion.
The Lady Lions returned to mid-season form on Tuesday, as they streaked past the Lady Indians with unbelievable fierce and ferocity, as they scored 18 runs off 17 total hits on offense while Makenzie Cowburn remained dominant in the circle like she has all season long to give Class B2 Champion Wellsville a punched ticket towards the Class B Far West Regional this weekend behind an 18-0 rout of Waterloo at Honeoye Falls-Lima.
“We played really well as a team today. We swung the bats well, Makenzie pitched a great game and we played great defense behind her.” said Lady Lions coach Matt Burke.
As opposed to their Final against Bath-Haverling, the Lady Lions (20-3) started out red hot from the plate, building an early lead in their first at-bats and never looking back on it, scoring a 4-0 advantage on Waterloo early before pounding away in the home half of the third, forcing an early end to their State Qualifier with a 14-run third inning led by a flurry of bats.
Four different Wellsville hitters all scored at least a pair of hits, with Emma Dunaway leading the way with a 3-for-4 outing that saw her belt two doubles, and drive in two runs. Makenna Dunbar added in a triple and double to go with her three RBI. Lindsay Stuck scored two hits including a double, and drove in three. Brazen Beckwith rounded off with two hits and two RBI of her own.
Marley Adams would help pitch in with a triple and two RBI of her own to round off the Lady Lions bats.
In the circle, Cowburn was overpowering once more for the Class B2 Champions, holding Waterloo to just two hits across the board while fanning 12 total batters to secure the win with her arm.
Wellsville is now off until this Saturday afternoon, where they now hit the road to Grand Island to partake in Far West Regional action for Class B. They now await the Section VI winner on the other side, either Depew or Fredonia, who battle it out today in their Class B Crossover game.
Waterloo 00 0 00 – 0 2 5
Wellsville 31(14) 0X – 18 17 0
WAT – Nadya Clingerman (LP), Makayla Jensen (3) (2K, BB), and Kaleigh Paul.
WLSV – Makenzie Cowburn (WP) (CG, 12K), and Brazen Beckwith, Lindsay Stuck (4).
Class C State Play-In
Bolivar-Richburg 7, Oakfield-Alabama 4
FILLMORE — As opposed to falling behind rather quickly in what turned out to be the team’s comeback story of the season to win back-to-back Class C3 Championships this past weekend, the Lady Wolverines of Bolivar-Richburg started their journey towards adding more to their slice of cake by playing their way into the Class C State Qualfier.
This time around in Fillmore on Tuesday, the champs started fast with an early lead that Class C2 Champion Oakfield-Alabama responded to, but would spring back ahead with four of the last five runs going in their favor, setting up shop for what would be a 7-4 victory over the Lady Hornets to book a date in the official State Qualifier just 24 hours later.
“We got off to a really slow start on Saturday, so we wanted to make sure that we went back to the basics. It was really nice to see the girls jump out early tonight, especially against a team like this,” said Lady Wolverines coach Brooke Lovell. “Multiple girls really contributed tonight. It was an all-around team effort, and that is something that is really nice to see, especially this late in the season.”
The Lady Wolverines (21-1) wasted no time striking while the iron was hot in the home half of the first inning, scoring three quick runs on special teams, with the first two coming in off a bunt and an error by the Oakfield-Alabama defense. That comes before an RBI single off the bat of Malayna Ayers completes the scoring to start the day.
The score would remain as such until the activity picks up after crossing the midway point, as Oakfield-Alabama tied the game up at three in the fourth, the majority of them coming across on special teams of their own. But the tie was short lived in the home half, as Bolivar-Richburg broke the tie permanently with another three-run frame putting them on top with a 6-3 lead that they would not lose again.
The Lady Wolverines scored seven runs off nine total hits, with Ayers grabbing the win from within the circle by striking out five and walking one. At the plate, Jessica Majot led all the hitters with a perfect 3-for-3 outing with a triple and run scored. Madigan Harris had two hits, driving in a pair and scoring two more of her own, while Haley Mascho (2B) and Ayers each had an RBI to add in.
Bolivar-Richburg is right back in Fillmore tonight with a chance to compete for a Far West Regional title on the line, as they now face the Class C1 Champion Lady Braves of Avon in a 6:30 p.m. first pitch that will determine who will inch closer towards a chance at the New York State Tournament in Long Island.
Oakfield-Alabama 000 300 1 – 4 7 2
Bolivar-Richburg 300 310 X – 7 9 4
O-A – Jenna Gilbert (LP) (CG, 5K, 2BB), and Makena Reding.
B-R – Malayna Ayers (WP) (CG, 5K, BB), and Madigan Harris.
Baseball: B-R wins 4th straight Class C3 title, waits for winners of other two Class C brackets to move on to states
HOUGHTON — Winning. It’s something that will never get old at Bolivar-Richburg for their baseball dynasty. In fact, it’s a way of life.
A very real possibility to add even more to their baseball showcase came on a trip to Houghton College on Tuesday, when they squared off with another Sectional Champion from last season — No. 2 Northstar.
In recent memory, no team has had the opportunity to pull off what Bolivar-Richburg has done, Spring in and Spring out. No matter if they’re competing from down below in the D’s, or if they do it from back within the C’s once more, winning a Sectional Championship has become a staple of success that the program prides itself on.
Did you really think it would be any different this time?
All Bolivar-Richburg needed was an early lead to work with, and their bats came alive right away on the second-seeded Knights, taking a hold of their starting pitching to record six enormous runs. Although the relief came soon after to shut down the Wolverines offense for the most part, they were pleased with the start they were able to get, as they scored a 6-0 lead on Northstar and never looked back.
Despite a late push in the seventh inning from the Knights, the Wolverines defense would navigate their way through it with a game-ending out at home plate to seal the deal on the program’s fourth straight title, and ninth in the last 14 years with a 6-3 victory.
“It’s great. This is something that never gets old,” said Wolverines coach Dustin Allen. “The kids put the time in, they work hard for it to make this happen. It’s a new group almost every time that gets this chance. It’s a tribute to how hard not only these kids work, but us coaches and the community that comes out to support us through out pipelines. They don’t want to be the team that wins it all. Northstar was a great opponent, the second pitcher came in and shut us down, so we were fortunate to have the start that we did. We didn’t let the pressure get to us.”
The fast start for the Wolverines (22-1) through the first two innings of play was powered with some quick hitting and special teams, with an RBI triple off the bat of Wyatt Karnuth helping jumpstart a 2-0 lead over Northstar during the team’s opening round of at-bats. The team would collect five hits inside the first inning to help their cause in all.
The momentum continued further with four more runs to finish off the scoring on their end. With a 6-0 lead in hand to control for the remainder of the game, Northstar would chip in and help the cause by attempting to bite away at their deficit, knocking it down to five after a run in the top of the third.
“We got on them early to get those runs across in the first and second innings,” said Allen. “We got the key hits that we needed, and that plan was to keep the pitching down. With the lead, we were able to work out pitchers in with Landon (Danaher), Wyatt (Karnuth) and Trey (Buchholz). It was a total team effort from start to finish. It may not have been how we drew it up, but we will definitely take it for sure.”
The defenses would then kick into gear from the middle innings across the board, as the final piece of scoring occurred in a bases-loaded situation in the top of the seventh during the final at-bats for the Knights, threatening to do a big heap of damage if they are able escape the jam.
But after a call to the mound, the Wolverines would stand tall and record the game-ending out at home plate to catch the Northstar runner stealing, despite giving up their final two runs. Landon Danaher would get the win for Bolivar-Richburg, fanning six and walking four before Wyatt Karnuth provided four strikeouts and three walks of his own.
Karnuth led the Wolverines bats with a 2-for-4 outing that included a triple, double, RBI and two runs scored. Trey Buchholz added in two hits of his own and scored twice, while Cam MacDonell recorded two RBI himself.
Bolivar-Richburg is now off until Thursday in the official Class C State Qualifier, where they will prepare to face either Class C1 Champion Letchworth or Class C2 Champion Oakfield-Alabama for the right to advance on towards the Far West Regional game on Saturday.
Northstar 001 000 2 – 3 2 1
Bolivar-Richburg 240 000 X – 6 8 3
NC – Dominic Kurmis (LP) (2K, BB), Steven Merkel (2) (8K, 2BB), and Merkel, Kurmis (2).
B-R – Landon Danaher (WP) (6K, 4BB), Wyatt Karnuth (4) (4K, 3BB), Trey Buchholz (7) (K, BB), and Aydin Sisson.