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Snappy Sunrise, by Mel Hunt

Wellsville softball’s exciting Section V victory, qualifier dominance and Hype Night tonight at Tullar Field


It’s been a great week for the Wellsville High School softball program. A look at the Section V finals win (and video of the Flying Ayla), the domination in the qualifier and some photos.

TONIGHT at historic Tullar Field in downtown Wellsville will be Hype Night at 7:30 p.m.

The night will be a chance to meet the team, see the “brick,” the Section V championship block and meet the sponsors. There will be give-aways and recognitions.

The Master of Ceremonies will be the game announcer, Matt Warren.

Wellsville is playing Iroquois on Saturday, June 3 at 1:30 p.m. at Webster Schroeder High School

Here’s a look at the historic victories, written by Chris Brooks of

Lady Lions dominate Batavia in Class B Qualifier, clinch 2nd straight Far West berth

HONEOYE FALLS — Further away from home, the Lady Lions of Wellsville looked to complete a perfect 3-for-3 for Allegany County in the State Qualifier round, as they looked to lay claim to Class B’s throne once again against the Class B1 champion Lady Blue Devils of Batavia on Tuesday up north, on the confines of Honeoye Falls-Lima.

After surviving an absolute thrill ride with Bath-Haverling in a rematch for the Class B2 crown once again this year, the aim now for the Lady Lions was to get back down to brass tax with a return trip to the Far West Regional this weekend on the line.

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Fortunately enough through the first two innings, they would do just that. And a whole lot more.

An early-game statement by the three-peat B2 champions was cemented against Batavia. Out of their 15 total runs, 12 of them were scored almost immediately in the first two innings of play. While the offense kept their foot down on the gas, Makenzie Cowburn and Makenna Dunbar combined to hold the Lady Blue Devils at a near standstill to lock up a berth in the Regional stage with a 15-0 rout after six innings.

“Our pitching was outstanding tonight. As a team, we also really came out and swung the bats well,” said Lady Lions coach Matt Burke. “Averee Palmatier has swung the bat well all year. She and Lindsay have really been swinging it well lately. Top to bottom, our lineup is very solid. Makenzie and Makenna both did a great job pounding the strike zone tonight. Overall, I’m really proud of the team and the season we’ve been able to have. I’m looking forward to competing on Saturday.”

Five different Lady Lions (21-1) all recorded at least a pair of hits to power up a 16-hit barrage against Batavia, with Cowburn’s 3-for-5 outing pacing the bats, as she blasted a home run — her sixth of the season, in the bottom of the team’s seven-run second inning, garnering two total RBI along the way to finish her outstanding evening.

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Cowburn would allow Batavia’s lone hit across five innings of work, striking out 10 and walking just one. Dunbar would record three strikeouts in relief to help tribute to the cause.

Wellsville went on to make a big first inning move into the driver’s seat with a five-spot against the Lady Blue Devils. Afterwards, the lead grew at a tremendous rate, as Cowburn’s home run helped kick the tires on what was a seven-run frame to send the Lady Lions over the top with a 12-0 lead that they never looked back on.

The Lady Lions saw Lindsay Stuck go a perfect 3-for-3 with four total RBI to further the team’s cause. Averee Palmatier had two hits including a double and four total RBI, while Natalie Adams and Sawyer Burke each had two hits and an RBI, with Adams scoring a double.

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Up next, the Lady Lions will look to lock in a trip down to Long Island themselves in the Class B Far West Regional, which will take place Saturday afternoon against Section VI champion Iroquois on the grounds of Webster Schroeder. First pitch is set to begin promptly at 1:30 p.m. will be on scene in Webster to take in the action. Stay tuned for updates by following along on Twitter at @iAmBrooksie.

Batavia 000 000 – 0 1 2

Wellsville 570 021 – 15 16 1

BAT – Giana Mruczek (LP) (K, 3BB), Arianna Almekinder (2) (5K, BB) and Hannah Carney.

WLSV – Makenzie Cowburn (WP) (10K, BB), Makenna Dunbar (6) (3K) and Brazen Beckwith, Lindsay Stuck (4).

Story on finals after this Wellsville Softball Boosters photo gallery:

Class B2 Finals

No. 1 Wellsville 3, No. 2 Bath-Haverling 2

WEBSTER — There have been many prominent and memorable comebacks deep in sports lore that have lived on through time. Just to name a few: The Boston Red Sox rallying back with a reverse sweep over the New York Yankees in the 2004 American League Championship Series. In hockey, the San Jose Sharks defeated the Vegas Golden Knights just a couple years ago in a Game 7 comeback during the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Perhaps the most notable of them all, from a local perspective: simply called “The Comeback” — The Buffalo Bills overcoming a 35-3 deficit to defeat the Houston Oilers in the 1992 AFC Wild Card game.

The Lady Lions of Wellsville experienced something just like that, last year when they defended their Class B2 championship against the Bath-Haverling Lady Rams at Webster Schroeder. Down 1-0 late, a miraculous hit from Sawyer Burke propelled the Lady Lions over the top in the fifth inning to complete a 2-1 win.

The stars would align once again in this year’s Class B2 playoff picture, as the top two teams in the class came together once more, this time at Webster Thomas, to decide it all.

Everyone in attendance from far and wide around the field would indeed get their monies worth again on Saturday, as the two dynamic superpowers authored another chapter in their playoff saga that would come down to the final sentence on the very last page.

Bath-Haverling’s Kalil Witherell and Wellsville’s Makenzie Cowburn gave it their all for their respective teams in a defensive battle where runs were going to be rare to come by. But when they were, it would come at the most crucial points of the game — the home stretch.

The Lady Rams accounted for the game’s first sequence of runs to put Wellsville behind the eight ball beginning in the top of the fourth inning, as the bats found their groove. The Lady Lions would remain in the same position all the way down to the wire in what would be their very last tenure at the plate.

Although they were down, they continued to do what they always did — believe.

With the middle of the order coming to the plate and time running out, the Lady Lions had to act quickly. With runners on first and third against the Lady Rams defense and one out, they would utilize the situation in a gigantic way.

How gigantic exactly? Another comeback win for the ages gigantic.

Marissa Ordway and Emma Dunaway flipped the endgame upside down with RBIs that allowed Wellsville to roar back, deadlocking the game at two on each side to erase Bath-Haverling’s lead. With the game-winning run standing just feet away, a wild pitch to the backstop during Sawyer Burke’s at-bat allowed Ayla Faulkner to speed in, scoring it in a flash to help the Lady Lions walk it off in the most dramatic of fashions to claim their third straight Class B2 Championship in style, winning 3-2.

“I am really proud of our team today. We did not quit. The motto of our program is ‘Believe’, and that’s what this group of young ladies did,” said Lady Lions coach Matt Burke. “We faced an outstanding pitcher, and had opportunities throughout the whole game, but couldn’t score. It’s amazing how we put together a rally in the seventh inning. As a program, we work hard with the expectation that good things will happen. It’s not guaranteed, but when they do, it’s very rewarding. We had a great opportunity today to take advantage of it, and we created great memories for these young ladies and for the Wellsville softball program itself.”

Before the walk-off frenzy set in for the Lady Lions, they would have to navigate their way through another tough challenge provided by the Lady Rams again, as the defenses settled in through the first three innings of play with Witherell and Cowburn taking command of their respective circles.

But a breakthrough was eventually discovered by Bath-Haverling, as they climbed aboard first in the top of the fourth with one of two huge doubles, the first from Makayla Smith to score the icebreaking run. The momentum was maintained into the sixth inning where a big piece of insurance was added on by Caydence Spears, as she bolted the team’s second RBI double to push the advantage to a pair with one inning to go.

The Lady Lions (20-1) would remain vigilant and poised however, hanging right behind the Lady Rams until the very end. Although they came up empty in the bottom of the sixth, a strong defensive outing in the seventh would give them one last boost to use in what would be their final at-bats.

Marissa Ordway would help kick it off with a base hit into the outfield, advancing to second along the way before moving to third on a mishandled grounder by the Bath-Haverling defense from Natalie Adams. With runners on first and third, and one out on the board, the wheels were set in motion.

Averee Palmatier was the first to knock on the door for the No. 1 seeds, as she belted an RBI single into left center field to cut the deficit in half, scoring Ordway from third. Moments later, the game was tied with Emma Dunaway’s belt back into the same junction of the field to plate Adams, forcing even playing ground with the Lady Rams for the first time since the defensive battle first settled in.

Dunaway would earn MVP honors behind her hit.

With a 2-2 tie and Sawyer Burke approaching the plate, another game-winning moment would arise for the Lady Lions. With it, a pitch from Witherell was thrown and then a tumultuous clamor followed as Ayla Faulkner made a break for home, scoring on the wild pitch to send the Lady Lions and their crowd into an absolute frenzy, as they capped off anothe incredible comeback to capture a third straight Class B2 Championship.

“Makenzie Cowburn kept us in the game, and the Bath hitters were very tough outs today,” said Burke. “Emma made a tremendous play at short on a grounder to tag out a runner in the sixth. That helped us with the hits we got in the last inning. Those were clutch. Marissa, Averee, Emma, it’s so nice to see them come through. (Kaili) Witherell, the Haverling pitcher, was excellent tonight and I’m really proud of how our hitters hit, even though we struck out 15 times. We had competitive at-bats, and we got it done in the end. This is a huge win for Wellsville softball because of that.”

The Lady Lions totaled all three runs off six hits with Ordway and Brazen Beckwith leading the attack with two hits each, with Beckwith recording a double along the way. On the mound, Cowburn recorded the win in the midst of her pitcher’s duel with Kaili Witherell, as she struck out nine and walked three while holding Bath-Haverling to five hits in her complete game.

On the other side, Witherell fanned 15 Lady Lions in her complete game in return for the Lady Rams.

Bath-Haverling 000 101 0 – 2 5 3

Wellsville 000 000 3 – 3 6 3

B-H – Kaili Witherell (LP) (CG, 15K) and Caydence Spears.

WLSV – Makenzie Cowburn (CG, 9K, 3BB) and Brazen Beckwith.

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