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By Lacey Gardner

Ross strikes out 19 as Friendship-Scio softball wins Section V title

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By CHRIS BROOKS, managing editor, wellsvillesports.com

FILLMORE — We have witnessed greatness all season long in what is Nevaeh Ross’ final act of her illustrious career in Friendship. 

The Friendship/Scio senior, since the very beginning of her journey, has become one of the greatest pitchers to ever hurl the ball from within the circle, not only in Section V but maybe perhaps the entire state itself.

In fact, they could be building a Nevaeh Ross statue right outside Friendship Central School right now.

But she couldn’t do it all by herself. With the help of her teammates right behind her every step of the way, offensively and defensively, they have all accomplished things that have never been accomplished before.

The best part is, they are only starting to get warmed up. 

With the ride back to New York City now just two exits away on the freeway, their first stop was in Fillmore to defend their three-peat seat at the throne against No. 1 Keshequa on Saturday. And right from the start, Ross would settle in. She would never lose a beat since then. 

Accounting for the first run straight out of the gate and with the top-seeds chasing them down in the rearview mirror, Friendship/Scio needed a call for action at the plate. With several quick innings, three of those in scoreless consecutive fashion, all zooming by in a flash, something had to give way. In the top of the fifth, they looked to #13 at the top of the order.

Boy, did she deliver.

The future LeMoyne Lady Dolphin, with their backs up against the wall down the stretch, crushed a line drive straight out to left center field, continuing to sail until it cleared the fence for a mastodonic two-run home run to fulfill their offense’s insurance policy at the plate, taking a one-run lead and turning it into their fourth straight Section V championship, winning Class D outright and an automatic trip to the Far West Regional next week with a 3-0 shutout of Keshequa.

“We are some proud coaches. Four Sectional titles is amazing and I am so amazed what this team has done and what they can accomplish,” Friendship/Scio coach Deb Warner. “Yes, Nevaeh is leading the team and is still crushing her performance on the mound and at the plate. I’m not sure if other teams had to face the situation this team faces. Most defenses see a ball put into play a few batters at a time. Our defense has to stay moving and alert for a ball put in play multiple times. They have to stay moving and focused to make plays behind her. They have done that all postseason long. Nevaeh goes above and beyond, but defensively they are really starting to come together.”

Friendship/Scio pieced together just a four-hit effort at the plate to score all three of their runs against Keshequa, but those four hits were paramount in helping them win the game, especially the two-run blast from Ross in the fifth inning to give them even more room to work with in finishing the night. Following that inning, Ross would close up shop, despite giving up a lead-off double, with five consecutive strikeouts. 

That included a rapid fire 1-2-3 in the bottom of the seventh that would see them throw their gloves in the air and come together on the field for that celebratory warm embrace to win the Class D Championship. Ross put a bow on a two-hit shutout with 19 strikeouts.

At the plate, Ross also added a two-out double in the third inning to go with her home run. Cece Davenport and Grace Drumm also mustered a hit each.

Coming up Friday night in a 5 p.m. first pitch, Friendship/Scio will take off for Webster Schroeder, as they now officially look to punch their tickets for another grand return to Long Island with a Class D Far West Regional battle against either Franklinville or Clymer/Sherman. 

Friendship/Scio 100 020 0 – 3 4 0

Keshequa 000 000 0 – 0 2 1

F/S – Nevaeh Ross (WP) (CG, 19K) and Morghyn Ross.

KES – Alynn Dunning (LP) (CG, 4K, BB) and Isabella Hugi.

BOYS TENNIS

Fillmore’s Schilke, Sisson compete at Friday’s Class B State Qualifier

BROCKPORT — In the midst of all the Sectional chaos around the area, the tennis court at Brockport High School was packed to the brim for the Individual State Qualifier event this past Friday to see which of Section V’s most elite tennis players would take that extra step forward towards an opportunity to contend for some of the Empire State’s glory.

At the event, Fillmore’s Eben Schilke and Isaiah Sisson were two of those players looking to do just that, as the two Eagles went to war.

After being granted an opportunity to play following his return from the Senior Trip, Schilke began his day in a Play-In match against LeRoy’s Owen Williams, one where he survived a close battle by a 10-6 count to advance into the opening round. In it, it would begin to get tougher, as he went up against Honeoye Falls-Lima’s Alex Haywood in his closest match yet. As a result, Schilke fought through it and delivered a clutch 10-9 (4) victory to continue his journey.

Schilke would then meet Wayne’s Evan Phillips in the pre-quarterfinal round, but would ultimately meet his match, as Phillips advanced further into the bracket by ending his season with a 10-6 victory. As for Sisson, he was defeated by Rush-Henrietta’s Justin Kim by a 10-4 count during first round play.

“Eben had a brutal schedule today. Because of a conflict with our Senior Trip, he couldn’t play in Sectionals, so he was granted an exceptional entry into Qualifiers,” said Eagles coach Randy Crouch. “The only catch was that he had to play his way into the first round. After winning the play-in and first round, he ran into a pretty even matchup in the second, but then he ran out of gas a little bit and couldn’t finish the way he is capable of. Isaiah ran into a tough first round opponent and struggled to find a rhythm with his serve. In spite of his loss, it was a great experience for him. I know Eben is disappointed, and that isn’t the way he wanted to finish his career, but I am really proud of how both him and Isaiah represented Fillmore today.”

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