News, Politics, and Culture from 14895

Low Rainbow Over 248-A Whitesville from
The Simply Rustic Home

BY WAY OF NEVAEH: Friendship/Scio softball back to State Final 4 after Ross K’s 19 in Far West Regionals


By CHRIS BROOKS, managing editor,

WEBSTER — The curtain has begun to close on an era of softball that Allegany County hasn’t witnessed in quite some time.

With the final week of sports for this school year starting to eclipse over the horizon, there was still business for Nevaeh Ross to attend to before she departs for Division I’s LeMoyne College.

Ever since her arrival, she has helped take Friendship/Scio to heights they’ve never reached before. What was unfamiliar territory at the time, has now become a familiar realm over the last four years. Several records shattered, four straight Section V titles, two Far West Regional titles, a State Finalist nod for the program in a game against Deposit/Hancock that could have gone either way across all 13 innings in their war of attrition in Long Island, last year.

And a partridge in a pear tree.

The best part is, they are showing no signs of slowing down. It’s clear they want to go back for redemption. And Friday night brought another time to add more fuel to their already-burning fire.

It was a battle that saw both Friendship/Scio and Section VI champion Ellicottville remain frozen in the batter’s box. Both defenses kept the door shut and deadbolted across the first five innings of play, with absolutely no scoring working its way across.

The defenses refused to budge, but as time continued to whittle away, something had to be done.

Her teammates made a promise to Ross to get her back to Long Island one last time. No matter what it took, they ensured that promise would be fulfilled.

In the sixth inning, the time would come. Better late than never.

From within a frame that saw Friendship/Scio nearly complete a full revolution through their entire batting order, the damage was done. After providing a run off the first exploitation of Ellicottville’s defense, Ross provided the first step with the icebreaking run behind some incredible baserunning. Then, the team eyeballed some small ball to provide some insurance. Kadence Sadler had the honor of doing that herself, laying down a crucial bunt to drag the team’s final run across.

The lead was now in hand, and when the action transitioned to the seventh, the rest was on the defense to close up shop. Despite their only error of the game allowing Ellicottville’s lead-off runner to reach, Ross remained unfazed, as she went on to strike out the side after the fact to capture their third straight Class D Far West Regional title in clutch fashion with a 2-0 shutout of the Lady Eagles at Webster Schroeder.

“The team as a whole wanted this so bad for Nevaeh, being her senior year. They really wanted to get back to States for her,” said Friendship/Scio coach Deb Warner. “The young kids on the team really stepped up to help make that happen. Putting in the extra work all season long, and it has shown. Our bats are starting to come alive throughout the batting line-up, which helps take a lot of stress off of Nevaeh. This is what it’s all about, and we are so excited to just take in this moment.”

Ross aided in setting the tone right out of the gate for Friendship/Scio (20-3), as she came out firing on all cylinders with a fanning of the side in each of the first three innings of play to keep Ellicottville at a complete standstill. But despite the amount of momentum she helped establish, the defending Class D State Finalists could not find a way to get the bats working to capitalize on the prime opportunity.

After three scoreless innings went by, the battle for supremacy continued between both squads down the stretch, with two more scoreless innings being shelled out by the respective defenses to keep the score without one entering the sixth inning — a frame where everything changed.

Following the closure of a top half of the stanza that saw Ross hand out three more strikeouts in four at-bats, Friendship/Scio was able to turn the key in the ignition and fire their offensive engines up with Ross leading the way. She would use some extraordinary baserunning to work her way around third before an infield error on Ellicottville allowed her to come across as the team’s first run, providing the first crucial fissure into the ice.

Friendship/Scio continued to work through their lineup until another opportunity was presented to add colossal insurance. Following Nora Thompson’s fielder’s choice to reach base, Kadence Sadler was able to bring her home on a two-out bunt to give them a little more cushioning to work with.

With the lead now in their possession and No. 13 taking complete control of the circle, Friendship/Scio was in good hands.

Despite the defense’s lone error coming right away during Ellicottville’s lead-off approach at the plate, Ross would not allow the Lady Eagles to build off of it, as she came right back and delivered strikeouts No. 17, 18 and 19 in rapid succession to put an exclamation point to their third straight Far West Regional crown.

With her 19 strikeouts in her twirled two-hitter, the Friendship/Scio senior has now set a brand new season record in Section V for strikeouts, surpassing the legendary Jordan Ingalls, who had 361 during Bolivar-Richburg’s State Championship-winning season in 2006, with a current mark of 377. And counting.

A number that will keep growing when the team marches to the State Final Four next week.

NY Land Quest congratulates all student athletes

As for the bats, Friendship/Scio produced just four hits at the plate, including Sadler’s RBI-drawing bunt — one of two hits she would have in the game. Jadyn Wonderling and Morghyn Ross each followed with a hit of their own.

The time has now come for Friendship/Scio to grace the stage once again in Long Island, as they head for the Martha Avenue Recreational Park for battle next Friday. Up first, a team they will now face for a third straight year during their time in the Final Four — defending Class D State Champion, Deposit/Hancock.

The very team they went to war with for that crown.

First pitch for their much-anticipated Class D State Semifinal contest is set for a 12 p.m. commencement.

Ellicottville 000 000 0 – 0 2 1

Friendship/Scio 000 002 X – 2 4 1

ELL – Ande Northrup (LP) (CG, K) and Riley Whitmer.

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

Photos by Tricia Davenport:

Previous Article

O’Mara: “Nickle-and-diming New Yorkers to the breaking point”

Next Article

Become a Notary Public! Workshop at Alfred State College set for June 20

You may also like