Lady ‘Billies suffer tough loss in Class B2 final against top seed Eden, 7-4

Fredonia falls in Class B2 finals

OBSERVER Photos by Braden Carmen Above, Fredonia senior Maggie Mignoli attempts to lay down a bunt in Thursday’s Section VI Class B2 softball championship game against Eden.

WILLIAMSVILLE — Two portable fences in the outfield turf at Williamsville North High School and less than 500 feet stood between where Fredonia’s season ended a year ago and this year’s unfortunate end for the Lady ‘Billies.

Same venue, same stage in the playoffs, and sadly for Fredonia, the same result.

For the second straight season, the Fredonia Lady ‘Billies saw their season end in the Sectional title game at Williamsville North High School on Thursday night, with a 7-4 loss to Eden in the Section VI, Class B2 softball championship game.

Fredonia (13-3, 3-seed) jumped ahead early after a leadoff double by Kazlin Beers put a runner in scoring position from the start. After a groundout advanced her to third, Grace Mroczka drove in the game’s first run on a sacrifice fly. Fredonia led Eden (19-3, 1-seed) by a score of 1-0 after the first inning.

The Lady ‘Billies added another run in the second inning on a pure hustle play by Kelly Gullo. After reaching base after a third strike that the Eden catcher could not corral, Gullo scored from first on a successful sacrifice bunt by Maggie Mignoli and an Eden throwing error. Through two innings, Fredonia held a 2-0 lead, while Maddy Marsh faced the minimum for the Lady ‘Billies in the circle.

Erin Schrantz prepares for an at bat during Thursday’s game.

“On this stage, it’s a game of momentum, and we had the momentum,” said Fredonia head coach Jesse Beers.

In the third inning, however, it all changed. Eden scored a pair of runs in the third frame on an RBI triple to deep center field by Brooke Woodard and an RBI single by Paiton Basinski. Eden took the lead, 3-2, an inning later. Then, in the bottom of the fifth inning, Eden delivered the knock out blow, with four runs in the frame to extend the lead to 7-2. Fredonia got a pair back in the top of the sixth inning, but the hole was too deep for the Lady ‘Billies to climb out of.

“We didn’t get the result we wanted, but we’ve won many more games than we’ve lost. You can’t let one game define a year, and you certainly can’t let one game define a career,” said Coach Beers.

Marissa Calloway pitched a complete game in the victory for Eden, while Marsh did the same in the loss for Fredonia.

Fredonia loses three seniors from this year’s team, just as the Lady ‘Billies did a year ago. Mroczka, Mignoli and Sydney Bigelow are the three Fredonia seniors to depart from this year’s team.

“I’m super proud of all these girls. I’ve been with those kids since they were eight years old,” said Coach Beers. “It’s going to be a tough night for me.

Twitter: @bradencarmen