Everyone is chasing Penfield at state softball tournament

OBSERVER Photo by Anthony Dolce Longwood pitcher Olivia Thomas begins her windup during Friday’s 8-10 Softball State Tournament game against Merrick-Bellmore, in Dunkirk. Thomas earned the victory for Longwood on Friday, 4-1.

The 8-10 year old Little League Softball State Tournament continued Friday in Dunkirk. Here is a report of the action on Friday.

South Orangetown 14, Ozone Howard 13

South Orangetown turned aside a furious Ozone Howard rally to remain alive in the elimination round of the Little League Softball Minor League 8-10 New York State championship tournament Friday at Dunkirk Little League. Leading 14-8 heading into the last of the sixth, Ozone Howard scored five times before the tying runner was thrown out at third to end the game.

Adrianna D’Orio and Emma McHugh led the South Orangetown attack with three hits and four RBI each. One of McHugh’s hits was a double. Winning pitcher Alyssa Chiappa had a triple and Savannah Nordstrom homered as part of a four-run first inning. South Orangetown also scored five in the third and four in the third to build a 13-5 lead.

Ozone Howard’s top hitter was Madison Sassone, who had three hits, five RBI, and reached base all five times. Nicolette Battaglia had a double and two singles, plus three RBI. Rosalie Destefano had two hits, and Sydney Ambrosino and Ava Noto each had one hit and two RBI. Ambrosino and Destefano shared pitching duties.

The win advances South Orangetown to today’s 11 a.m. game vs. Longwood.

Longwood 4, Merrick-Bellmore 1

Longwood broke open a pitcher’s duel with four runs in the last of the fifth, all after two were out, to win the elimination round game over Merrick-Bellmore.

A walk to Giuliana Tantillo preceded consecutive hits by Veronica Schag, Isabella Stella, Kasey Baker, and Victoria Kharabdzhu to account for all the Longwood runs. Stella’s single tied the game 1-1, Baker’s single put her team in front 2-1, and Kharabdzhu’s double plated a pair. It was her second hit of the game.

Olivia Thomas pitched a seven-hitter with eight strikeouts, including two in the third after Merrick-Bellmore put runners on second and third with no outs. Losing pitcher Kayla Indich fanned four and was working on a one-hitter until Longwood rallied in the fifth.

Merrick-Bellmore took a 1-0 lead in the top of the fifth on a single by Ruth Small, an error, and an RBI single by Cecilia Toto. In the top of the sixth, singles by Indich, Kaitlyn Thayer, and Kaitlyn DiPaolo loaded the bases. Thomas retired the final batter on a flyball to left fielder Caroline Alt two batters after a flyout to Schag in center.

The win put Longwood into today’s 11 a.m. game vs. South Orangetown.

Penfield 11, Maine Endwell 9

Penfield improved to 3-0 with its winner’s bracket victory Friday in the third of three games at Dunkirk League League’s Joe Karnes Field on the Ed Wisniewski Complex.

Amelia Michael and Allison Gardner led the Penfield offense with three hits each. Michael scored four runs and Gardner had four RBI, including a two-run single as part of a six-run fifth inning. The inning included back-to-back pinch-hit by Vivian Russo and Haylee Noble. Ella Maley had a triple and Michael a double. Winning pitcher Cadence Brecker registered seven strikeouts.

For Maine Endwell, Maddie Ocker and Natalie Chesna had three hits each. Chesna also had two RBI. Kaylee Hurba singled and belted a long two-run triple as part of a three-run sixth inning rally which fell short when Maine Endwell threw out two runners on the bases, including the final out at the plate. Isabel Hunter took the pitching loss. She had nine strikeouts.

Penfield is idle until 11 a.m. Sunday after the tournament’s three other remaining teams work their way through the elimination round today. Maine Endwell is among those three and will play again at 2 p.m. today against the winner of the Longwood vs. South Orangetown game.