After Fredonia’s dramatic semifinal victory, rain washes out title game in Binghamton

Submitted Photo Pictured, from left, are: Fredonia assistant coach Tim Wright, Jordan Lucas, head coach Jesse Beers, Danielle Palisin and Jaelyn Davis. Lucas and Davis were named to the all-tournament team, and Palisin earned the Sportsmanship Award at the 44th annual James “Ace” Morabito Invitational Tournament this weekend at Greenlight Network’s Grand Slam Park in Binghamton.

BINGHAMTON — So far this season, Fredonia has proven itself as the best softball team around.

This weekend, the Hillbillies proved that on a more regional stage.

After winning all three of its games, Fredonia was named co-champion of the 44th annual James “Ace” Morabito Invitational Tournament at Greenlight Network’s Grand Slam Park on Sunday.

“For a lot of these girls, that’s the first time seeing what I would call top-flight softball players, and multiple Division I commits. They start understanding what we’re talking about grinding out at-bats, every pitch is important, keep your head in the game, these are the things that make a difference,” Fredonia head coach Jesse Beers said. “They realize, if we do this, we can play with these girls and we can win. I’m hoping it’s a springboard for the last week or so and the playoffs. I think it’s a real confidence boost for our kids.”

The Hillbillies beat Edison Heights/Elmira 5-2 on Saturday morning and Fairport 3-1 in the afternoon.

Then, Sunday morning, Fredonia topped Tappan Zee 3-2 in the semifinals before the championship game against St. Anthony’s was called off due to weather.

The Hillbillies’ final win was their most dramatic.

Trailing 2-1 in the bottom of the seventh inning, St. Bonaventure commit Jordan Lucas hit a two-run home run to give her team the win.

Danielle Palisin singled earlier in the inning and then went to second as a pitch got away from the Tappan Zee catcher.

“It was an absolutely incredible at-bat,” Beers said of Palisin’s plate appearance. “She was down in the count early, fouled off pitch after pitch, and finally got a base hit into the right-center field gap.”

Then, with a full count and two outs, Lucas drove a pitch to left-center field that skipped off the top of the fence for a home run.

“We’ve been really working on her timing a little bit. She’s been getting a little antsy at the plate,” Beers said. “We’ve been having her think changeup and adjust to the fastball. She got a pitch to barrel and good things happened from there.”

Tappan Zee led 1-0 after the top of the first inning when Auburn-commit Keira Myers led off with a triple and scored on Alyssa Chiappa’s RBI double.

Fredonia quickly tied the game in the bottom of the first. Palisin walked and Lucas reached on an infield single with one out before Jaelyn Davis hit an RBI double over the head of Tappan Zee’s center fielder.

In the top of the seventh, Myers led off with a double and the Hillbillies intentionally walked Tappan Zee’s No. 3 hitter before the Dutchmen’s cleanup hitter hit an RBI double.

The one-run lead was not enough in the bottom of the frame.

Lucas finished with a seven-hitter in the circle, striking out 12 while walking five. Callie Draggett went 2 for 3 and Naomi Muck singled for the Hillbillies.

Clarence and St. Anthony’s went 12 innings in the other semifinal before the Class AAA team from Long Island prevailed.

“I wasn’t really sure. The forecast wasn’t fantastic,” Beers said when asked if he thought the championship game would be played. “We watched the last three innings of the other game. … The next game started and in about the second or third inning they made the decision to call it. They talked about canceling the loser’s bracket to play our game and the (consolation) game … Our No. 1 pitchers were shot, we’re getting ready for playoffs, we don’t really want to get anybody hurt, so we called it a day.”

In Saturday’s first game, Fredonia beat Edison Heights/Elmira, which lost in the state Class C semifinals to Gowanda last year before moving up to Class B this year.

Palisin started and threw four innings, striking out two and walking none while allowing four hits and two unearned runs. Lucas threw the final three innings with six strikeouts and one walk while allowing no hits or runs.

The Hillbillies trailed 2-0 into the bottom of the third inning before Palisin reached on an error, Draggett walked and Davis hit a two-run double to center field.

In the fifth, Muck led off with a single and Palisin hit an RBI triple before a sacrifice fly from Lucas made it 4-2.

Muck reached on an error and stole second in the sixth inning before Palisin hit an RBI single.

“We definitely came out with some big-stage jitters. Defensively, in the first inning in particular, we had two errors,” Beers said. “There was an ugly inning or two. We were fortunate to get out with two runs.”

Palisin finished 3 for 4 with a triple and Davis was 3 for 3 with two doubles and a walk.

Against Fairport, a Section V Class AAA school, the Hillbillies fell behind 1-0 in the top of the first inning.

In the second, Draggett hit a solo home run to tie the game. Davis then led off the fourth with a double before an RBI triple by eighth-grader Jenna Fryberger.

In the bottom of the fifth, Muck led off with a single before walks to Lucas and Davis eventually loaded the bases. Fryberger made Fairport pay with an RBI single.

“I think they pitched around Lucas and Davis to get to her,” Beers said of Fryberger. “Jenna came through big with a single.”

Lucas finished with 15 strikeouts while allowing two walks and two hits.

Davis and Lucas were named to the all-tournament team, while Palisin received the tournament’s Sportsmanship Award.


NORTH COLLINS — Ellicottville scored in every inning as it defeated North Collins 14-0 in five innings of Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Athletic Association Division 2 East softball Saturday.

Ande Northrup had the biggest swing of the bat for Ellicottville (6-4, 5-2) as she hit a home run. Liz Ball tripled, scored a run and walked; Emmylu Carls singled, walked three times and scored four times; Kalyn Crowley went 2 for 2 Katie Lafferty finished 1 for 1; and Riley Whitmer went 2 for 4.

North Collins fell to 4-9 overall and 3-4 in the league.


CLYMER — Harper Dawes hit a two-out solo home run in the top of the sixth inning as Maple Grove beat Clymer/Sherman 3-2 in Division 2 West play Saturday.

Lydia Darr threw a one-hitter with five strikeouts and six walks for the Red Dragons (2-8, 2-6).

In the third inning, Maple Grove’s Bry Cornell singled, stole second and third, and scored on a sacrifice fly behind third base.

The Wolves (4-5, 4-5) scored twice in the bottom of the third inning on an error and a fielder’s choice.

The Red Dragons tied the game in the fourth inning when Darr singled and scored on Savannah Weart’s RBI single.

The score remained 2-2 until Dawes’ home run.

In the bottom of the seventh inning, Dawes picked up her final two strikeouts to put the Wolves away.

Clymer/Sherman’s only hit was a bunt single by Kiera Kinal. Elli Bodamer struck out six and walked three in the circle for the Wolves.

Alex Halstrom added a single for Maple Grove.


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