Split D1 East title

Gowanda takes advantage of errors, beats Silver Creek 11-2

OBSERVER Photo by Matt Spielman Gowanda’s Bella Maines slides safely into home behind Silver Creek catcher Laneya Olsen during Saturday’s CCAA Division 1 East game in Silver Creek.

SILVER CREEK — Gowanda didn’t even win its own league title on its way to a New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class C softball championship last season.

Winning Division 1 East clearly isn’t a requirement for future success.

But it sure can be a nice kickoff to a long postseason run.

Sophomore Addison Kota threw a two-hitter and the Panthers pounded out 12 hits while taking advantage of an uncharacteristic eight errors by Silver Creek en route to an 11-2 victory in Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Athletic Association Division 1 East action Saturday morning.

Gowanda improved to 14-2 overall and 9-1 in the division with the victory to split the league title with the Black Knights, who fell to 12-2 overall and an identical 9-1 in the division.

OBSERVER Photo by Matt Spielman Gowanda third baseman Gracie Eddy throws across the infield behind pitcher Addison Kota during Saturday’s CCAA Division 1 East game in Silver Creek.

“This is our first goal,” Gowanda head coach Mike Maloney said. “The biggest goal is to go back to states.”

Kota went 4 for 5 with two RBIs, two stolen bases and two runs scored; senior Ella Luther was 3 for 5 with a double and two RBIs; and sophomore Corrina John and senior Hailey Christopher each had a pair of hits for the Panthers, who scored three runs in the first inning, five in the fourth and three more in the fifth.

Silver Creek had allowed eight runs in league play all season prior to giving up 11 on Saturday.

“We didn’t have our best stuff today,” Black Knights head coach Justin Cerne said.

Gowanda, which had multiple players gone on Senior Trip the first time the teams played and Silver Creek won 8-0 on April 26, jumped on top Saturday with a three-run top of the first inning. John and junior Holland Browning reached on errors before Kota hit a two-run single. Kota went to second on the throw home and stole third before Luther drove in Kota and reached on an error to make it 3-0.

The Panthers sent 10 batters to the plate in their five-run fourth. John and Kota each singled and scored a run, while Christopher and senior Emily Pound each had an RBI single. Sophomore Lauren Kelly walked and scored a run, before both junior Gracie Eddy and Browning reached on errors and scored runs.

“It’s huge for the bottom of the order to get on base for us,” Maloney said. “It just makes us that much better.”

In Gowanda’s three-run fifth, sophomore Audrina Huff walked and scored, John singled and scored, Browning reached on an error and scored, and Luther hit an RBI double.

While both programs have nonleague games scheduled for early this week, their playoff seeds will be determined by a coin flip at Wednesday evening’s Section VI playoff seeding meeting.

“We’ll see them again in the playoffs,” Cerne said.

NOTES: Freshman Rylee Weiskerger singled with one out in the bottom of the third inning, went all the way to third on senior Laneya Olsen’s sacrifice bunt and an error, and scored on a wild pitch to make it 3-1. … Sophomore Maddie Hein walked to lead off the bottom of the fifth inning, went to second on a Weiskerger single and third on a wild pitch before scoring on an error to make it 11-2. … Kota struck out 11 for Gowanda with Weiskerger having both of Silver Creek’s hits off of her.


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