Weekly Feature



2016-05-26 / Sports

Legends softball upset by Niagara Falls in playoffs

by TAYLOR NIGRELLI Reporter


Kayla Wolinski of Lancaster hits a line drive down the 1st base line during a 10-0 win over Depew near the end of the regular season. The Legends were upset in the quarterfinal round of the Class AA softball playoff by Niagara Falls, 6-4, Monday. 
Photo by Jake FrenchPurchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com Kayla Wolinski of Lancaster hits a line drive down the 1st base line during a 10-0 win over Depew near the end of the regular season. The Legends were upset in the quarterfinal round of the Class AA softball playoff by Niagara Falls, 6-4, Monday. Photo by Jake FrenchPurchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com A stellar Lancaster softball season came to a surprising end Monday. The top-seeded Legends fell to eight-seed Niagara Falls, 6-4, on a day that saw the four Class AA softball teams suffer upsets.

“In the playoffs, anything can happen,” Lancaster coach Kelly Ambrose said. “We weren’t looking past them. We knew we were facing a great team. The top four seeds were eliminated yesterday, so anything could have happened this year. Things just didn’t go our way.”

The Legends were down 2-0 going into the bottom of the third inning. Tina Stasiak scored on an RBI single by Kara Paradowski. Madison Pepke then knocked home Paradowski with an infield hit.

Lancaster then took a 4-2 lead with a run scored on an error and another RBI single by Pepke. Niagara Falls tied the game in the fifth inning and scored two runs in the seventh inning.

“They just got a couple more hits than we did,” Ambrose said. “The middle of our order was 2-16, so that hurt us. We made some errors, too. And they’re better than their record indicated. It was a good game. They got hits and we didn’t; that was the biggest thing.”

Despite the disappointing finish, Ambrose is happy with how the season went overall. The team won its first division title in more than a decade and was the top-ranked large school in western New York for much of the season.

“Looking over our body of work this season, seven innings doesn’t tell the whole story,” Ambrose said. “Unfortunately, in the playoffs, seven innings can end your season. We’re disappointed with the game, but happy with the season.”

After the season, the girls play summer softball leagues before getting into the fall sports season. The team will have some workouts during the school year before getting back into the swing of things in March.

“We stay in touch over the summer, but we’re not allowed to work directly together,” Ambrose said. “The girls will play softball in the summer and then play their fall sports. Once school starts up again, we start our off-season workouts and training and we’ll be back at it in March.”

However, not everyone will be back. Monday’s game marked the end of four careers. Jenna Neumaier, Chelsea Davis, Claire Donofrio and Kaylee Mrozek will all graduate this spring.

“Just as a whole, the seniors are great kids and they continued our winning tradition,” Ambrose said. ‘I’m happy to see them go out with a division title. The underclassmen are eager to continue the legacy.”

Monday’s loss may be a tough pill to swallow after such a successful season. But Ambrose is trying to get her team to look on the bright side.

“We’re focusing on the positives right now,” Ambrose said. “Only one team can call themselves division champions. We’re happy we can say that.”

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