Weekly Feature

2017-05-18 / Sports

Depew softball wins seventh straight ECIC III Title

by TAYLOR NIGRELLI Reporter

Another season, another division title for Depew softball. The Lady Wildcats have clinched first place in ECIC III for the seventh season in a row. The team has won five of its last seven in a busy stretch to end the season.

Monday, the Lady Wildcats got a 6-1 win over Cheektowaga. The team fought through adverse weather conditions to score four runs in the third inning. Andrea Taboni started things off by reaching on error. Abby Tomasik hit a double to score her. Annie DiPirro hit another to score Karsen Cotton. Cotton also got the win with 13 strikeouts.

“Weather conditions were not good,” Depew Coach Dan Seelig said. “It was blustery and cold. The wind was 25 mph. Both teams struggled to hit the ball. Cotton threw very well.”

Cotton was again impressive in a 6-0 win over Alden. She threw a complete game two-hitter and accumulated a season high 15 strikeouts. She also went 3-4 at the plate with two RBIs. Jenna Marranca, a JV call up, had two hits and an RBI to put the team up 3-0. Tomasik hit a triple in the fifth inning and was knocked in by DiPirro.

Cotton was again stellar with a 10-inning 1-0 shutout win over Maryvale. The teams played stellar defense all game, with both sides pitching shutouts through nine innings. Tomasik started the 10th inning at second base because of the International Tiebreaker rule. DiPirro laid down her first bunt of the season and Tomasik advanced to third. Jordan Petyk then stepped to the plate and gave Depew the lead with a sacrifice fly. In the bottom half of the inning, the Lady Flyers also started with a runner at second, who advanced to third on a wild pitch. They tried to lay down a bunt to get the run in, but DiPirro fielded, fired to Tomasik, who made the tag. Cotton struck out the last batter of the game to get the win.”

“What a great game. We played 10 innings and there were no errors on either side. Both teams played great defense,” Seelig said. “It was a great game. It reminded me of playing in all those tight games in the playoffs last season. Our team handled it well. We stayed calm and knew someone had to make a play. Petyk came through in the 10th inning.”

The Lady Wildcats hit a bit of a snag with a 6-4 loss to Starpoint. Cotton again got the start and finished with 10 strikeouts. But defensive miscues proved costly.

“They came to our place and brought enthusiasm,” Seelig said. “They were prepared to play and they outplayed us. We created a lot of our own mistakes. We had four errors and every one was costly. They caught us off-guard and woke us up a little bit.”

The team bounced back with a pair of close wins over East Aurora. The first game, a 2-1 victory, allowed the Lady Wildcats to clinch the division. The only scoring came when Kaitlyn Whalen hit a ball between shortstop and centerfield that was ruled an error. Olivia Maldonado and Taboni scored on the play. In the second game, Taboni scored on a DiPirro groundout.

Cotton pitched both games, which were each five innings. She had identical two-hit and seven-strikeout games. In the second game, she got the 800th strikeout of her career.

This Monday, the team dropped a 2-1 game to longtime rival Amherst. Cotton only allowed two hits, but five errors proved costly.

“It was very close,” Seelig said. “Our defense has been very inconsistent. Cotton ended up throwing for us and only allowed two hits. We had five errors on the day and only lost 2-1. There were no earned runs from Cotton, it was the defensive mistakes that cost us.”

The Lady Wildcats will begin the playoffs Thursday with a home game against the winner of an Albion and East Aurora contest. If the team wants to repeat as sectional champions, it will have to score more than it has over the past few games.

“We played our best softball mid-week last week and we have to get back to that level,” Seelig said “We’ve been inconsistent on defense. If we’re going to win the title, we need to play better on defense. Going into the playoffs, we’re offensively inconsistent. We need to score more runs. We’re only putting a couple runs up per game, and you’re not going to win that way.”

Return to top