Weekly Feature



2017-05-25 / Sports

Depew softball advances to Class B1 Final game with dominant showing

TAYLOR NIGRELLI
Sports Reporter


Depew’s Andrea Taboni flips the ball to first base for an out in the Lady Wildcats’ 2-0 win over East Aurora in the Class B1 quarterfinals. 
Photo by Jake FrenchPurchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com Depew’s Andrea Taboni flips the ball to first base for an out in the Lady Wildcats’ 2-0 win over East Aurora in the Class B1 quarterfinals. Photo by Jake FrenchPurchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com The Depew softball team is in a familiar place. The Lady Wildcats are back in the Class B1 Final for the eighth year in a row. The team got a pair of shutouts in an effort to match or exceed last year’s achievement of making it to the state semifinals.

In the quarterfinal round of the B1 playoffs, the Lady Wildcats got a 2-0 win over East Aurora. In the first inning, Karsen Cotton singled, Abby Tomasik reached on error and Annie DiPirro reached on a fielder’s choice. Jordan Petyk singled with two outs to knock in DiPirro and Cotton.

That would be the end of the scoring as Cotton shut down the Lady Blue Devils with 15 strikeouts and just three hits allowed.

The girls took on Tonawanda Tuesday, coming away with a 10-0 victory. DiPirro started things off with a laser line drive that hit the fence in the air. That scored Cotton to make it 1-0. In the fourth inning, Ashley Crawley and Brooke Whalen walked. Cotton then singled to knock in a run. DiPirro then singled to knock in two more. Petyk later brought another pair of runners home to make it 5-0 and put the game away for all intents and purposes. DiPirro went 4-5 with a double, scored twice and had three RBIs. Cotton had two singles, scored three times and had three RBIs. She also pitched a complete game, striking out nine and allowing five hits. It was the sixth time in the last eight postseason games that she’s pitched a complete game without allowing a run. It was especially impressive in this instance, as Tonawanda routinely put up double-digit run totals and scored 16 in its first playoff game.

“She did a great job. In the first inning she had a couple strikeouts,” Depew coach Dan Seelig said. “Their game plan was to put the ball in play because they know Cotton is a very good pitcher. They tried to bunt a lot off of her. Early in the game, we had a little pressure on us. We made an error in the second inning. They had runners on base, but Cotton ended up striking out for the third out in one inning. She did a great job today. The speed on her ball was higher than it has been for the last few games. She was pretty accurate; she got ahead on the count. It makes it difficult to do anything against her when she’s getting ahead on the count.”

Meanwhile, the Depew offense broke out a slump after a stretch of relying on good pitching to carry the team to victory. The Lady Wildcats stayed patient and got ahead in counts.

“It might have been a little bit of the pitching,” Seelig said. “Their pitcher had a tough time getting ahead in the zone, so she went down in some of the counts and we took advantage of that. All of our girls came up big when they got the count to 2-0 or 3-1. They took advantage of where they can be a little more selective. I made a little tweak in the batting lineup, which who knows? It’s a guessing game but everybody at the top really put the ball in play.”

Depew will now play Alden in the Class B1 Final. The Lady Wildcats defeated the Lady Bulldogs twice in the regular season. The game is scheduled to be played Thursday at 4:30 at Williamsville North High School. However, rain could cause it to be moved to Friday or Saturday. Seelig hopes his team’s increased focus over the past week or so carries over to the championship game.

“The last few days of practice I think our intensity levels really picked up,” Seelig said. ‘Our concentration levels picked up. It’s that time of the year where we know if we’re going to do what we want, which is to win a title, we have to individually make plays. The girls stepped up today and did that.”

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