Weekly Feature



2012-05-24 / Sports

Lancaster ready to face defending champions

by MIKE MIGLIORE Reporter


Lancaster’s Bethany Wedmore (11, right) ranges from her second base position to make a catch in front of centerfielder Julia Sortisio (14) Friday against rival Depew. Lancaster, the No. 4 seed in the Class AA playoffs, will host Niagara-Wheatfield Friday in the quarterfinals. 
Photo by Scott Schild Lancaster’s Bethany Wedmore (11, right) ranges from her second base position to make a catch in front of centerfielder Julia Sortisio (14) Friday against rival Depew. Lancaster, the No. 4 seed in the Class AA playoffs, will host Niagara-Wheatfield Friday in the quarterfinals. Photo by Scott Schild Friday will be the big day for the Lancaster Lady Redskins softball team as they will open play in the quarterfinals of the Section VI Class AA playoffs as the No. 4 seed. They will play host to Niagara-Wheatfield, the defending Section VI champions.

Lancaster could not ask for a tougher challenge than to face a Niagara-Wheatfield team that comes in on a four-game winning streak, including an 18-0 win over North Tonawanda in the pre-quarterfinals, and knows how to win in the sectional playoffs. It’s a tough draw, but Lancaster head coach Kelly Ambrose is looking forward to the challenge.

“We’ll have our work cut out for us and we can only control what we can do,” Ambrose said about the matchup with Niagara-Wheatfield. “We need to play our best softball. It’ll be a challenge, but we’re confident and excited for the opportunity.”

The Lady Redskins closed the regular season with a 13-3 overall record as they won their final three games to give them some momentum heading into the postseason. Ambrose said it was important that the Lady Redskins win these games to get on a roll prior to the playoffs.

“These were good teams, so we wanted to have a win streak,” Ambrose said. “We had to play our best. It was important to build some momentum. We had to shore up our defense and win some close games by scoring runs.”

Lancaster began its win streak with a 13-11 victory in a shootout against West Seneca East last Wednesday. Junior Bri Opera led the way with two home runs, threeRBIsandadoubleina3for 3 performance at the plate. Senior third baseman Jacquie Porreca also added a home run in a big performance that saw her go 3 for 4 with a game-high four RBIs. Fellow senior Allie Jurewicz addedtwoRBIsina2for4 performance.

“West Seneca East is a good team that’s ranked in the top 10,” Ambrose said. “That was a slugfest. There were five home runs hit overall and 28 hits combined.”

Lancaster’s offense stayed hot on Thursday at Amherst and their pitching showed up as well in a 13-0 victory. Lancaster’s ace, junior pitcher Hannah Turek, tossed a complete-game four-hitter and struck out five. Senior Aubrey Moll went 4 for 5 with two RBIs.

The final game of the regular season was scheduled at the last minute for Friday as the Lady Redskins hosted rival Depew. Lancaster appeared to be on its way to victory with a 4-2 lead in the seventh inning before the Lady Wildcats rallied to tie the game. Freshman Olivia Jankowski then led off the bottom of the inning with a single and moved to second on a bunt by senior Caitlin Myszka. Junior catcher Emily Bagley then ended the game with a walk-off double, giving Lancaster a 5-4 victory.

Ambrose said it was a nice way for her team to close its regular season with a chance to cheer a walk-off against their cross-town rivals.

“It’s always fun to play Depew,” Ambrose said. “It’s a nice, friendly rivalryasthekidsallknoweachother and grew up playing against each other. It was a great way to end the regular season on that note with a chance to celebrate at home plate.”

A win by the Lady Redskins over the fifth-seeded Lady Falcons on Friday would advance Lancaster to Tuesday’s semifinal against No. 1 Clarence or No. 8 Kenmore West.

Friday’s quarterfinal game will begin at 4:45 p.m. at Lancaster High School. The Lady Redskins beat the Lady Falcons way back in the opener on April 2, 9-3. It was the only meeting between the two teams this season.

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