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Friday, May 12, 2017: Adirondack hurler fans 27 in 14-inning softball win

   Leading off today: K K K K K K K K K K K K K K K K K K K K K K K K K K K.

   That sums up Arielle Kranbuhl's performance on the softball diamond Thursday. The Adirondack ace struck out 27 batters in a 4-2 victory over host Cooperstown in 14 innings.

   The strikeout total is No. 2 in NYSPHSAA history to the 28 by Jasmine Ennabe of Carmel in a 13-inning contest in 2014. Chelsea Hawks of Shoreham-Wading River fanned 27 in another 13-inning game in 2013.

   "(Arielle) was dialed in tonight," Adirondack coach Americo Ventiquattro told "She threw seven innings last night and was a little bit off. She knew she had to be pretty much perfect and keep runners off base. She had this one circled on the calendar."

   Kranbuhl and Cooperstown's Maria Noto threw dueling shutouts through seven innings. Adirondack took one-run leads in the 10th and 12 innings only to see the Hawkeyes tie to extend the contest. In the 14th, Stevissa Nellenback singled and Courtney Irvin hit a sacrifice fly to drive home a run apiece.

   Kranbuhl finished with a two-hitter, allowing a walk and two unearned runs. Noto surrendered five hits and no walks while finishing with 18 strikeouts.

   Adirondack is ranked 13th in the state Class B rankings. Cooperstown is rated 10th in Class C.

   More pitching mastery: Rochester Bishop Kearney freshmen Emily Phelan threw her second perfect game of the season as the Kings defeated Northstar Christian 8-0 in the first game of a Wednesday doubleheader.

   Phelan struck out 12 and also went 2-for-2 at the plate.

   Phelan, a third-year varsity player, opened her season with a perfect game against C.G. Finney.

   Big round number: Northwestern-bound midfielder Jillian Girardi reached 400 career points in Watertown's 15-7 girls lacrosse win over Carthage.

   Girardi scored five goals and added three assists, bringing her totals to 254 goals and 401 points in five varsity seasons. She has 74 goals and 23 assists this season.

   "She's playing at another level," Watertown coach Tim Burr said.

   Dial it down a notch, coach: High school basketball referees will have a new tool at their disposal next season to turn down the heat without penalizing a team with technicals and free throws.

   Meeting in Indianapolis last month, the National Federation of State High School Associations Basketball Rules Committee approved a rule allowing referees to stop a game to issue an official warning to the head coach for behavior serious enough to cause concern but not egregious enough to merit a technical foul.

   The warning for misconduct by the coach or other bench personnel will be recorded in the scorebook.

   "Stopping play and making sure that the bench and the coach know that an official warning has been given sends a clear message to everyone in the gym and impacts the behavior of the coach, and in some cases the behavior of the opposing coach," said Theresia Wynns, NFHS liaison to the basketball committee, said in a statement. "This change in behavior creates a better atmosphere and, many times, avoids the need to administer a technical foul."


   In addition, look for a crackdown -- probably long overdue -- on coaches who stray from the coaching box. The head coach will be officially warned for the first such violation, again giving game officials the ability to act without penalizing a team.

   In a compromise related to that change, the length of the coaching box will be doubled to 28 feet, beginning from the baseline, though state organizations will be given discretion to tinker.

   league lineup change: The 16-team Salt City Athletic Conference will take the place of the Central New York Counties League and pull in larger members of the Onondaga High School League's Freedom Conference beginning next fall.

   That development in Section 3 was announced Friday morning.

   The league, which will operate with two eight-team divisions in most sports and consist of the section's 16 largest schools, does not include any private schools, including Christian Brothers Academy, Bishop Ludden, Bishop Grimes or charter school Syracuse Academy of Science, which have played in the Freedom Conference in some sports, especially basketball, reported.

   The schedule format calls for double round-robins during the regular season in most sports, in most cases leaving schools with two to six openings for non-league contests.

   Football and hockey are not directly affected since the section uses "Federation" scheduling in the sports, effectively operating as a single league with multiple divisions.

   "We've been working on this for a while," said Fayetteville-Manlius AD Scott Sugar, the president of the new league.

   Sugar told the move had nothing to do with excluding non-public schools, the largest of which is CBA, which is a Class B-sized school but is classified higher in most sports.

   "The landscape has changed across the state, no question," Ludden AD Gallagher Driscoll told the New York State Sportswriters Association via email. "It is my hope that we can continue some non-league contests with these public schools moving forward."

   Driscoll indicated Ludden officials had been given some notice along with other OHSL members, but "it would not matter when they made their decision to leave ... they certainly were not going to be concerned about Bishop Ludden, Bishop Grimes, CBA or SAS."

   You can read the official SCAC announcement here.

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