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Wednesday, May 31, 2017: Moore Catholic wins CHSAA softball final

   Leading off today: It's a story that seems to play out at least once each spring, and this time it was St. Anthony's turn.

   Faced with having to choose between attending their prom or playing in the CHSAA state softball finals, four Friars seniors were unavailable as St. Anthony's fell to Moore Catholic 8-0 in Tuesday's title game.

   Three of the four suited up for the morning semifinal, a 2-1 win over Archbishop Molloy. Without them, St. Anthony's was held to two hits in the final.

   Moore sophomore Kristen Brennan stopped Lancaster St. Mary's 4-2 with a two-hitter in the semifinals, then returned to earn the shutout in the championship game as the Mavericks won the title for the first time in 15 years.

   "I empathize with the kids," Friars AD Joe Minucci told Newsday. "It was a difficult situation that they were put in. We (coaches and myself) all supported the decision they came up with."

   More softball: Sandy Creek's Carley Stoker threw a two-hit shutout with 13 strikeouts and hit a sixth-inning grand slam to lead the Comets past Tully 9-0 in the Section 3 Class C title game.

   "(The grand slam) felt great," she told Syracuse.com. "They were pitching me inside and of course I popped like two up inside, so I think they were thinking they were gonna get me again and I kind of saw them pitching me inside, I was like, 'Alright, good, those are my favorite.'"

   Solvay pitcher Lauren Nichols gave up just one hit and struck out 17 batters to lead the Bearcats to a 2-0 victory over Oneida for the Class B championship.

   Nichols scored the first run when she walked, went to second on a wild pitch and came around to score on a throwing error.

   Section 6 finals: Christy Mack's two-run single in the 10th inning gave Williamsville East a 2-1, walk-off victory vs. Olean for the Class A championship.

   Section 8 baseball finals: Nick Collins made his third straight postseason outing without surrendering a run, trowing a six-hitter as Massapequa beat Plainview JFK 4-0 in the deciding game of the Class AA series.

   Collins, who began the season in the bullpen, struck out six and walked one.

   Adam Mosca paced the offense with a two-run double in the second inning.

   "Last year, we lost to a really good East Meadow team in Game 3 and I wanted to come out here and make that different," Collins said.

   Massapequa advances to play the winner of the Section 11 AA series between Commack and West Islip.

    • Brendan Haas surrendered five hits with one walk and allowed only one batter to reach base safely after the third inning to lead Wantagh over Garden City 4-2 in the deciding game of the Class A finals.

   The Game 3 win gave Wantagh its first back-to-back Nassau County titles in school history.

   Wantagh, the defending state Class A champion, plays Shoreham-Wading River on Saturday for the right to advance to the semifinals in Binghamton.

   On the team: Long Island Lutheran sophomore guard Celeste Taylor was one of the 12 players selected for the USA Basketball Women's U16 National Team that will compete in the FIBA Americas U16 Championships from June 7-11 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

   Taylor was a first-team selection in Class AA on the New York State Sportswriters Association all-state team this season.

   McClancy star honored: Quentin Holmes of Monsignor McClancy has been selected New York's baseball player of the year by Gatorade.

   The 6-foot-2 outfielder, projected as a first-round pick in next month's MLB draft according to Baseball America, is hitting .463 with seven home runs, 24 runs batted in and 21 stolen bases through 24 games. He's a member of the USA Baseball 18U National Team and has signed with

  

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  • Mississippi State.

       Sensible social media: The Democrat and Chronicle had a good feature recently on Fairport boys basketball coach Scott Fitch, who has given social media presentations nearly 500 times over the past three years.

       Up high in the story is a great "gotcha" moment that allows Fitch to capture the attention of the young people he's addressing:

       "[T]here's one moment that grabs everyone's attention in almost every jam-packed auditorium he speaks. It's when Fitch says he did his homework and -- after obtaining a class list of the students -- he viewed some of their Instagram and Twitter accounts and even researched Facebook, the social media space teens have pretty much vacated because, let's face it, there's just too many adults there watching.

       "'I want to share with you what I found within these four walls,' Fitch says, then explains he's going to announce the student's name and ask them to stand as he reads their post for everyone to hear, 'or if I have a picture, I'll show the picture.'"

       "The auditorium stirs. The kids react. Some hearts begin to race until Fitch, without flinching, reveals that he's joking. 'I'm not going there. Take a deep breath,' he says with a smile, as a collective sigh of relief washes over the room.

       "'Were you worried?'" Fitch asks.

       Fitch has been in demand since a September 2014 newspaper story -- since shared more than 44,000 times on Facebook -- about his school talks. Schools from as far away as California and Washington state have contacted him, but he works his schedule around family, work and coaching obligations.

       "I think social media is universal," Fitch said. "It relates to all of them whether it's seventh grade through 12th grade. For parents, it's a scary thing because it's still somewhat of an unknown and (kids) can get into a lot of trouble."

       Fitch shares a story about one of his former players, once pictured with drug paraphernalia, and "It's there every time you Google his name for the rest of his life." He hammers that point home by differentiating from 16 years ago: When he asked a player if he was drinking at a party, all he could do was take the player at his word. But now?

       "The meeting goes like this: 'Mr. and Mrs. Smith, here's what your kid did last night,' and we open up the computer. Why? Because there's always proof. If it's not on your social media it's on somebody else's."


      
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