Leading off today: Williamsville East
completed a perfect season with a 3-0 win over Ballston Spa for the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class A softball championship Saturday at Moreau Recreational Park.
The Flames (27-0) broke a scoreless tie in the fifth inning on back-to-back homers by sixth-year starter Christy Mack and fellow senior Maddy Miske, Sophomore pitcher Summer Clark took it from there, finishing with nine strikeouts in a two-hitter. She retired the final 10 batters after yielding a two-out triple in the fourth.
"It's the best birthday present ever," said Clark, the Missouri commit who threw a one-hitter with 13 strikeouts in the 6-0 semifinal win over Walter Panas earlier in the day.
Ballston Spa got to the final with a 2-1 win over Sayville in a 20-inning epic that forced a delay in the rest of the day's schedule. Sophomore Ana Gold ended the longest game in tournament history -- the previous record was 13 innings -- with a one-out, walk-off single.
"I can't even cry because it was such an unbelievable (game)," Sayville coach Tiffany Rowan said of the marathon that ended nine minutes short of four hours. "The amount of intensity. The will to win. (My players) gave everything they had. They're going to appreciate this real quick. They fought a fight. They can't be upset about that."
Sayville had taken the lead on a hit batsmen and an error in the top of the eighth, but Ballston Spa senior Ange Stile, who hit a walk-off home run to win last year's state semifinal, hit a two-out home run to deep center in the bottom half of the inning.
Ballston Spa junior Lauren Kersch went the distance, throwing 190 pitches and striking out 18 batters, She had a perfect game through seven innings and a no-hitter into the 12th, finishing with a seven-hitter.
"By the 13th inning," Kersch said, "I just had all adrenaline."
Kersch threw another 84 pitches in the final, fanning eight batters.
Class AA: Eighth-grader Olivia Keegan delivered a go-ahead single in the 11th inning to score Erin Austin and give Corning its first NYSPHSAA softball championship, defeating Cicero-North Syracuse 4-3.
The Hawks broke a 1-1 tie in the fourth inning on an Ellie Daugherty home run and a Northstars error. A Jordyn Maldonado sacrifice fly for C-NS tied the score at 3-3 in the sixth inning.
Cicero-North Syracuse's best chance to take the lead came in the bottom of the 10th, when it got the first two runners on base with back-to-back singles. But Brooke Nicalous lined to third baseman Mikayla Brucie, who doubled off the runner at second, and pitcher Laura Bennett (nine strikeouts) got the next batter to fly out to left field.
"These kids kept battling," 29th-year Corning coach Mike Johnston said. "We had opportunities, they battled back."
Corning reached the final with a 3-1 win over East Meadow earlier in the day.
Class B: Leadoff hitter Sami Blackman went 2-for-4 with two runs and sophomore Sophia Mangone drove in three runs in the final as Ardsley blanked Oneida 5-0 for its first championship.
Blackman was an even bigger factor in a 6-5 win over Ichabod Crane earlier in the day. After ripping a two-run double in the five-run sixth inning for her 100th career hit,