Vestal Golden Bears, Section 4 Class A Softball Champions, May 28, 2022.

And so it ended on Saturday at 8:36 p.m. Vestal 9, Maine-Endwell 7 was the result of the Class A Softball Finals of Section 4, which nearly ran out of feasible daylight at the BAGSAI complex.

There was about zero sign of drama as the Golden Bears held a 9-0 lead through 2½ innings, two and three homers in the third-largest contribution. But there the teams were on base in the final of the seventh with an out and an ME runner after a few chats with umpires and Section 4 officials.

A few infield outs later, Vestal had secured a spot in the state playoffs. The Bears get a bye in the opening round before heading to Lakeland High School (Westchester County) on June 4 for a semi-final against the Section 1 or Section 9 champion.

Saturday’s game, originally scheduled for 1:00 p.m., started well after the 5:00 p.m. intentions. Changes were made in advance of expected inclement weather, which did not materialize.

All vestal virgins early

Vestal took their initial lead when afternoon/evening second batter Caitlyn Petteys sent a sacrifice fly down right field which Kandall Brady scored, who led by stroking a 1-2 pitch for a single. She stole second and finished third on a wild course.

A singles/victim/walk/wild pitch sequence was the root of a second inning run before breaking up the contest in the third – but only after Bears third baseman Faith Hicks made a nifty double play in the second inning of ME had shown. She attacked to snatch an airborne bunt and shot first to double a runner. High quality defense to be sure.

Petteys set Vestals third in motion by firing a brace into left field and a shot later it was 4-0 thanks to a ball sent over the fence by Kymora Wang down center right. And why not make three extra base hits in a row, said Edna Kiefer, who hit a three up the middle. She continued to score on a wild field.

With runners in second and third a few steps later, Kay Farro made it 8-0 by running left to center and Brady’s RBI single made it 9-0 against the No. 1 in the group.

Vestal vs. Maine-Endwell action in Section 4, Class A Softball Finals, May 28, 2022.

Ah, but ME wasn’t done yet

Maine-Endwell brought some interest into the proceedings with a three-hit, three-run floor of the third highlighted by Kaety L’Amoreaux’s double home run.

The Spartans occupied second and third bases when Vestal’s Raveena Rai entered the field – ending the threat with back-to-back strikes. She was in circles to start the fourth but four batsmen had to withdraw for the evening due to back pain.

“She couldn’t finish. We had planned for her to last at least 2-3 more innings,” said Vestal trainer Vickie Sax. “But that’s where we are. These kids have weathered adversity and they seem to band together and come back stronger and stronger.

Maine-Endwell’s return was resumed in the fifth when pitcher Olivia Lewis followed up Aleciyah Brodley’s lead single by sending a two-run homer just a shadow left of centerfield. A groundout and strikeout later, Isabel Hunter made a single, Lauren Eagan walked, and Kaylee Hurba smoked a two-run double and it was a 9-7 ball game.

The top of the seventh set ended at 8:28 a.m. and the game eight minutes later – making unnecessary contingency plans for a restart.

Coach Sax said..

“I’m not surprised this group has come this far. What they haven’t proven to this day is that they can lock up strong and slam the door.

“We don’t have an ace on the hill, we have four pitchers who have dedicated themselves to hard work year-round. And that’s what we talked about at the beginning of the season, if you get the ball and get on the mound, you have to do your job. Nobody has to shoulder as much pressure as Olivia Lewis. That came true tonight.”

She added, “Our battle cry all year has been ‘All In!’ Everyone must sacrifice themselves and play where they are asked to play. Some of them aren’t playing their favorite position, but they were willing to say, ‘Hey, I’ll step aside and play somewhere else.’

“All the values ​​of teamwork, honestly.”

Vestal vs. Maine-Endwell action for the Class A Softball Title in Section 4, May 28, 2022.

etc. etc.

  • Maine-Endwell had beaten Vestal 6-3 in the regular season and 7-4 six days later…
  • Vestal beat Union-Endicott 4-2 in the semifinals…
  • Sax recalled a long-ago state run as coach of Vestal, where he reached the league game in 1995…

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