It has all come down to this for Tappan Zee. We are less then three hours away from first pitch in the state softball final four. This is my take on how Class A will go.
Section 11’s Sayville vs. No. 2’s Troy: In the little bit of information that Phil and I (thanks for this buddy) found about this matchup is that Sayville is the reigning Class A champs, which was a program first. In the win over Island Trees for the Long Island title, the Golden Flashes really relied on the hitting prowess of Krsiten Becker and Chrissy Milone. The first baseman and the designated player went a combined 5 for 5 with two doubles, and six RBI. That’s a powerful 1-2 combination. The Golden Flashes are the number four ranked team in NYS; while Troy, who ended the three year reign of South Glens Falls to win their first title since 1987, is the number two ranked team in NYS. Victoria Hallett, a sophomore catcher, is an important cog. Eighth grade pitcher Hunter Levesque had thrown well and senior Adrian Shufelt is a contributor. Predicition: Sayville over Troy by the score of 8-1. Despite the higher state ranking, the old adage that I believe will ring true, go with the reigning champion until proven differently. Next up: The winner will play the winner of Tappan Zee/Hamburg.
Tappan Zee vs. Section 6’s Hamburg: From what I’ve been able to read up on Hamburg, this team is pretty scrappy. Being able to come from behind and win the last few games including the West Regional final will do that. Leah Jones is a scrappy hitter and she can push the bunt easily. Bridget Jones is a pretty good pitcher. She pitched a six-hitter and struck out six in the regional final but those six Ks came in the first three innings. That says to me she is pretty hittable. And that to me smells like an opportunity for the Dutchies. What Tappan Zee was able to prove in the regional final with Maine Endwell is that they can hit the ball in the clutch. Kelly Connolly and Amanda Carroll have been a great 1-2 punch all year long. But don’t sleep on Dee Sinanaj (left) in the three hole. She can be as clutch as anyone. But also, Paulina Gutkin and Meagan Trozzo as table setters are pretty lethal. There’s not too many other superlatives I can use about what Gutkin has done all season long. Prediction: Tappan Zee over Hamburg by the score of 7-4. Tappan Zee’s entire lineup has been solid all year long. Next up: The winner will play the winner of Troy/Sayville.
Tappan Zee vs. Section 11’s Sayville: I think that this would be the matchup that would be the most intriguing. The reigning champions vs. The Section 1 Champions. Having a matchup between a Long Island softball team vs. a Section 1 team has always been a dog fight. Look no further than when Pearl River was in the state final four in 2009 and 2010 when the took the crown. Truthfully here, I believe that if this is the matchup later today, that it will come down to pitching and I believe that the edge goes to Gutkin. As I said in the state advance, the girl has been pitching in another world all season long. As much as I believe that when in doubt, until I see differently, go with the reigning champs, I have believed in Tappan Zee all season long. I’m not going to stop now. I think that they will put themselves into a position to get the job done. Prediciton: Tappan Zee over Sayville 4-3.