Alright people, it’s that time. The Section 1 softball semifinals are here. My take on how today goes:
No. 5 Ketcham at No. 1 Clarkstown South: Many members of this Vikings lineup were on the 2013 squad that lost an absolute heartbreaker to Ketcham at this time in the tournament and they lost in 2012 as well to Ketcham. One thing I was told back then how much the Vikings would love to see Ketcham on their field in the tournament. Well girls, you got your wish. Can Briana Keaveney quiet the bat of Andrea Bombace? Can Carissa Della Vecchia tame the bat of Sara Herskowitz? This to me in Class AA could be the game of the day. Prediction: Clarkstown South 5, Ketcham 4, 9. Next up: The winner will face No. 6 Suffern/No. 2 North Rockland at noon Saturday at North Rockland in the finals.
No. 6 Suffern at No. 2 North Rockland: I’ve said it before and I will say it again, it’s extremely difficult for one team to beat the same team three times in one season. The way these two teams have played all year and in this tournament, this will be a war. This will be a straight up pitchers dual if it’s Allie Wood/Victoria Alonso or Katie Wood/Kayla McDermott. This will come down to who will make that one mistake whether it be one pitch or a defensive mistake. Dear lord how do you pick this one? This game will go extra innings in my opinion: Prediction: North Rockland 3, Suffern 2, 9. Next up: The winner will face No. 5 Ketcham/No. 1 Clarkstown South at noon Saturday at North Rockland in the finals.
No. 4 Lakeland at No. 1 Brewster: Lakeland’s success has been great this year and Cameron Lischinsky has been a beast at the plate. The Hornets bats have been really hot this year and they did so in the tournament this past Saturday in the quarters eliminating a solid Hen Hud squad. The only problem for the Hornets is that they are facing a strong undefeated Brewster squad. The Bears have been strong all year long with solid bats led by Taylor Riccardi and Nicole Rosner. In my head, I’ve had the Bears targeted for the finals since the beginning and I don’t see them getting tripped up here. Prediction: Brewster 6, Lakeland 4. Next up: The winner will play No. 11 Yorktown/No. 2 Pearl River Saturday at North Rockland at 3 p.m. in the finals.
No. 11 Yorktown at No. 2 Pearl River: Of the entire semifinal round, this game intrigues me the most. Yorktown is this year’s “Cinderella” team. One of the things the Huskers proved in the quarterfinals is hitting the heck out of the ball. Brittany Giordano, Madelana Wrubel and Sam Wilson went a combined 10 for 14 with two double, two triples, and four RBI. Erica Salveggi pitched for the Huskers in that game and truthfully they were so-so. And Pearl River’s hitters can tee off on that. The Pirates have probably the best outfield in the Section. As far as pitching, because of what happened to Emily Turilli earlier this year, she’s probably as fresh as you can be for this time of the year. The Huskers will not go down without a fight so I expect this game to be close. And I believe the Huskers love that I’m not picking them. Prediction: Pearl River 5, Yorktown 4, 8. Next up: The winner will play No. 4 Lakeland/No. 1 Brewster at North Rockland Saturday at 3 p.m. in the finals.
No. 5 Ardsley at No. 1 Valhalla: This game means a lot to Ardsley. This is a rematch of the 2013 Section 1 championship where the Panthers came up a run shy in the comeback. The Panthers boast a very strong squad led by pitcher Raina Gorman and she was the catalyst for the comeback against Pawling. They are facing an equally strong Valhalla squad that is probably one of the most talented squads in the entire Section and one of the most successful. I still think the Vikings will prevail in this game but Ardsley will not make it easy. I think Brandi Coon will be the difference in this game. Prediction: Valhalla 4, Ardsley 3. Next up: The winner will face No. 3 North Salem/No. 2 Rye Neck at 9 a.m. Saturday at North Rockland in the finals.
No. 3 North Salem at No. 2 Rye Neck: First off all, both teams have two extremely good coaches in Joan Spedafino and Bob Mittelstadt. Both teams will be extremely well prepared. If the Tigers pull this off, they will make it to the finals for the first time since 2006. Haley Donovan has been great all year especially in the win against Westlake last round. They’ve played extremely well all year but in the Rye Neck tournament, they lost to the Panthers 6-1. I still give the edge here to the Panthers because of Diana King. This game though, will be closer then the last time these teams played. Prediction: Rye Neck 5, North Salem 3. Next up: The winner will play No. 5 Ardsley/No. 1 Valhalla at 9 a.m. Saturday at North Rockland in the finals.