NEWFANE—Springville’s softball seniors were honored at their last home game, May 14, against North Collins. The team went on to overtake Newfane 16-1 in a first-round playoff win May 15.
A combination of defensive plays, pitching and hitting all contributed to the win. Sarah Kester earned eight strikeouts on the mound, and when the Panthers did get a piece of the ball, Springville’s outfielders were there to make the play.
“Kester pitched a fantastic game and the defense behind her was spot on,” head coach Kim Pazzuti said. “Our outfield of Meadow Wittman, Marin Lehr and Nicole Sacilowski ran to perfect angles to catch each ball that sailed out there.”
But the first-year varsity coach didn’t stop there, noting the performances of many that helped the team on to victory.
“Ryan Stedman made each play at second base look easy, Meghan Rehrauer took her time and made perfect throws to first base and Olivia Fisher behind home plate let nothing by her,” Pazzuti said.
Leading the offensive charge with three hits apiece were Kester and Fisher. Kester plated a pair of doubles and a triple, while Fisher hit two doubles and a single while batting-in four runs.
Wittman crossed the plate scoring four runs with a pair of doubles of her own, while a pair of RBI came each from Stedman and Sacilowski.
In the home finale against North Collins, Springville left too many runners stranded before falling 7-2. Kester started the game on the mound before giving way to reliever Kaitlyn Wolf. The Griffins got hits from six different players that included Fisher, Stedman, Wittman, Kester, Rehrauer and Kaitlyn Mesch.
More important than the score was honoring the team’s four departing seniors and Pazzuti took time to talk about each starting with her most valuable player on the mound.
“[Kester’s] been with us since modified and has all these amazing pitches from the mound and can throw really hard,” she said.
Although the team advanced to the playoffs, Kester took a lot of the games to heart especially in defeat, “The toughest part of this season for me was losing really close games,” Kester said.
Coach Pazzuti raved about senior Sydney Rosati’s versatility and willingness to take on any position to help the team as a utility player, and Stedman’s ability to lead on the field by calling out plays and making sure everyone knew their assignments on the field. The coach rounded out her praise of her departing foursome by noting the speed of Morgan DePue and her ability to play both infield and outfield.
Springville begins the second round of the playoffs against one of the top seeds in Olean on May 17.