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Wednesday, May 7, 2014: Sec. 5 senior breaks record for career softball HRs

   Leading off today: Section 5 slugger Aidan Falk became the state's career home run leader Tuesday with a pair of home runs in a non-league softball game.

   The Our Lady of Mercy senior, a sixth-year varsity player, broke the record with three-run home run in the second inning of a 17-12 victory over Buffalo's Sacred Heart. It was the 37th homer of the Michigan recruit's career, breaking a tie with Samantha DeMartine, who graduated from Marlboro in 2007.

   Falk hit No. 38 in the third inning to build the Monarchs' lead to 12-0. She finished 3-for-3 with five runs batted in and has slugged 11 round-trippers this spring after hitting 12 as a junior.

   "It's nice to finally get over the hump," she told the Democrat and Chronicle. "I felt a little pressure but it was good pressure. It's a big weight lifted off my shoulders. It's more of a motivator to expand the record even more."

   The National Federation lists Shelby Holley of Pisgah, Ala., is the U.S. record holder with 72 career home runs.

   That didn't last long: On Monday, Pittsford ascended to No. 1 in the NYSSWA's boys Class A rankings, making the Panthers what we believe was the first Section 5 squad to hold down the No. 1 spot in New York's largest class.

   Now, it looks like Niskayuna is about to become the first Section 2 school to accomplish the feat -- barring a loss to a solid Ballston Spa squad Thursday.

   Cameron Gebhardt scored four goals Tuesday for eighth-ranked Fairport as the Red Raiders handed Pittsford its first loss, 7-4. Joey Scalise made 18 saves in the win.

   More boys lacrosse: Overtime was the theme of the day on Long Island.

   Sophomore Matt O'Rourke's second goal of the day, 38 seconds into the second overtime, lifted Class A No. 13 Ward Melville to a 9-8 victory at No. 14 West Islip.

   It atoned for a giveaway by O'Rourke in the first OT that nearly cost Ward Melville the game.

   "That was going through my mind the entire overtime," O'Rourke told MSG Varsity.

   Said coach Jay Negus: "We expect it from him quite honestly. He threw the ball away and made it back up for us. He's a great shooter with a great lacrosse IQ. We expect perfection out of him. That's why he plays."

   At Connetquot, No. 7 Sachem North escaped with a 10-9 triumph as Michael Aronow scored the game-winner on a clear in overtime with 3:46 remaining. Sachem North's Sean O'Brien scored with one second left in regulation to put the game into OT.

   Another No. 1 falls: Nate Carinci drove in three runs and Drew Mallinder homered for Oneida in an 11-5 baseball victory against previously unbeaten and state Class A No. 1

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New Hartford.

   St. John's recruit Mitch Cavanaugh was 3-for-4 with a double, three runs scored and an RBI. He also pitched one inning of relief.

   Protecting officials: Dan Pietrafesa wrote an interesting piece in the Poughkeepsie Journal over the weekend noting that there are 21 states with laws specifically written to protect sports officials, though New York isn't one of them.

   On the surface, the lack of a dedicated law in New York is worrisome, but state penal codes are already used to criminally prosecute individuals charged with hitting an official. Proponents of more specific legislation, though, see the prospect of a law dedicated to protecting officials as a more powerful deterrent to thuggery.

   Under New York assault laws, a defendant can face up to 25 years in prison for first-degree assault, up to seven years for second-degree and up to a year for third-degree. What charge an individual faces depends upon the physical injuries and pain the individual endures.

   "I don't think it's necessary from a criminal justice perspective, but I think it is from a perspective of reminding people not to get carried away at games," state Assemblyman Kieran Lalor of Fishkill told the paper. "Sports has a way to get people excited and do things they may not want to do. It will remind people all rules of society do apply (at the games)."

   You can read the full story here.

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