Leading off today:
If "A Tale of Two Cities" was such a great literary work, why did the publisher go 135 years without selling a single copy of the book on Amazon.com?
OK, that's unfair since Charles Dickens wrote it in 1859 and Amazon.com wasn't founded until 1994. Still, he should have saved the "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times" opening line for Friday on diamonds across New York.
First the good, which was in fact exceptionally good.
A fabulous pitcher's duel between Cooperstown's Maria Noto and Hamilton's Rebecca Rogers concluded when sophomore shortstop Ginger Miller blasted a two-run home run to right field in the bottom of the 10th to give the host Hawkeyes a 2-1 softball victory.
Cooperstown is ranked fifth in the state in Class C this week. Hamilton is the top-ranked Class D team. (Full rankings)
Noto won her ninth straight game this spring by striking out 20 batters (matching a career high) and walking one in the course of a two-hitter. Rogers, a senior heading to the University of Rhode Island in the fall, fanned 23, walked two and allowed four hits.
Noto allowed a run on two sacrifice bunts in the top of the 10th, which began with a runner on second base under the international tiebreaker rule. Miller, however, won the game in the bottom of the frame with her two-out homer to right field on the unfenced field.
"I've never seen a ball go that far before," Cooperstown coach Dave Bliss told The Daily Star. "It would have crossed any fence if there was one there. She was coming home when the relay person was just getting the throw."
At the other extreme of the drama scale comes the bad to which I alluded above -- a baseball game that will be exhibit No. 1 the next time someone makes a push for a mandatory mercy rule in New York.
Maple Grove pounded out 47 hits and walloped Panama 47-0. Jonah Tanner went 8-for-10 at the plate, setting a presumed NYSPHSAA record for hits in a game.
Tanner was also the winning pitcher, throwing a two-hitter, walking three and striking out 13.
Brandon Reagle of Maple Grove went 7-for-8 at the plate and Matt Roach was 6-for-9 with three doubles.
For what it's worth, some of Panama's losses earlier this season have been by scores of 32-10, 15-0 and 24-0.
Caught in the draft: Even though New York struggles to send two dozen graduating seniors per year into the ranks of major-college football, it's not like we don't have a player or two taken in the NFL Draft each spring.
Still, what happened with the 61st pick of the draft on Friday when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers stepped up to the podium was about as unconventional as it gets in the NFL ranks. Ali Marpet, an offensive lineman at Division III Hobart College by way of Hastings High, became the 19th Division III prospect to be selected since 1990. He went 28 spots higher than any of his predecessors.
You can read more about Marpet, second-team all-state in Class C as a Hastings senior, in a pre-draft feature in The Journal News.
On the move: Best wishes to a couple of scholastic reporters moving on to new endeavors.
After nearly two decades there, Justin Rodriguez of The Times Herald-Record worked his final day at the paper Friday and will begin his duties as the communications and media relations assistant to Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus this month.
Meanwhile, Brett Hudson's final day at The Post-Star will be May 13. Hudson has accepted a position with The News-Star in Monroe, La.
Decisions, decisions: Sayville sophomore Jack Coan is already verbally committed to Notre Dame for lacrosse, but new options are opening up for him.