Leading off today:
You know, some days this blog just writes itself -- and it doesn't even take a spineless school board firing a perfectly good coach to come up with a lead item.
No sir, sometimes all you need is late heroics -- lots and lots of late heroics -- to get the day started.
A few examples from Tuesday's action in the world of New York high school sports:
• Paige Mapley hit a home run in the eighth inning to lift Cato-Meridian host over Weedsport 1-0 in the Section 3 Class C softball quarterfinals. Weedsport is ranked 23rd in the state this week.
Megan Krieger struck out five and allowed three hits in the win, while the Warriors' Abby Marsden fanned 19 in a one-hit loss to finish her senior season with 257 strikeouts.
• Brielle Hamel hit a one-out, walk-off triple to score Caitlin Donnelly and lift Gananda over Bloomfield 4-3 in the Section 5 Class C1 semifinals. Gananda is ranked fourth in the state.
On the baseball diamond:
• Blanked for six innings, Valley Central sent 12 batters to the plate in the seventh inning and downed Pine Bush 7-3 in the Section 9 Class AA quarterfinals.
Junior Dan Delgaizo ripped a two-run triple down the left-field line to plate two runs and put Valley Central ahead 2-1. Fletcher Szabo added a two-run single later in the inning and Paul Depew, Tyler Sheeley and Jon Avila drove in one run apiece in the big inning.
"We were hitting the ball the whole game," Delgaizo said. "Pine Bush is a great team. They were making plays out there we knew as the game went on that some of them were going to fall for us. They eventually did."
• Jon Hoyt's infield single drove in the go-ahead run for Union-Endicott in a five-run seventh inning as the Tigers ended Maine-Endwell's seven-year reign as Section 4 Class A champs with a 5-2 semifinal win.
U-E managed just one hit off of Spartans starting pitcher Jason Wasilnak through six innings before Matt Bowman and Jack Thomas drew walks and Austin Malarkey reached on an error to load the bases. Noah Burchill fouled out before Gianpaolo Putrino was hit by a pitch and Wyatt VanVestrout drew a walk to tie. Hoyt's single put U-E ahead 3-2, and Mark Ryan's two-run double capped the scoring.
• Dawson Crawford singled home the go-ahead run in the seventh inning and Zak Green threw a five-hitter as Sidney knocked off Lansing 3-2 in a Section 4 Class C semifinal.
• Northern Adirondack walked off with a 3-2 win vs. Ticonderoga, ending the Sentinels' 10-year run as the top team in Section 7 Class C. Kody Smith's two-out drive eluded first baseman Ryan Trudeau and allowed the winning run to cross the plate in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Which leads us to this: Tioga edged Elmira Notre Dame 5-4 in 12 innings when Mitchell Taylor scored on Jake Evanek's bases-loaded grounder in the Section 4 Class C semis.