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Sunday, May 31, 2015: Schroeder's Gamble defends state tennis championship

   Leading off today: Webster Schroeder junior tennis star Matt Gamble won the New York State Public High School Athletic Association singles title for the second straight year.

   Gamble beat Plainview JFK's 6-3, 6-1 in the final Saturday at the U.S. Tennis Association Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing to become the fourth repeat champ since 2005. Most recently, Josh Levine of Cold Spring Harbor triumphed in 2011-12.

   "It feels great, that was my goal at the beginning of the season," Gamble told the Democrat and Chronicle. "It's the ultimate accomplishment for high school tennis."

   Jordan Benjamin of Harley Allendale-Columbia won the consolation bracket after losing in the quarterfinals. A year ago, he was part of the championship NYSPHSAA doubled tandem that lost to a PSAL team in the overall tournament final.

   This year's doubles crown went to Mamaroneck brothers Hope and Courage Crawford, who prevailed 7-5, 6-3 over Cold Spring Harbor's Sean Mullins and Patrick Hannity.

   "It's been a great escape for three days," Courage Crawford told The Journal News. "But on Monday, it's back to that (school) grind."

   Elmira ND back in business: After losing in the previous two Section 4 Class C softball finals, Elmira Notre Dame broke through as Brooke Harvey drove home Mackenzie Mahajan with a two-out single in the bottom of the seventh inning for a 3-2 win over perennial power Tioga.

   The title is the first for the Crusaders since they went unbeaten en route to the 2011 NYSPHSAA championship. They lost sectional finals to Binghamton Seton Catholic and Elmira Heights Edison the past two seasons, then made it back to the top with just one senior this spring.

   "We've definitely grown as a team," said junior pitcher Alivia Clark, who was on the state championship team as a seventh-grader. "Everybody's still the same from my freshman year, when we lost. So it definitely feels good to know how much we've grown and our hard work's paying off."

   Clark struck out nine and scattered seven hits.

   More softball: Outfielder Brianna Cullen's walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the seventh drove in Daniela Detore to give Eastport-South Manor a 4-3 win vs. Sachem East and a sweep of the best-of-3 series for the Section 11 Class AA championship.

   Cullen also singled in the second inning to drive in a run.

   Long wait is over: Holland earned its first baseball title in 52 seasons, winning Section 6 Class C with a 12-11 win vs. Gowanda.

   Holland led 11-9 after three innings and then held on with the help of run-saving catches by outfielders Neal Finley and Dillon Taylor in the final two innings. Taylor's single in the top of the sixth drove in what proved to be the winning run.

   Gowanda loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh but got only one run on a sacrifice fly when Taylor flagged down Matt Kruszka's long drive to center field. Gowanda then had two runners thrown out at the plate, the last on an attempted steal by Alex Emery.

  

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  • NYSPHSAA softball
  • Past years' brackets



  •    Left over from Friday: A busy day at the office kept me from blogging Saturday, but there were some Friday highlights worthy of a mention on the busy championship weekend:

        • Saratoga junior pitcher Danny Hobbs was hit in the face by a fourth-inning line drive but amazingly pitched the fifth and picked up the victory as the Blue Streaks edged two-time defending champ Shenendehowa 1-0 for the Section 2 Class AA baseball crown.

       Hobbs took a scary shot off the bat of Shen DH Matt Alverson with two outs in the fourth inning.

       "I had no idea what happened," Hobbs, also a goalie on the Saratoga hockey team, told The Times Union. "I kind of woke up and saw people around me. I have never been unconscious, and I don't know if I was unconscious. I am not sure. Hey, we got him out and we won the game."

       Cory McArthur pitched the final two innings for the save in a combined three-hitter, and Brendon Frank's two-out single in the first against Plainsmen junior ace Ian Anderson held up for Saratoga.

        • One strike away from leading her team to its first Section 2 softball title in 30 years, Caraline Wood surrendered a two-run single that turned a lead into a one-run deficit.

       She atoned in the bottom half of the seventh, singling up the middle to score the winning run for Averill Park in a 3-2 victory over Troy in Class A.

       "I love pressure situations," Wood said. "I love being able to help my team out. I love being under pressure. I was just really happy I was able to get up at bat that last inning and prove that we were a good team, that we were meant to be here."

        • Rebecca Rogers threw her fifth no-hitter of the season as Hamilton advanced to the Section 3 Class D softball final with an 11-0 win over LaFargeville. Rogers struck out 15 batters.

       More to come: I'll be back later with some of the highlights from Saturday's state quarterfinals in boys and girls lacrosse.


      
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