Center Moriches loses heartbreaker in state softball semifinal

Center Moriches players react after a 4-3 loss Center Moriches players react after a 4-3 loss to Eden in the state Class B softball tournament at Glens Falls on Saturday, June 14, 2014. Photo Credit: Tim Roske

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SOUTH GLENS FALLS, N.Y. - If only the Comeback Kids of Center Moriches had last licks.

Give the Red Devils three more outs to work with and maybe their recent trend of late-game comebacks would have continued. They had advanced to the state tournament by way of two seventh-inning rallies, but this time they were on the wrong side of the comeback.

The Red Devils entered the bottom of the seventh with a one-run lead, but Eden staged a rally of its own en route to a 4-3 win in the Class B state semifinal at Moreau Park in South Glens Falls.

"I like comebacks much better the other way," Center Moriches coach Richard Roberts said with a laugh. "But anytime you get to this point, it has got to be considered a success. You can't expect a state championship. You can put yourself in a position to win one and that's what we did."

They were in great position, actually, two outs away from advancing to the state title game.

But Eden's Hayley Kobie lined a single that scored the tying run and put runners on second and third with one out. Carly Nasca then bunted down the third-base line, sending the runners. Third baseman Erin Copozzi fielded the ball and made a flip to catcher Megan Ricci, but Jill Murray slid home to beat the tag for the walk-off win.

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"Words can't describe how proud I am of this team," said senior captain Kiley Nolan, who went 51/3 innings, allowing three runs, eight hits and no walks. "This is 100 percent a success. I'm very upset we lost more because I have no more softball to play with these girls. But this season is in no way a failure."

It was a season in which Nolan and fellow team captain, Tori Fahie, helped the Red Devils advance further than they ever had before. That was thanks in part to Fahie's game-tying single in a four-run, seventh-inning rally in the regional final and Copozzi's two-out, tying single in the seventh inning of the Long Island championship.

"We were so resilient," Fahie said. "We never gave up, no matter what."

Fahie gave Center Moriches a 3-2 lead in the top of the fifth inning with an RBI single that scored Cierra Smith.

Ricci scored the game's first run in the third inning after a fly ball to rightfield by Smith was dropped. Alexa Anderson followed with a single to bring home Kayla Hujber and increase the lead to 2-0.

Murray blasted a two-run homer to leftfield in the bottom of the inning to even the score at 2 for Eden.

Nolan, Fahie and fellow seniors Emily Pettit and Carly Saguto move on, but the rest of the Comeback Kids still have more rallies left in them.

"I can't wait to see what this team does moving forward," Fahie said. "It was an amazing season. We made history for our school. You couldn't end on a better note than that."

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