Three teams from Long Island — MacArthur, Clarke and East Rockaway — will compete in South Glens Falls on Saturday, each with a chance to capture the first state title in the history of their school’s softball program.
Class A semifinal
Clarke (17-3) vs. Troy (17-6)
Saturday, 1:30 p.m., at Moreau Park
The Clarke softball team was shown two brackets over the winter.
One was from the state tournament last season, when the Rams rallied for four runs in the seventh inning of the state final before falling in extra innings. The other was from the upcoming state tournament, and Clarke was listed as the champion.
“I typed our name on it and made it look official and said, ‘Why not us?’ ” Clarke coach Rachel Barry said. “Their eyes lit up.”
Sarah Cornell will close out her sixth and final year on varsity looking to complete unfinished business from last June. Coming so close last season, Cornell said, has made the team better equipped for this year’s tournament.
With Brooke Scherer, who transitioned from first base to catcher this season, entrenched in her new position, a reliable infield anchored by Holly Romeo at second and Kirstin Cox at shortstop, and a strong outfield featuring Sabrina Caputo and Victoria Sferrazza, the Rams are confident they can finish what they started.
“We knew we were going to face the same challenges we faced last season,” said Scherer, who hit a two-out, game-tying solo homer in the seventh inning of last season’s state final. “We came all this way and now we have a second chance at this.”
Class AA semifinal
MacArthur (21-3) vs. Binghamton (20-2)
Saturday, 9 a.m., at Moreau Park
That’s been the goal, and motto, for the Generals all season. They now have a chance to end the season with the ultimate finish: a state championship.
MacArthur, which last played in the state tournament in 2012 when led by UNC star Kristen Brown, features solid pitching, timely hitting and reliable defense. It’s difficult to find a battery with better chemistry than pitcher Jess and catcher Ashley Budrewicz, sophomore twin sisters. Shannon Myles, Jessica Lombardo and Gabby DeNunzio anchor a lineup that combines power and speed, and works deep into the count.
“No matter where we are in the lineup, we have confidence everywhere,” Myles said of a lineup that will face Binghamton’s Paige Rauch, who is bound for Fordham University.
“We have to have each others’ backs,” Jess Budrewicz said. “One falls, we pick them right back up. It’s not about being perfect. It’s about being consistent. We just have to play the game we know how, and hopefully we come out with the title.”
Class C semifinal
East Rockaway (14-8) vs. Caledonia-Mumford (20-5)
Saturday, 11:30 a.m., at Moreau Park
Emily Chelius guided East Rockaway back to the state semifinals for the first time since 2007 when her current pitching coach, Heather Loughran, was the ace of the team.
Now the Rocks hope to take the team to new heights by capturing the first state title in the history of the program. Marissa Felbinger sets the table for a deep lineup that also includes Erica Acampora, Caitlin O’Mara and Sydney O’Connor.
“We may be a small school,” Acampora said after the regional final, “but we can do some special things.”