WAYLAND-COHOCTON SOFTBALL: Eagles earn a trip to the finals

Golden Eagles mount last-inning comeback to beat LeRoy in semifinals

Sean Curran
The Evening Tribune
Wayland-Cohocton's Greta Huber fires a strike to the plate during her incredible performance in the circle on Saturday in LeRoy in the Section V Class B2 Semifinals.

LEROY — The No. 4 Wayland-Cohocton Golden Eagles scored two runs in the top of the seventh inning in order to pull off a massive 3-2 upset win over No. 1 LeRoy on Saturday afternoon in the Section V Class B2 Softball Semifinals in LeRoy.

Each team scored a run in the first inning, but then two of the best pitchers in all of New York took over in the circle. Both Way-Co’s Greta Huber and LeRoy’s Hayley Papp were unbelievable all afternoon as they kept the game as tight as possible right through the final innings.

“Greta was awesome. She really settled in after that first hit that was the homerun. She changed speeds and I don’t think she gave up any more than one other hit after that first one. She was awesome today, and the people behind her were good,” said Way-Co Head Coach Dave Stewart. “Greta is hungry right now. She’s a senior. And her and the rest of the seniors want this pretty bad right now.”

Wayland-Cohocton's Hannah Fairbrother drops down to make the stop behind the plate on Saturday afternoon in LeRoy.

The Golden Eagles got on the board first in the top of the first inning thanks to some great senior leadership at the top of their lineup. Hannah Fairbrother started the game off with a phenomenal at-bat that eventually led to her walking down to first base. The speedy Fairbrother quickly stole second base, and then Kailey Johnson slapped a base hit into left field that allowed Fairbrother to speed home and give Way-Co the 1-0 lead.

LeRoy responded immediately in the home half of the inning when Papp helped her own cause with a moon shot over the fence in left field, tying the game at 1-1 with her solo homerun.

Neither team generated much of anything for the next five innings of play as the pitchers were in complete control. LeRoy finally broke the tie in the bottom of the fifth inning when they scored on an error. It looked like the Oatkan Knights might break the game open in that inning with the bases loaded, but Huber struck out to straight batters in order to shut down the inning and keep the game at 2-1.

With Papp dealing in the circle, it looked as though LeRoy would remain unbeaten and take their place in the Class B2 Championship game, but Way-Co came together for one final trip to the plate and came through in the biggest way possible.

Once again, it was Fairbrother that started the inning when she beat out an infield single to get on base. She once again stole second to move into scoring position, and then was able to walk home when Johnson smashed a double to the fence in left field for an RBI triple that tied the game back up a 2-2. Brooke Lander then came through with a clutch single right up the middle of the field that scored Johnson from second and gave Way-Co back the 3-2 lead going into the bottom of the seventh.

“I told them even in the bottom of the sixth that we were in a good spot. We had nine-one-two coming up in the lineup, and that’s where you want to be at that spot,” said Stewart. “It was our fourth at-bat that won it today. The girls stayed the course and followed the plan, and it led to a good win at the end.”

Way-Co's Kailey Johnson slides safely into second base on a steal attempt on Saturday afternoon in a win over No. 1 LeRoy.

In that inning, Huber finished off her immaculate performance with three straight outs, including two final strikeouts, giving Way-Co a berth in the Section V Class B2 Championship game on Monday.

“Our seniors have been around for a very long time. They missed out on last year because I would have liked to see what we could have done with this group and the seniors from last year. But this team has rallied around each other,” said Stewart. “If I say we are going to take the weekend off, the seniors say how about we have practice on Sunday at 8 a.m. They just want to be around each other, and it has paid off.”

The Eagles will visit No. 3 Wellsville Monday.