New Hartford softball falls in Class A regional; Oriskany advances in Class D

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EAST SYRACUSE — The New Hartford softball team achieved an emotional high earlier in the week with the program’s first Section III title in more than a decade.

The Spartans weren’t able to sustain that feeling Saturday in a Class A state regional contest due to a combination of miscues and solid No. 2-ranked Troy Flying Horses squad.

Standout Olivia DeCitise managed to keep New Hartford in check from the pitching circle for much of the game and chipped in offensively as Troy earned a 9-3 victory in the Class A game on a sunny, yet unseasonably cool and windy afternoon at Carrier Park.

“I think we were a little flat today and it showed,” said third-year New Hartford coach Dan Stalteri, who has more than 15 years of experience. “We were sloppy and that’s not how we play. We got (here) because we didn’t do those things. It wasn’t our day."

New Hartford (15-6 overall) earned its first Section III title since 2008 on Thursday over second-seeded Auburn. New Hartford also bested top-seeded Jamesville-DeWitt in the Section III tournament.

“This is the life lesson for them. We teach them that all the time on our team. How do you get up the next day after either a big high or big low and come back and do the job? I think that’s what was hard for us (Saturday),” Stalteri said. “I just felt like the energy wasn’t there. I’m not going to make excuses. They had a lot going on (outside of softball).” 

Meanwhile, Troy got a dominant performance from junior pitcher DeCitise, who is reportedly considering options at the college level for softball or bowling.

DeCitise kept New Hartford guessing and totaled 16 strikeouts while scattering seven hits – three came during New Hartford’s third-inning rally – in the complete game win. She also finished 3-for-4 – a triple shy of a cycle – and capped her efforts with a long three-run home run blast over the right field fence in the sixth inning to put the game out of reach. 

Troy totaled 12 hits with four other players chipping in two hits each.

Troy (22-2 overall), which won the Section II title Thursday with a mercy-rule victory in five innings, has won 19 consecutive games. The team hasn’t lost since April 11. 

Troy advances to play in the state semifinal on Saturday at Moriches Athletic Complex on Long Island. 

“I tip my cap to that team. They’re well-coached and that pitcher is very good,” Stalteri said. 

New Hartford fell behind 2-0 after two innings but rallied in the third.

The Spartans took the lead with help from a two-run triple from junior Alex Volo and a sacrifice fly from Sienna Holmes to make it 3-2.

It didn't last, however. In the fourth, Troy made it 3-3 on an RBI single by Emily Meyer and then two errors put runners in scoring position. With one out, Katie Pryor hit a two-run double and then scored on a throwing error for a 6-3 lead.

“I don’t think we gave (the game) away. We just didn’t play to the standard (New Hartford played this season),” Stalteri said. 

Savannah Cole finished 2-for-4 with a run, Volo was 1-for-3 with a run and Olivia Vitullo was 2-for-3 with a run for New Hartford.

Stalteri told his players that he he's excited to work with them again. New Hartford loses four seniors including Taylor Raux and Hailey Kwaitkowski. Stalteri noted the “core” is expected to return with pitcher Sienna Holmes, catcher Sophia Burynski, third baseman Volo and outfielder Savannah Cole among the returners. 

“We’ve got girls coming up through the system,” Stalteri said. “We’ll be back right here (in regionals) next year."

Oriskany moves on in Class D

The Oriskany softball built an early lead and then held off a challenge by Section X's Edwards-Knox on Saturday.

Megan Wright scored on a bunt single by Brooke Madison in the fifth inning for the eventual game-winning run as Oriskany scored a 5-4 victory in the Class D regional final at SUNY Potsdam.

"We played great. We put the ball in play early and got on them," said Oriskany coach Mike Reilly, whose team led 4-1 after three innings. "They just played together."

Edwards-Knox totaled three runs over the final two innings with help from Oriskany miscues to get close.

"They never panicked," Reilly said. "They buckled down and got the outs."

Juliet Tagliaferri earned the complete game win, striking out five while walking one and giving up six hits. She was also 1-for-4 with a double, a run and an RBI.

Jordyn Carlo was 1-for-4 with an RBI and a run. Brooke Matys was 2-for-3 with a stolen base and a run.

Oriskany advances to play in Class D state final four against Section II's Argyle at 11:15 a.m. next Saturday on Long Island.

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