New York State Monroe Woodbury Horseheads Class AA Softball
MIDDLETOWN — Winning is great — and the unbeaten Monroe-Woodbury has done a lot of that this season — but Anna Paravati cherishes the joy of her teammates.
“I love playing with these girls,” said Paravati, who will play for Fairfield University next season. “It’s just a good time.”
The top-ranked Crusaders (24-0) came one step closer to a Class AA softball title with a 6-2 victory over the Division 4 champion Horseheads at Middletown High School.
“I don’t think you can ask for more right now,” Paravati said. “I try not to think about looking perfect because we’re not really perfect.”
It is therefore confidence or talent that will prevail next Saturday in Long Island.
“A bit of both,” Paravati said. “We try not to be too arrogant because it ruins our mindset. We try to be hungry for the ball and try to hit the ball hard.
Monroe-Woodbury pitcher Brianna Roberts made it look really easy early on, striking out the first nine batters. Then she gave up a first walk to Maddie Matkosky and No. 3 hitter Eva Koratsis lined up a curveball offer over the fence into right field to tie the contest at 2. Unfazed, Roberts laid down the next eight batters . Horseheads rallied with two singles to start the seventh but Roberts whipped up the next three hitters to complete a three-hit, 20 strikeout effort.
Monroe-Woodbury was riding with a 2-0 lead and Roberts was perfect through three. But Horseheads took advantage of a walk and a two-run home run by Koratsis.
Carefree. Paravati led the bottom half with a single, moved from station to station and took advantage of a throwing error to take an extra base on a sacrifice fly, putting the Crusaders back on top. In the fifth, MW had three runs, using two singles and two doubles, for a 6-2 lead. Emma Lawson’s two-point double at center right and Paravati’s RBI single double restored confidence.
By the numbers
Monroe-Woodbury (24-0) – The state’s top-ranked Crusaders hit 11 hits, but MW failed six runners. Roberts, Paravati and Val Pedersen each had two hits. All but one of the MW starters had a hit. Monroe took a 2-0 lead in the second. Gabby Schaeffer led a triple with one out to right center to score Paravati and scored on Amanda Palmer’s looping single to shortstop.
Horseheads (12-8) – The Division 4 champions had reached the 2018 Regional Finals. … Horseheads had two singles in the seventh inning, with Koratsis adding his second hit. Losing pitcher Megan Wolf allowed 11 hits, fanned one and hit a batter. Maddie Matkosky got the last two outs.
“I knew we had our hands full. It’s a fantastic softball team and this pitcher can pitch it. …I’m proud of the battle.” – Horseheads coach Rick Gryska
“It was a tough game and every shot really counted.” – Penny Roberts, Middletown coach
Monroe-Woodbury heads to the Class AA final four at Moriches (Suffolk County) on Saturday. The Crusaders will face the winner of the Fairport-Lancaster quarterfinal at 9 a.m. Saturday. The final follows at 1:30 p.m.