YORKTOWN, N.Y.— Yorktown’s softball squad enjoyed a dream season, winning its second consecutive Section 1 Class AA title but unfortunately for the Huskers, their campaign came to an end in the Class AA regional semifinals at Union-Endicott High School near Binghamton on May 31.
With the game tied at 3-3, Horseheads’ left-handed hitter Tess Cites hit a walk-off three-run home run in the bottom of the seventh, giving the Section 4 squad a 6-3 come-from-behind win.
This came after Cites had connected on a solo homer in the sixth inning, which tied the game at 3-3.
“Our team could have executed better, but we forced their defense to make perfect plays,” Yorktown senior second baseman Angie Serrano said. “We were in it the whole entire game. At this point in the playoffs everyone is good, so you never know until the bottom of the seventh who is going to come out on top.”
Yorktown (21-3) went up 1-0 in the first inning on an RBI single by senior shortstop Brianna Buck.
“I thought going into my first at bat that this could possibly be my last couple of at bats of my high-school career, so I made sure to make an adjustment from what my teammates previously made outs on,” said Buck, who will continue her softball career at Iona College. “It felt amazing to score the first run of the game, especially because of the momentum and rally we got off of it.”
Buck and Serrano both produced RBI singles in the fourth inning to extend the Huskers’ advantage to 3-0.
“I was a little nervous during that at bat, especially since I had two strikes,” Buck said. “But I just told myself the same thing I said in the first at bat, don’t pull the ball. Being up by three runs was a nice feeling, but not nice enough knowing that this team could possibly come back and score.”
Serrano had in her mind that she wanted to help out Yorktown pitcher Erica Salveggi, who went the distance.
“During the at bat I felt comfortable, hungry to put more runs on the board for my team, so Erica can be comfortable going on the mound,” said Serrano, who will play softball next year at Molloy College. “She held her composure the entire time and deserved to have her teammates on their ‘A’ game behind her.”
Horseheads answered back with two runs in the fifth, setting up Cites’ late-game heroics.
Samantha Riccardulli (2 for 3, walk, run) and Reilly Koch (2 for 3, walk) also contributed to the Huskers’ effort.
“It feels great being a part of the two-year run with some of the most talented softball players,” Buck said. “I will definitely miss my teammates the most because they are some of my closest friends that I’ve played with since I was 8-years old. I will also miss the energy that this team has. The girls are constantly cheering, even those that don’t play, and that is definitely one of the driving forces that led us to win the section championship again.”
Serrano said that being back-to-back section champs was an honor, especially to win with the girls she has played with her entire life.
“I will never forget the chemistry and bond this team had,” Serrano said. “Always coming together as one and the memories we made is what will be missed the most.”
Serrano will also miss playing for Yorktown coach Ryan Iamurri and her assistant Ashley Spina.
“Our coaches have only been here three years and brought home back-to-back section plaques for the first time since ‘08,” Serrano said. “They are a huge reason why we are so successful.”