VERONA, N.Y. (WKTV) - In a rematch of last year's Section III, Class D-1 championship, No. 3 seed Oriskany once again knocked off top-seeded Poland Wednesday at Vernon-Verona-Sherrill, winning 4-3 in nine innings for its third straight title.
Tied 2-2 in the 11th, Oriskany loaded the bases with one out and freshman Alyssa Balfe came through with a two-run single for a 4-2 lead. Poland nearly came back with a one-out RBI double by Danielle Greiner that put the tying run in scoring position, but Oriskany starting pitcher Mallory Ingalls retired the next two batters on an infield lineout and groundout to end the game.
Oriskany, 18-3 and ranked No. 21 in the state in Class D, will now prepare for another rematch with C-2 champion and No. 10-ranked Stockbridge Valley in the overall Class C final Saturday at Cicero's Gillette Middle School complex at 4:30. Oriskany beat Stockbridge Valley two years ago and Stockbridge Valley won last year.
Poland, which had not lost since last year's final and was ranked No. 8 this week, ends the season 18-1.
Despite Poland's season-long success coming into the rematch, the game belonged to Oriskany for the first six innings as the Lady Redskins took a 2-0 lead into the seventh. But Poland put two runners on base with two outs and Krista Stubba (temporarily) saved the Lady Tornados' season with a two-run triple.
Poland nearly won on the next play as a grounder to short was thrown wide of first, but first baseman Meghan Carlo got the call on a sweep-tag to send the game to extra innings.
Erin Batson went the distance on the mound for Poland.
The teams had the same seedings last year when Oriskany won 6-3.