With heart-stopping victories in their title games, McQuaid Jesuit baseball and Our Lady of Mercy softball gained hard-earned Section 5 championships this spring.
McQuaid went eight innings to defeat Greece Athena, 2-1, in the Class AA final held June 2. Dusty Odenbach’s home run in the first extra inning provided the difference. The Knights’ season was then ended in the state Class AA state qualifier, as they lost 18-1 to Fairport June 5. McQuaid’s final record was 23-5.
Meanwhile, Mercy pulled out a 1-0 win over Victor in the sectional Class A title game June 5. The win enabled the Monarchs to successfully defend their crown from 2005. One day later, Mercy fell 4-0 to Section 6’s Williamsville South in state Class A quarterfinal play, ending its season with a 20-7 mark.
The Knights and Monarchs were among six teams from Catholic high schools in the diocese that reached sectional finals. Joining them were Geneva DeSales baseball and softball; Mercy lacrosse; and Nazareth Academy softball.
Odenbach did it all for the top-seeded Knights in the sectional title-game win over No. 3 Greece Athena. He uncorked a blast over the left-field fence of Batavia’s Dwyer Stadium with two outs in the eighth inning, and also was the winning pitcher as he tossed a three-hitter and struck out 14 batters.
McQuaid had earned its spot in the sectional final by defeating No. 8 Spencerport in the quarterfinals and No. 5 Irondequoit in the semis.
The Knights’ state-qualifier loss to Fairport was fueled by a 10-run first inning. However, by winning sectionals, the Knights went one step further than the 2005 team that was undefeated in the regular season but lost in the sectional final to Webster Thomas.
The Monarchs, seeded No. 2 in Class A, got the title game’s only run in the sixth inning when Jill Kazley’s double brought home Kaitlin Graham, who had walked. Kazley’s blow was the only Monarch hit off Victor pitcher Lisa Nazarenko. The classic pitchers’ duel saw Mercy ace Joanna Kurycki toss a two-hit shutout against the top-seeded Blue Devils.
Perhaps the only negative about the Victor win was that it had been postponed two days by rain. Forced to play on back-to-back days, the Monarchs came up short in their state quarterfinal against Williamsville South.
In earlier sectional games, the Monarchs had downed No. 15 Wayne, No. 10 Batavia and No. 3 Geneva.
Mercy recorded another great year after being a sectional champ and state finalist in 2005. Combined with their 27-1 record in 2005, the Monarchs are 47-8 over the past two seasons.
DeSales baseball, seeded third in Section 5 Class D, advanced to the final with a 4-2 win over No. 7 Prattsburgh May 30. The title game saw the Saints fall to No. 4 Webster Christian, 3-2, June 2. DeSales ended up with a 17-9 record.
DeSales softball, the No. 3 seed in Section 5 Class D, reached the final with an 8-5 semifinal win over No. 2 Andover May 30. The Saints recovered from a 4-0 deficit by scoring all of its runs in the final two innings. Two days later, DeSales fell 3-0 to top-seeded Scio in the Class D title game. The Saints’ final record was 17-9.
Mercy girls’ lacrosse earned a trip to the Section 5 Class B final with a 10-6 semifinal win over third-seeded Victor May 25 behind five goals from Kathleen Maurer and four from Mary Kate Howard. The No. 2-seeded Monarchs were then halted by top-seeded Brighton, 19-3, May 31. Mercy’s final record was 15-4.
Nazareth softball, seeded No. 2 in Section 5 Class B, made its first-ever sectional final with a 6-0 win over No. 6 Greece Odyssey May 30 as Lauren Davis threw a three-hitter with 12 strikeouts. The Lasers took top-seeded Pembroke to eight innings in a 3-2 loss in the Class B final June 1. Nazareth’s final mark was 15-10.