An extra game is required to determine the Southern Tier Athletic Conference West softball champion after Corning fell to Vestal 11-3 on Friday afternoon at the Canada Road fields.
The Hawks and Horseheads will play at 11 a.m. today at the Blue Raiders’ home field on Broad Street for the STAC West crown. The two teams split their regular-season meetings: Horseheads winning 8-2 on May 3 and Corning prevailing 6-5 on April 26.
The winner will play Seton Catholic Central Monday at 3 p.m. at the BAGSAI Complex on the Broome Community College campus.
Meanwhile, Vestal (12-6, 9-5 STAC) claimed the STAC Metro title with Friday’s victory, blowing the game open with a six-run sixth inning.
Riding what Golden Bears coach Brian Donlin called “Team Sarah,” Vestal whacked out 13 hits, six of them for extra bases. Sarah Kelly, Sarah Berube and Sarah Argulas combined to go 9-for-13 with a home run, 3 doubles, 5 RBIs and 5 runs scored.
“I was joking with the girls that I thought this was going to be a 3-1, 3-2 game,” Donlin said. “We broke it open. We kept putting people on base.”
With the game still scoreless, Corning (13-5, 11-3 STAC) loaded the bases with nobody out in the bottom of the second inning and didn’t score a run.
Angelena Maio led off with a double and Angie Frampton was hit by a pitch. Megan Lewis beat out a bunt to load the bases.
Gabby Citriniti then ripped a shot down to third that Kat Festa grabbed. Festa got back to third to double up Maio, who was off the bag. Vestal pitcher Kristen Hickling induced a groundout to get out of the jam.
“Line shots. Those things will happen,” Corning coach Irene Furness said.
The Hawks threatened again when Lynn Pierce and Chaylen Andolino hit back-to-back singles to start the third.
Sarah Trifoso tried to bunt them over but popped out to Hickling, who doubled Andolino at first.
Hailey Blencowe, who finished 2-for-3, singled in Pierce. But the double play cost Corning a possible big inning.
The Hawks again got their first two batters on base in the fourth when Frampton walked and Lewis singled to right. They moved up on a wild pitch but were both thrown out at the plate on steal attempts.
Lewis was 2-for-3 for Corning, and Citriniti belted a solo homer in the sixth.
For Vestal, Kelly came up a triple short of hitting for the cycle, going 4-for-5 with three RBIs and two runs scored.
Her two-run homer over the center field fence in the third that snapped a scoreless tie came on a 3-0 count.
“I gave her the green light,” Donlin said.
Berube was 3-for-4 with a double and two runs scored, and Angulas was 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored. Michelle Chisdak came through with a double and single for the Golden Bears, who play Windsor for a 3 p.m. Monday matchup at the BAGSAI Complex.