The Pittsford Mendon Vikings were unbeatable during the Section V high school softball season, and nothing has changed in the postseason.
Taryn Welch had a MVP-like performance Friday in the Class A1 Tournament final at home plate and in the pitcher’s circle during Mendon’s 6-2 win over Brighton.
While Welch had just one hit, it was a big swing that produced a two-run homer during the second inning at The College at Brockport. The Vikings scored four times in that inning.
The Barons were shut out by Welch and the Mendon defense after the third inning. Welch struck out five, as the senior faced the minimum three Brighton batters in the each of the final four innings.
“I’m more proud of the team,’’ Welch said. “Without these amazing group of girls I wouldn’t be where I am right now, it all goes to them.
“I think it’s been a real mental year for us. We’ve really had to stay focused and grow, mentally as players. When we did that, we were able to come out every game and start strong. Last year, we were kind of a little bit more naive, but now we’re definitely more experienced.’’
Mendon (23-0) was one of the top teams to watch in the section, after the Vikings won last season’s Class A1 title.
“We’re ecstatic. We knew going into the season we kind of had that target on our back but we were ready to fight it,’’ Mendon senior shortstop Halie Mariano said. “We got what we worked for.”
The Vikings are not in the state tournament just yet. They take on Section V Class A2 champion Geneva (17-3), 11 a.m. Saturday in a qualifier game at The College at Brockport. The winner plays the Section VI, or Buffalo-region champion, June 3 at Niagara-Wheatfield.
Mendon took control of its sectional final with four runs in the second inning.
Julia Ferreira began the inning with a double, a line drive that hit the top of the outfield fence. Welch, the next hitter, slammed a drive over the fence. Hannah Trumble added a RBI single and Courtney Zaucha bunted home another base runner.
The Barons bounced back with two runs in the third. Emily Lustick scored on a wild pitch and a Mendon throwing error allowed Brooke Wolff to also cross home plate in the inning.
The Vikings pushed their lead back to four runs in the bottom of the fourth, on a two-run double with two outs by Mariano.
“This is my first year here, but this has been a program that has won several titles in the last 10 years,” Mendon coach Scott Parsons said. “It’s been a program that has done very well, that’s for sure.
“That was our approach all year, we kept saying, just another game, just another game. We also had like a workman approach. Just get the job done. We weren’t looking past anyone. Probably the best team I’ve ever been around. What a great group of kids, too.”
All-Tournament Team: Leah Fowler (Irondequoit), Katie Mullin (Pittsford Sutherland), Brooke Wolff (Brighton), Eliza Demers (Brighton), Annie Knapp (Brighton), Halie Mariano (Pittsford Mendon), Meaghan Adler (Pittsford Mendon), Shannon Grage (Pittsford Mendon), Hannah Trumble (Pittsford Mendon). Most Valuable Player: Taryn Welch (Pittsford Mendon).