Falconer Breezes Past Silver Creek, Will Meet CLCS In Semifinals

Falconer shortstop Nicole Youngberg makes a throw to first base during Thursday’s Section VI Class C1 quarterfinal softball game against Silver Creek at Ernie Strickland Field. The Lady Golden Falcons won, 14-2, sending them into the semifinals at No. 1 Chautauqua Lake on Tuesday. P-J photo by Lisa Monacelli

FALCONER — To call Falconer’s 15-hit offensive output Thursday an attack would be an understatement.

It was an all-out ambush.

Five different players had multiple hits and the fourth-seeded Golden Falcons scored multiple runs in each of the first five innings en route to a 14-2 Section VI Class C1 quarterfinal victory over No. 5 Silver Creek on an unseasonably warm, windy afternoon at Ernie Strickland Field.

The win sends the Golden Falcons into Tuesday’s semifinal in Mayville against No. 1 Chautauqua Lake, the defending New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class C champion.

“I couldn’t be happier with how things worked out. We got help from Nos. 1-9,” Falconer coach Mike Youngberg said. “Everything we did just worked today. It was one of those days.”

Courtnee Peterson of Falconer hustles around third base on the way to a home run. P-J photo by Lisa Monacelli

Thursday’s quarterfinal appeared to be a close matchup on paper after Silver Creek beat the Golden Falcons, 13-12 in extra innings, on April 18 in Falconer before the April 30 rematch in Silver Creek went Falconer’s way, 4-3.

“When we went out there, it was a great game,” Youngberg said. “We knew it was going to be tough.”

Yesterday’s rubber game was over early.

Just two batters into the Golden Falcons’ half of the first inning it was 1-0 after Alex Rivera led off with a single, stole second and scored on Macy Youngberg’s RBI double. Nicole Youngberg followed with a single and stole two bases on the same play when she never let up rounding second base and slid into third safely under the tag of the Black Knights defender. That aggressiveness paid off two batters later when she scored on a wild pitch.

“I would say we’re naturally aggressive. We wanted to do some bunting and some stealing, and move some things around,” Coach Youngberg said. ” … It just happened to work out.”

Claudia Russell and Emily Melquist both singled and scored in the second inning before three Silver Creek errors helped Falconer score a pair of runs without a hit in the third inning to make it 6-0.

“We came out flat, got behind and then just couldn’t dig ourselves out of the hole,” Silver Creek coach Stacie Bauer said. “Falconer came out swinging their bats like they needed to and it showed.”

Nicole Youngberg tripled with two outs in the fourth inning and scored on Courtnee Peterson’s two-run home run to right-center field that made it 8-0.

“We were working hard on batting all week,” Coach Youngberg said. “If we can put the bat on the ball, good things happen.”

The Golden Falcons tacked on six more runs in the fifth inning thanks to three more errors by the Black Knights and six hits. Falconer scored its first three runs of the inning on a harmless-looking bases-loaded fielder’s choice from pinch-hitter Tesika Kilmer that cleared the bases when Silver Creek was late on a wild throw home and the catcher’s throw back to the pitcher covering went to the middle of the infield.

“I think our defense struggled a little bit. It always seems to multiply when you can’t hit the ball when you come back in,” Bauer said. “Falconer was hitting the holes. Julia (Hill) pitched a good game. … The wind gave them a couple, but we can’t take anything away from them.”

After a flyout, Macy Youngberg singled and Nicole Youngberg followed with a two-run triple.

The offense was more than enough for Falconer starter Ashley Pierce, who threw a complete-game five-hitter with nine strikeouts while walking three batters and hitting two.

“We are getting more innings out of her every time she’s out there,” Coach Youngberg said of Pierce. ” … When you score 14 runs, she can do things a little differently. Her pitching helps us and the batting helps her.”

Now Pierce and the rest of the Golden Falcons will be tested by senior ace Olivia Anderson and the Thunderbirds. Chautauqua Lake won both regular-season meetings, 12-7 in both teams’ season openers back on April 3, and 7-2 on April 29.

“We’re definitely looking forward to playing them again,” Coach Youngberg said. ” … We feel like we can play with anybody, it’s just going out there and doing all the little things right.”

NOTES: Nicole Youngberg was 3 for 4 with two triples, two RBIs and three runs scored; Pierce was 2 for 4 with a double; Macy Youngberg was 2 for 3 with a double; Russell was 2 for 3 with two runs scored; Melquist was 2 for 3 with two runs scored; and Kayla Lynn hit a sixth-inning triple for Falconer. … Hill took the loss in the circle for the Black Knights, striking out nine while walking two. She added an RBI triple and scored in the fifth inning. … Libby Lawton doubled while Adrianna Vara, Erichka Reyes and Kiera Brennan had singles in the loss.