Clymer/Sherman Dethrones Panama In Class D

Clymer/Sherman’s Amaya Lewczyk exchanges a high-five with teammate Nellie Kopta during Thursday’s Section VI Class D softball championship game against Panama at Deb Palmer Field. P-J photo by Scott Kindberg

PANAMA — Clymer and Sherman merged their softball programs this spring.

As it turned out, it was just the right fit.

Janelle Burchanowski worked out pretty well, too.

The eighth-grader, who started the season on the junior varsity, singled, doubled and tripled, drove in two runs, scored four times and stole three bases to send Clymer/Sherman to a 7-6 victory over Panama in the Section VI Class D championship game at Deb Palmer Field on Thursday.

“It’s something we talked about at the beginning of the year,” Clymer/Sherman coach Frank Lewczyk said of winning the sectional crown in the first year as a combined team. “That was our goal, but the feeling to bring two schools together and have these kids come together is the best feeling. There’s nothing like it.”

Clymer/Sherman’s Janelle Burchanowski belts a two-run triple in the fourth inning during Thursday’s Section VI Class D softball championship game against Panama at Deb Palmer Field. P-J photo by Scott Kindberg

There can’t be many better than Burchanowski either.

The third baseman doubled in the first inning; reached on an error in the third inning; smacked a two-run triple in the fourth inning; and reached on a single and scored what turned out to be the winning run in the top of the sixth inning on a sacrifice fly by Amaya Lewczyk.

So much for playoff jitters.

“She came up (from the jayvees) and she works and works and works, and you saw what today was,” Coach Lewczyk said. “Anything I asked of her, she never flinched. She came in the first day and she’s been there since the second game of the season. She’s just gotten better and better.”

Clymer/Sherman opened the scoring in the top of the first inning when Burchanowski belted a double to deep left and scored on a wild pitch. The Panthers answered right back as Sarah Harvey doubled with one out, moved to third on a groundout and scored when sister Ashlyn belted a home run over the left-field fence.

Clymer/Sherman poses for a team photo after holding off Panama, 7-6, in the Section VI Class D softball championship game at Deb Palmer Field on Thursday. P-J photo by Scott Kindberg

Panama, which scored four unearned runs in the fourth and fifth innings, managed just two hits the rest of the game. Clymer/Sherman starter Samantha Henning worked the first five innings in the circle and Amaya Lewczyk came on to close it out, allowing one hit and striking out four. Kaitlyn Lindsey also had three hits for the winners, including a double, and scored a run in their four-run fourth inning.

Madelyn Lisciandro had a bunt single in the second inning and Mandy Brink had a single in the sixth for Panama’s other two hits.

“Offensively, we’ve suffered off and on,” Panama coach Tammy Hosier said. ” … But I’m proud of my team. They’ve stayed focused. We were close.”

Coach Lewczyk said playing in Division 2 West of the Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Athletic Association paid dividends for his team.

“It made us better, and made us realize we could hang with anyone,” he said. ” … It’s been a good year, it’s been a fun year and they all get along. … This is what we wanted to do. We laid a pretty decent foundation for years to come.”

Panama’s Ashlyn Harvey celebrates her two-run home run in the first inning. P-J photo by Scott Kindberg

Remember, Burchanowski has four more varsity seasons.

“She’s got a bright future, that’s for sure,” Hosier said.

NOTES: Panama won the 2019 Section VI Class D title, one of six the Panthers have claimed since 1976. … Clymer and Sherman have never claimed a stand-alone sectional crown, according to the Section VI website.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *


Starting at $4.62/week.

Subscribe Today