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Falconer Loses 5-0 To Avon At Far West Regional

Falconer’s Dani Krenzer lays down a bunt against Section V’s Avon on Friday during the Far West Regional at Fillmore High School. P-J photo by Scott Reagle

FILLMORE — A dominant pitcher can take over a softball game.

When the outcome of that game has a trip to the New York State Public High School Championships attached to it, that ace can make or break seasons.

On Friday, Joleigh Crye dominated for the Avon Braves.

In turn, she sent the Braves to their first state semifinal in school history.

The senior right-hander also ended the Falconer Golden Falcons’ season.

Falconer’s Hannah Cross makes contact. P-J photo by Scott Reagle

Crye threw a two-hitter with 10 strikeouts and two walks as Avon, the Section V champion, beat Falconer 5-0 at Fillmore Central School.

“She was dealing for sure. We watched the game on live stream the other night. It’s not surprising to see her with 14 or 15 strikeouts per game,” Falconer head coach Kayleigh Sieber said. “She’s just humming the ball, absolutely throwing the ball very well.”

Next up for the Braves is a state semifinal game next Saturday morning at the Moriches Athletic Complex on Long Island.

“Our goal was the sectional title,” Avon head coach Jill Terry said. “Everything on top of that is a little extra fun and a little more enjoyment.”

The Golden Falcons’ season ends with a 13-4 record and the 10th Section VI title in program history.

Falconer shortstop Tess Spangenburg attempts a tag on an Avon runner. P-J photo by Scott Reagle

Not only did Crye, who has committed to the University of Cincinnati for swimming, dominate in the circle, but she also provided the biggest offensive blast of the day at the plate when she hit a three-run home run in the third inning to give Avon a 4-0 lead.

Crye struck out Falconer in order to open the first inning before the Braves took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the frame. Courtney Yencer walked with one out before Olivia Pusloskie hit an RBI double to left field.

The Golden Falcons had their best chance of the afternoon in their half of the third. Dani Krenzer walked with one out and Angelina Fiasco laid down a sacrifice bunt that turned into a second-and-third situation when the Braves made an error on the play. Another bunt turned into a single when Avon elected to hold onto the ball, but a pop-up to the infield and a strikeout ended the bases-loaded threat.

“You have to be able to put the ball in play against a pitcher that can absolutely deal the way that she did tonight,” Sieber said. “We had a couple of chances and we just didn’t capitalize. You can’t leave those runners in scoring position.”

Avon added on in its half of the inning. Abigail Schutz reached on an error to lead off the frame and Yencer walked with one out. Crye then hit a long foul ball down the left-field line that was dropped, giving her new life. She took advantage with a long three-run blast over the fence in left-center field.

Falconer second baseman Emily Melquist makes a throw to first base. P-J photo by Scott Reagle

“The game plan really was to walk her. The first at-bat we ended up striking her out and we thought maybe we saw some holes in the swing,” Sieber said of the approach against Crye. “Really what hurt was that she should’ve been out. That was an error in left field. Sometimes good players make it hurt when you make errors. She capitalized on another opportunity.”

Falconer had another chance to score in the top of the fifth inning. Hannah Melquist walked to open the inning and went to third on Krenzer’s sacrifice bunt, but the Braves turned a double play on a bunt by Fiasco to escape the inning unscathed.

“I just think some of the baserunning got away from us,” Sieber said. “We got a little excited, got a little nervous, got a little too far off the bags.”

Schutz doubled down the left-field line and scored on Jessie Crye’s RBI single in the bottom of the fifth inning.

Tess Spangenburg singled and stole second with two outs in the top of the sixth, but Joleigh Crye got out of the inning with a comebacker and then picked up her 10th strikeout of the afternoon to end the game an inning later.

Falconer's Angelina Fiasco makes a catch in right field during Friday's Far West Regional against Avon. P-J photo by Scott Reagle

“She just builds the confidence for everybody,” Terry said, “and makes every else that much better around here.”

The Golden Falcons will graduate seven players, including four starters from Friday’s game.

“This is a family. The team chemistry is better than I ever could’ve imagined. … That’s when you really feel and see things come together for kids,” Sieber said. “It’s about more than the X’s and O’s, it’s more than the average. … It’s about who you walk away with this from and what you’ve gained from it. Sports are supposed to reveal character and we really have done that here.”

The Falconer team consoles each other after falling to Avon in the Far West Regional on Friday. P-J photo by Scott Reagle

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