State-level competitions over the last few weeks brought out the best in many Section II athletes as the 2018-19 scholastic sports year came to a close. By the numbers, here are 10 of those top performances.
Pitches thrown by Ballston Spa junior Lauren Kersch when the Scotties edged Sayville 2-1 in a 20-inning, state Class A softball semifinal at Moreau Recreational Park. Kersch struck out 18, gave up an unearned run and allowed seven hits — none through the first 11 innings. Kersch fired 84 more pitches in a 3-0 title-game loss to Williamsville East.
Even-par score recorded by Nolan Crowley on the opening day of the state golf championship at Cornell University, which left the Saratoga Springs senior tied for first. He slipped back with an 80 in the second round and, at 151, tied for seventh. Crowley won the Section II state tournament qualifier and the Suburban Council title in the fall, and tied for first with schoolmate A.J. Cavotta at the Section II Class A tournament.
Seconds it took for Colonie seniors Michael Hermance, Josiah Kemp, Shai Young and junior Cristian Hubbard to win the federation 400-meter relay and break their own Section II record at the state track and field championships at Middletown High School. The foursome first set the Section II record the day before when they won the Division 1 title in 41.52. Another Colonie group had held the Section II record (42.14) since 2006.
Seconds it took for Schalmont junior Mia D'Ambrosio to cover 200 meters when she lowered her own Section II record and took second in the federation race at the state track and field championships. D'Ambrosio had set the Section II record with a 24.43 at the state meet qualifier. At the nationals in North Carolina, she ran a Section II all-time best 23.94 in the 200 prelims (Section II records can only be set at sectionals, the state meet qualifier and the state meet).
Innings played by the Ballston Spa and Sayville softball teams in a state Class A semifinal game that ended with the Scotties on top 2-1 after sophomore Ana Gold's walk-off single. The longest state tournament game — the previous record was 13 innings — included a tying, two-out home run in the bottom of the eighth inning by Ballston Spa senior Ange Stile. The contest took three hours, 51 minutes to play and saw 142 batters step to the plate and 452 pitches thrown.
Season-high strikeout total recorded by Shenendehowa senior Brendan Disonell when the Plainsmen beat 2018 state Class AA baseball champion Massapequa 4-1 in a semifinal game at Binghamton University. The Stony Brook-bound righty threw 20 first-pitch strikes, gave up four hits and an unearned run, and walked one. He went 9-2 this season, and 4-0 in the playoffs that ended with Shenendehowa getting no-hit in a 5-0 title-game loss to McQuaid.
Combined goals scored by sophomore Lauren Riker when the Bethlehem girls' lacrosse team beat North Rockland 15-9 in a state Class A quarterfinal and then lost to Baldwinsville 15-14 in an overtime state semifinal. Riker scored a team-leading five goals in the Eagles' first state semifinal game since 2005.
Home runs launched by the Ballston Spa baseball team during state tournament play, half of them coming in the Class A final four in Binghamton when the Scotties beat Sayville 10-0 in six innings and Maine-Endwell 13-6 to capture the school's first state championship. Senior Luke Gold hit a pair of two-run homers and senior Jake Manderson belted a walk-off solo shot against Sayville. Sophomore Chance Checca hit a two-run homer in a three-run first that set the tone against Maine-Endwell.
Hits allowed by Schuylerville baseball junior Alex Vallee when the Black Horses beat Ogdensburg Free Academy 4-0 in a Class B regional game and advanced to the state final four for the first time. Vallee, who wore No. 4 on his jersey, retired the side in order four times in a 67-pitch performance. Schuylerville later beat Medina 6-3 in the semifinals before losing to Center Moriches 11-1 in Binghamton.
No-hitters authored by Section II pitchers in the state baseball regionals, with juniors John Cortese and Taylor Gifford of Fort Plain shutting down Norwood-Norfolk in an 11-0, five-inning Class C win, and senior Ethan Patch of Whitehall blanking Livingston Manor in a 21-0, five-inning Class D victory. Patch threw a perfect game with 14 strikeouts, and Whitehall sent 24 batters to the plate in a 19-run third inning as part of its drive to the state championship.