JJ-EF ekes out softball win in AA semis
WICCOPEE – For the third time this season and the fifth time in the last 12 months, it will be John Jay-East Fishkill and district archrival Roy C. Ketcham in a high school softball game.
This time with the Section 1 Class AA championship on the line.
The matchup was made possible after top-seeded and defending state champion Jay eked out a 1-0 win over No. 5 Carmel on Thursday in a semifinal showdown, while No. 2 Ketcham ripped No. 3 Clarkstown South, 8-0.
The Patriots won it in dramatic fashion in the bottom of the seventh inning. After being stymied all game by Carmel pitcher Jasmine Ennabe, Jay's Tateum Valentine led off the inning with a double. It was John Jay's only hit of the game. Valentine moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Andrea Varvara, and she scored on a long sacrifice flyout to left field off the bat of Vicky Lattanzio.
"A great game," John Jay coach Bonnie Schilling said. "Both teams were incredible, both pitchers were incredible."
Both Ennabe and the Patriots' Amanda Gisonni had eight strikeouts.
John Jay is riding a 29-game winning streak heading into Saturday’s sectional title game. En route to last year’s state crown, the Patriots lost twice to Ketcham. This year, Jay won both games – a 9-4 win on the road in a game in which Ketcham committed four errors, and an 11-9 win at home that featured a comeback for the ages, with 10 runs in the final two innings after RCK to a 9-1 lead into the fifth inning.
"It's going to be a spectacular game," Schilling said. "I think it speaks volumes for the quality of athlete we have in our area that two teams from the same district are in the final. It's going to be one of those emotional games that comes down to who makes the last mistake."