Tournament MVP Dani Koltz went the distance and delivered a run-scoring single in a three-run eighth inning Sunday to lead Chenango Valley to a 6-5 victory over Victor for the title in the 16-team James "Ace" Morabito Softball Tournament in Conklin.
The event draws a loaded field each year. Victor had won the 2008 championship with a 2-1 win against the Warriors, currently ranked third in Class B by the New York State Sportswriters Association.
The Blue Devils, No. 2 in Class A, rallied from a 3-1 deficit to tie the score in the bottom of the seventh inning. In the eighth, Koltz's RBI single drove home the go-ahead run and Abby Pierce's RBI single later in the eighth made it 6-3. Victor responded with two runs but Koltz retired the final two batters to leave runners stranded on second and third.
The right-handed Koltz was 4-0 for the weekend while also delivering a 9-for-12 batting line with five RBIs and six runs scored.
Victor had advanced earlier on Sunday with a 9-1 win on Kacie Strong’s five-hitter vs. Horseheads, No. 14 in Class AA. Chenango Valley (19-3) reached the final with a 2-1 victory over Williamsville North, No. 22 in Class AA, as Koltz threw a four-hitter and drove home Steph Linko in the eighth inning..
On Saturday, CV manager Eric Coleman made six pitching changes — situational substitutions alternating between r Koltz and lefty Taylor Hendrickson — to keep the upper hand during a 4-1 victory over Cicero-North Syracuse in the quarterfinals.
Koltz slugged a two-run double in the bottom of the third inning to provide the key offensive blow for the Warriors (17-3). C-NS, ranked eighth in Class AA, knocked out Class A No. 1 Maine-Endwell in the first round, 7-4.
Though Hendrickson started, she worked only two innings, surrendering a run and one hit. Koltz allowed a hit and struck out seven — including three in a row in the second inning after inheriting two runners in scoring position — in five innings.
Koltz began the day with a 2-for-2 showing and an RBI during a 7-0 win over Mechanicville.