TRAVEL SOFTBALL: LOCALS PLAY KEY ROLL AS CONKLIN RAIDERS GOLD FINISH SEASON TOP 24 AT AFCS
(2022-07-31)Southern Tier Sports Report
INDIANAPOLIS, IN. — The Conklin Raiders 18u Gold team completed their summer softball season this past week in Indianapolis at the Alliance Fastpitch Championship Series (AFCS).
The Raiders entered the season ending event looking to improve on their 2022 finish where they fell in the Tier 2 Championship Game.
89 teams entered the event and the Raiders made their way to Tier 1, the Top 23 teams after the regional round.
In the regional round the raiders, who entered the AFCS seeded 40th, defeated the 30th seeded TC Colorado Gold and the 18th seeded Ohio Hawks while falling to the No. 3 seed and eventual champion OC Batbusters Stith.
Moving onto the Super Regional Round the Raiders fell in a close contest 4-2 to the sixth-seeded Impact Gold Jackson out of Texas. In a must win the bats came alive to run rule the No. 19 seed Corona Angels Slye (Ca.) 13-1, placing the Raiders in the top 24.
In what would be the final contest of the season the Raiders fell 5-0 to the Williamsburg Stars Gold (Va.) led by Eden Bigham (University of Virginia) and a host of other UVA, Virginia Tech and East Carolina commits. Both the Starz and Batbusters made it to the Final 8 and the Batbusters won the first two games of a best of 3 final over the Texas Bombers Gold to take the title.
The Raiders finish the season solidly within the Top 20 teams in the country after making noise at several national events in Colorado, Oklahoma and Georgia. Six seniors graduate the program as ‘Forever Raiders’ as they move on to play college softball. Olivia Kennedy (Greene) will join the Caldwell Cougars this Fall. Kaitlynn Place (Elmira) joins Monmouth, Eva Koratsis (Horseheads) to Fordham, Nadia Martyniuk (Gananda) to Towson, Katie Kibling (Bishop Ludden) to UConn and Kaylin Curro (Oneida) heads to Binghamton University.
Seven players remain to establish the core of the roster moving into the fall including Sophia Polzella (Corning), Olivia Lewis (M-E), Kendra Lee (U-E), Mackenzie Cowburn (Wellsville), Biz Baglieri (Webster Schroeder), Nicole Allen (Fairport) and Kennedy Curro (Oneida). The remainder of the 2022-23 roster will be announced in the coming weeks.
Registration forms are online at conklinraiderssoftball.com and all tryouts take place at Schnurbusch Park in Conklin, N.Y. Registration is at 5 p.m. and tryouts from 5:30-8 p.m.
Tryout dates are August 2 and 9 for 12u/14u, August 3 and 10 for 12u/14u/16u/18u Premier
The 18u Gold Team is an invitation based team. Players with interest in the Gold team should contact coach Bates directly at 315-521-8429 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Among the leaders for the Conklin Raiders gold this summer were Koratsis in batting average, hitting a team-best .421. Five other players hit over 3.00 this summer (Baglieri, Allen, Kibling, Kaylin Curro and Polzella).
Allen led the team with seven home runs and the next leading home run hitters were Koratsis, Kibling, Martyniuk, Baglieri, Polzella and Place.
Kaylin Curro led the team with 16 stolen bases and Polzella had 10. Place and Martyniuk had seven each, Kibling had four and Koratsis had three.
Kennedy led the team with 93 strikeouts and with a .195 batting average against. Lewis had 43 strikeouts on the mound, Lee had 37 and Cowburn 27.
Cowburn allowed a .271 batting average against, Lee a .284 and Lewis a .313.
Koratsis led the team in outs recorded with 193 and Polzella had 93, while Place had 90. Martyniuk led the team with 65 assists and Kaylin Curro had 56, while Polzella had 42. Polzella threw out four runners trying to steal and Place threw out three.
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