Herkimer’s Brianna Parks tears into a first inning pitch.

Jeff Pexton-MHTS/PGI Photo

MHTS Summer Fun Tour


SBALLThe Greater Utica Girls Softball Tournament is underway at the Keyes Road Softball Complex in North Utica. The My Hometown Sports Summer Fun Tour made sure to stop in on Saturday morning.

Eight teams from Utica, the Mohawk Valley and from as far away as Albany, are competing for championship honors this weekend.

Under wonderful sunny skies and pleasant temperatures, the 16u Herkimer Diamonds were paired up with the Center State Hornets, in opening round action.

The Diamonds capitalized on eight Hornets errors to win this opening round game, by a score of 7-2. 

Center State pitcher Ashley Robinson winds up a third inning pitch.

The first inning of today’s ball game turned out to be the most pivotal, as Herkimer plated five runs in the bottom of the opening inning, to negate the single run plated by Center State.

Center State took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. Celine Laracuente’s two out, RBI single scored Lexi Charbonneau, to give the Hornets the early advantage.

Then, in the bottom of the first, it was the Diamonds turn. Taylor Chillufo bunt singled, Megan Ball reached on an error and Lindsay Parese doubled to drive in Chillufo. Ball scored on an errant throw to make the score 2-1 Diamonds.

Briana Parks singled to drive in Parese. Mckenzie Pine reached base on an error, and a wild throw scored Parks and moved Pine to third.

Pine scored when Audrey Bunce hit a liner to left field that was misplayed, giving the girls from Herkimer a 5-1 lead.

After a rough first inning, the Lady Hornets and their pitcher, Ashley Robinson, settled in.

SBALLCenter State pulled to within 5-2 in the top half of the second. Samantha Critelli led off with a single and later came around to score on a two out, RBI single off the bat of Carissa Tasovac, pulling the hornets to within three runs.

That was going to be as close as the Hornets would get today, as Herkimer’s pitcher, Shannon Cool, would not allow a runner past second base, or a single run after the second inning of this opening round contest.

Herkimer made it 6-2 in the bottom of the fourth, when Nicole Zaleski singled and later came around to score on an infield error.

The Lady Diamonds put the finishing touches on this one in the bottom of the sixth, when Zaleski walked and came around to score on a two out, RBI single, off the bat of Megan Ball, to make it 7-2 in favor of Herkimer, which is the way this one would come to an end.

Center State’s Nikii Schumaker rips a third inning base hit.

Shannon Cool picked up the win in the circle for Herkimer, allowing two runs, on ten hits and striking out three in the winning effort.

Ashley Robinson went the distance for Center State, allowing seven runs, only 2 of which were earned, on eight hits, striking out six and walking one.

Herkimer was led at the plate by Megan Ball, who was 2 for 4, with one RBI.

Center State got two hits a piece from Lexi Charbonneau, Carissa Tasovac and Marguerite Fish.

Both teams advance on in the winner’s and loser’s brackets, respectively.

The tournament continues on through Sunday afternoon. Along with Center State and Herkimer, other teams in the field include:CNY Pride, Cole Excavating, Electric City Bombers, Lady Rockets, Tri-Valley Vipers and Utica Sluggers.

All eight teams played two games on Saturday for seeding and will play a single elimination format on Sunday.

Herkimer 7 Center State 2

Box Score

                       1  2  3  4  5  6  7     R   H   E

Center State    1  1  0  0  0  0  0     2   10   8

Herkimer          5  0   0  1  1  0  x     7    8   2