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 John Kucko: Little Mill Creek in Wayland, NY

The comeback kids: Hornell softball wins sectional game, 3-2 over Newark (Steve Harrison photo gallery)

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Parker Graham connects on a line drive during Hornell’s sectional win over Newark Monday night. Steve Harrison photo.

By JOHN ANDERSON, photo gallery by STEVE HARRISON

HORNELL — A late season surge, a win on senior night and the one-lost softball season for the Hornell Red Raiders had new life going into the Section V tournament.

The Red Raiders earned the No. 4 seed, but had to take on a very tough Newark team in the quarterfinals Monday night.

The cinderella season seemed over as Newark took a 2-0 lead thanks to an RBI single by Hannah Kinslow in the third.

Hornell was able to cut the lead to 2-1 in the third on an RBI single by Jordyn Dyring.

In the sixth, Hornell was down to their last four outs when the Red Raiders had a dramatic rally and held on for the exciting 3-2 win.

“This was a complete team victory,” said Hornell coach Brian Dyring. “Every player played tonight and contributed to the win.”

With two outs in the bottom of the sixth, Haley Smith singled and then senior Jane Spitulnik then reached on a bang-bang play as she dove into first.

Pinch runner Alexis Smith advanced to third on the error. With runners on first and third, Alexis Smith and Spitulnik pulled off the perfect double-steal as Smith stole home to tie the game at 2-2.

Lyla Dyring then entered the game as a pinch runner at second and took off on contact, flying around the bases to score the go-ahead run on a the clutch hit by Anna Updyke.

In the bottom of the seventh, the Red Raiders got a flyout to right, an out at first and then the final batter worked a 3-2 count, fouled off three pitches before Jordyn Dyring recorded her fifth strikeout to end the game.

The Hornell defense was flawless in the final four innings, as 12 batters went to the plate and all were out on six fly outs, four ground outs and two strikeouts.

Jordyn Dyring tossed a complete game 3-hitter and went 2-for-3 with an RBI. Rae Evingham had a double, Haylee Smith had two hits, Updyke had 2 RBI’s and Lizzy Barnes had a hit.

No. 4 Hornell improved to 8-8 on the season with the win. No. 1 Batavia (13-7) defeated No. 8 Geneva (2-16). On Thursday, Hornell is at Batavia at 5 p.m.

Steve Harrison’s photo gallery:

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