PLATTSBURGH -- For the fourth time in the past five years, the Ichabod Crane softball team will be playing in the Class B Final Four.
The Riders (23-1) punched their ticket with a convincing 18-0 victory over Section VII champion Plattsburgh on Saturday afternoon at SUNY Plattsburgh.
Coach Tracy Nytransky's squad takes a 22-game winning streak into next Saturday's state semifinal game against Section I champ Ardsley at Moreau Rec. Eden of Section VI will take on Oneida of Section III in the other semifinal. Both games are slated to start at 11:30 a.m., with the two winners squaring off for the state title at 4 p.m.
Sophomore standout Isabella Milazzo improved to 16-0 with another impressive performance, allowing just three hits with 13 strikeouts and two walks. In the Riders' two regional victories, she gave up just six hits and two earned runs with 23 strikeouts in 12 innings.
Milazzo received plenty of supports from her teammates, who put together a 16-hit attack.
"We got the bats going early in the game and never let up," Riders' coach Tracy Nytransky said. " We worked on our base running in practice also, and it paid off for us. We were much smarter on the base paths, we hit the ball all over the field and Bella pitched another fantastic game."
Emma Scheitinger led the Riders with a triple, two singles and three RBI. Jenna Downey added a double and single with four RBI, Gabbie Cox had a double and single with two RBI, Kaili Saccento three singles and two RBI, Brittany Futia a double an two RBI, Laney Altomer two singles and an RBI, Mackenzie Wendelken and Kayla Walsh a single and an RBI apiece and Marissa Wheeler a single.
Molly Channell had two singles and Abbi Crahan doubled for Plattsburgh, which was playing in its first regional game in 15 years.
Eighth grader Calli Fitzwater took the loss, striking out three, walking six and allowing 18 runs and 16 hits.
The Riders are now just two wins away from their second straight state championship and third in five years.
"We know we have our work cut out for us on Saturday with a tough Ardsley team, but we've been seeing the ball very well lately and even when we are making outs, we are hitting the ball hard," Nytransky said. " This weekend we will just need to play flawless defense, put the bat in the ball, execute and try to continue doing what we have been doing, and that's win!"