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Corning softball prepares for state semifinals

Corning softball prepares for state semifinals

CORNING, N.Y. (WETM) – Corning high school softball is just 2 games away from another state crown.

Corning softball is ready for the big time. The Hawks were making their final preparations for the NYSPHSAA Class AAA semifinals, on Tuesday. After a 1-run win over North Rockland, Corning will head to Long Island for a shot at their 1st state title since 2019. The Hawks will be in action this Friday against Section II’s Saratoga Springs, at the Martha Avenue Recreational Park. First pitch is slated for noon.

For the back-to-back Section IV champs, each member of the team relishes the opportunity to be in the biggest moments on the field. As Head Coach Mike Johnston Jr. explained to 18 Sports, the Hawks live by the motto, “Pressure is a Privilege.”

“This team plays for the name on the front of the jersey, not the back, said Johnston. Every game, somebody different has stepped up. The biggest thing is that the kids are speaking the language right now. I was reading the paper the other day and whether they know it or not, three different players said ‘pressure is a privilege.’ They want to be the one with the bat or glove in their had when it matters most.”

Corning senior catcher and Hofstra commit, Sophia Polzella emphasized the importance of the Hawks’ motto.

“‘Pressure is a privilege’ is something that is taught all the way up through senior year, said Polzella. I think it is really, ‘The Hawks Way’.”

The standout catcher added that this season’s team is ready to utilize years of hard work.

“It’s awesome opportunity, said Polzella. We have worked to get to the final four, for so many years now. We are just super excited.”

Fellow Corning senior, Peyton Sullivan added that despite their young roster, the Hawks are prepared for this stage of the tournament.

“We are gonna face competition and we will work our hardest to get to where we want to be, said Sullivan. I have no doubt in my mind that we can make it to the championship and win it. We believe that we are prepared to handle the competition.”

The Hawks’ bid for their 1st title since 2019, begins on Friday. Corning takes on Section II’s Saratoga Springs in the semis. If Corning beats the Blue Streaks, they will face the winner of Section V’s Fairport and Section XI’s Sachem East for the state crown. The Class AAA title game takes place this Saturday at 11 a.m.

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