It was a memorable spring in both team and individual sports for Nazareth Academy, with the Laser softball team winning its first-ever Section 5 championship and golfer Sara Eichelberger finishing among the top females in the state.
Nazareth softball captured the sectional Class B title, scoring a 5-0 victory over Mynderse Academy in the championship game played May 31. Nazareth was seeded sixth and Mynderse was fifth. Laura Davis, the tournament Most Valuable Player, pitched a three-hitter with nine strikeouts for the Lasers. The offense was supplied by Lisa Santos with 3-for-4 and two doubles, and Jordan Goode with three runs batted in.
Nazareth had advanced to the final with a 6-4 semifinal win over No. 7 Dansville on May 29, as the Lasers broke open a 4-4 tie with two runs in the bottom of the sixth. They also scored a 3-2 quarterfinal win, in eight innings, over No. 3 Wellsville on May 25.
The Lasers were the only Catholic high-school team in the diocese this spring to reach a championship round in baseball or softball. Their post-season surge finally ended in the Class BB/B state qualifier as they lost 3-0 to Penn Yan, the Section 5 Class BB champ, on June 2. Nazareth's final record was 12-11.
Meanwhile, Eichelberger, a senior at Nazareth, was the top Section 5 finisher at the state golf tournament held June 9-10 at Foxfire Country Club near Syracuse. She shot a two-day total of 159, with rounds of 77 and 82, to finish seventh overall after placing 22nd a year ago.
Other notable athletic performances this past spring came from:
* McQuaid Jesuit High School boys' lacrosse (13-8), which reached the Section 5 Class B final as the No. 2 seed. The Knights advanced by defeating No. 7 Honeoye Falls-Lima ,12-7, in quarterfinal play on May 23 and No. 3 Eastridge, 15-11, in the semifinal on May 29. McQuaid then lost, 18-6, to No. 1 seed Geneva in the title game on June 1.
* McQuaid golfers Dominic Bozzelli and Tom Vacca. Bozzelli shot a 72 at the Section 5 tournament on May 21 to tie for second place, and Vacca added a 75 to tie for sixth. By finishing in the top nine, both Knights qualified for states.
* Elmira Notre Dame boys' tennis, which placed two doubles teams in the state tournament. The duos of Dan Freeman and Sam DeLuccia, along with Tom Castle and Jon LeSuer, each reached the state tourney's consolation quarterfinal round. Earlier this spring, those same doubles teams led Notre Dame to the Section 4 Class C-D championship.