Cooperstown’s softball season ended in the blink of an eye Saturday.
The first of three Hawkeyes’ errors in the sixth inning ended Maria Noto’s bid for a perfect game and set up the tying and go-ahead runs for Sauquoit Valley, which won a Section Three Class C-1 semifinal, 2-1.
Noto sent down 16 straight SV batters before Jordan Talma bunted and reached base on a throwing error with one out in the bottom of the sixth. Talma then drew an errant throw to second on a steal attempt and made it to third with the help of another throwing error.
Alyssa Orsino followed with SV’s only hit, an RBI double to left field that tied the score at 1.
“Three errors and now, all of a sudden, it’s a tie game,” Cooperstown coach Dave Bliss said.
Things got worse for Cooperstown as Orsino went to third on a sacrifice bunt by Jenna Mazza, then scored on a wild pitch for the final margin.
Maggie Hall sparked a potential rally with a two-out single in the seventh. Hall stole second to move into scoring position but was thrown out at home on a single to left field by catcher Alexie Tsouvas.
“It was a perfect throw,” said Cooperstown coach Dave Bliss, whose team finished with an 8-1 advantage in hits. “We outhit and outpitched them, we just couldn’t outscore them.”
Second-seeded Sauquoit Valley avenged a pair of regular-season losses to third-seeded Cooperstown (16-4), which got a four-hitter from Noto in a 2-1 victory and a no-hitter from the freshman pitcher in a 7-2 win.
On Saturday, Noto struck out eight and walked none. The latter marked her seventh consecutive game without a walk.
Noto finished the season with 228 strikeouts — five shy of the program’s single-season record set by 2013 graduate Nicole Cring last season — over 134 innings.