ROCKLAND COUNTY, N.Y. – It's been quite a season for Rye Neck High School's Joan Spedafino.
On May 1, Spedafino became the winningest softball coach in Section 1 history, with her 447th career victory over 30 years, as reported here by Daily Voice .
On Saturday, her team closed out the joyful month with an 8-2 Section 1 Class B victory over Valhalla. It gave Rye Neck its first sectional title since 2002, advancing the Panthers to State playoffs.
During the regular season, the Panthers lost to Valhalla, 18-1. And last spring, Rye Neck lost the Section 1 final to the Vikings, who were four-time defending champions..
Hurling the playoff win for the Panthers was senior Diana King, who struck out five batters while allowing one earned run. King, Lindsay Walther and Sam Yannuzzi batted in two runs apiece -- including a game-tying home run by King in the third inning.
Valhalla's starting pitcher Sydni Holtz, who will play softball with King next year at New York University, doubled to knock in one run. The Vikings' Brandi Coon scored on a passed ball.
Rye Neck faces the Section 9 champion in the State regional semifinal playoff game at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday at Rhinebeck High School in Dutchess County..
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