BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The softball teams from Clarence and Gowanda are returning to Western New York as state champions.

Clarence won the NYSPHSAA title in Class AA and Gowanda took the crown in Class C on Saturday at Moriches Sports Complex on Long Island.

This Gowanda’s first state title in softball. Clarence won once before in 2012. This is the first AA championship won by a Section VI school since 2014 (Orchard Park) and the first Class C triumph since 2018 (Chautauqua Lake).

Lauren Holly batted home Emily Wallrich for the winning run in the 11th inning of Clarence’s 11-0 victory over Shenendehowa in the state title game. Clarence won 6-3 against Massapequa in the semifinals on Friday.

Gowanda rallied for four runs in the sixth inning of its 6-4 championship game win against SS Seward. Holly Browning tied the game with a two-run single and came around to score the final run. Browning also was the hero in Friday night’s 3-2 semifinal win against Thomas Edison.


Jonah Bronstein joined the WIVB squad in 2022 as a digital sports reporter. The Buffalonian has covered the Bills, Sabres, Bandits, Bisons, colleges, high schools and other notable sporting events in Western New York since 2005, for publications including The Associated Press, The Buffalo News, and Niagara Gazette. Read more of his work here.