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Valhalla Softball Returns to Semifinals

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- It's becoming an annual event for the Rye Neck, Dobbs Ferry and Valhalla varsity softball teams. The teams will be playing in the Section 1 Softball Championship semifinals, Thursday. The three perennial powerhouses are seeded first (Rye Neck), second (Valhalla) and fourth (Dobbs Ferry) in Class B. Rye Neck will host Dobbs Ferry and sixth-seeded John F. Kennedy Catholic goes to defending champion Valhalla. Both semis are scheduled for 4:30 p.m. The semi-final winners meet in the Class B final, Saturday, 3 p.m., at Lake Nanuet Park in Nanuet. “All three teams always seem to be at the top and competing with one another to stay on top,” said Valhalla coach John Hayes, of Dobbs Ferry, Rye Neck and his team. “That is a compliment to all three teams.” Valhalla won the Class C championship in 2009 and 2010 before beating Rye Neck in the 2011 Class B title game. In 2010, Dobbs Ferry defeated Rye Neck, also in the Class B final. When the Section 1 Softball Championship brackets are released each year, Hayes and his team understand the challenge. “We always take it one game at a time, but we know in order for us to achieve our goal, we will have to go through a Rye Neck or a Dobbs Ferry because they are solid programs.” Ursuline, seeded sixth, will host No. 7 Brewster in a Class A semifinal, Thursday. The winner will face the Tappan Zee-Beacon victor in the Class A final, Saturday, 5:30 p.m., at Lake Nanuet Park. Beacon upset top-seeded and defending state champion Pearl River, 4-3 in 10 innnings. Ursuline was a two-time Class AA finalist -- in 2009 and last year.

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